This week, Eagan Patch gleaned through our archives to bring you the top news stories and issues of 2011. We begin with a retrospective on business news in the community.
Know of a headline or issue that should have made it onto our list? Feel free to post your choices for the biggest business news of the year in the comments section of this article.
Early in 2011, Eagan Patch profiled Harry Sweere, the now-deceased founder of Eagan-based Ergotron. Over a three-decade span, Sweere built the business into a successful international company worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Late in 2010, the company announced that it had been purchased by Nortek Inc. for a hefty, $280 million pricetag.
in Eagan shut its doors for the last time in mid-November—a move that surprised a number of local residents. Joe Senser's officials said the closure had more to do with the economy and a hard-to-reach location than the legal problems facing Senser's wife, who was charged in relation to a hit-and-run incident this fall.
At a press conference earlier in December, Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics announced that it will be leasing the 100,000 square foot Buffets Inc. building—part of a significant business expansion that is expected to bring at least 300 new jobs to the area. The company plans to renovate and occupy the space in 2012—and complete its hiring process in two years.
Eagan established itself as a major telecommunications hub in Minnesota when it landed a 138,000 square foot data center called "The Connexion." Eagan invested $185,000 in a feasibility study for the project, but that is more than matched by the expected overall private investment in the project—estimated to be between $75 million to $100 million.
No business story generated as much buzz this year as Lockheed Martin's announcement that it plans to close its Eagan facility by 2013 and move its office to Owego, N.Y. and San Diego, Calif. In one stroke, Eagan lost roughly 1,000 jobs—the majority of which will move to New York. The company's announcement also set off a debate over what the city should do with the soon-to-be vacant Lockheed Martin property near the center of Eagan. CSM Equities LLC., which purchased the property would like to redevelop it as a retail center—a proposal city officials are currently considering.