St. Paul-based developer Interstate Partners plans to construct a roughly 60,000-square-foot office and data center on a 4.83-acre site off Ames Crossing Road in Eagan.
The single-story facility, which would be located in the Boulder Lakes Business Park development, would likely house Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO, a regional electrical transmission operator serving 13 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
The Eagan Advisory Planning Commission is expected to review preliminary plans for the facility and issue a recommendation during a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at . The Eagan City Council is expected to hear the project and vote whether to give final approval to a planned development amendment for the site on Sept. 4.
MISO currently has an operations center in St. Paul, but announced in April that it planned to move the facility and roughly 90 jobs to Eagan as part of a cost-cutting move that may save the company $4 million over 12 years, according to a report in the Pioneer Press. At the time, the company was in negotiations with Interstate Partners, but had not come to an agreement on a lease price or signed a contract.
If the council gives the green light to the project, Interstate Partners would likely begin construction early in September, with an anticipated completion date of Aug. 31, 2013. The new facility could be occupied and fully operational as early as March, 2014, according to planning documents provided by the developer.
MISO plans to lease the building and use it as a general office space, a conference and training center, data center and control room for regional transmission operations. Plans for the facility also includes canopy structures for a portion of an outdoor parking lot and an eight-foot security fence with security gates.
MISO has signed a 12-year lease for the building, Interstate Partners President Greg Miller said on Monday. The company owns the nearly 100-acre business park, and completed a single, 116,000 square foot office complex in the area in 2008. Eventually, Miller said, the company plans to develop as much as 760,000 square feet of building space in the complex.
“We’re pleased, we have been developing the park for five years. Getting the first building up and done very quickly was encouraging, and then obviousyly the recession hit, and there wasn’t much of anything happening," Miller said.
The proposed site of the building is currently zoned as planned development and designated as "major office" in the city's Comprehensive Guide Plan.
Eagan Community Development Director Jon Hohenstein said broadband infrastructure under development in Eagan helped attract MISO to the Boulder Lakes site. But the city, which is experiencing a spate of new business development projects, is also well-poised for economic growth, Hohenstein added.
“I think the things that have always made Eagan attractive in the past, and have contributed to its high growth previously are still here: Its location, the freeways, the quality infrastructure, the bang for the buck in terms of public services for taxes," Hohenstein said.
Check back at Eagan Patch later this week for updates to this developing news story.