City planners in Eagan are preparing for increased interest from developers in Cedar Grove now that construction of a high-end retail outlet center in the area is ready to begin early this year.

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) wants to hire an appraiser for the rest of the city-owned land not included in the retail project to be developed by Paragon Outlet Partners. The Baltimore-based firm last year paid the city $14.7 million for a 29-acre site for its project to be built near Hwy. 13 and Cedar Avenue, along the soon-to-open Cedar Avenue bus rapid-transit line.

The city had an appraisal done to determine the value of the land it sold to Paragon, said Jon Hohenstein, director of community development. He said the EDA wants to determine fair market value of five remaining parcels that total almost 18 acres.

"The city attorney hires appraisers on our behalf, and he's been in touch with BRKW in St. Paul, who has done work for the EDA and city in the past," Hohenstein said. "The market analysis for each parcel will depend on the specific use proposed for it, so each analysis will depend on whether the buyer is proposing residential, hospitality, retail, office or other uses for a parcel."

Construction of Paragon's shopping center is expected to be completed in 2014. Plans call for about 100 shops in six buildings facing each other around an open-air pedestrian concourse.

Apartment complex sold

Another large apartment complex in Burnsville recently changed hands. Minneapolis-based Pro One Management acquired the Burningham Apartments at 1501-1513 Burnsville Pkwy. E. from Johnson Management Co. for $15.8 million, according to a listing from the CoStar Group.

Johnson, a business entity of J&M Homes LLC, had paid $23.1 million for the 323-unit building in 2007, according to Dakota County property records. It was built in 1971 and most recently was valued at about $19 million for tax purposes.

The sale is the second recent transaction involving an apartment property in Burnsville. Late last year The Woods of Burnsville Apartments, a six-building, 400-unit complex at 14701 Portland Av., was acquired for $28.9 million by Waterton Residential of Chicago. The seller was Denver-based Aimco. Both the buyer and seller are real estate investment management firms.

Eagan transit firm honored

Dart Transit Co. of Eagan has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for accomplishments in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency.

Dart was recognized for lowering emission levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. It was one of 40 companies nationwide to earn the award.

Dart launched a small fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered tractors last year. Natural gas -- one of the cleanest fuels available -- produces 28 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel.

Other measures Dart took in 2012 to improve efficiency include the expansion of a fleet of lightweight tractors, trailers and trucks that consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.

The EPA launched its SmartWay awards in 2004 to support businesses that improve the sustainability of their freight supply chains.

Please send your Dakota County business news to Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282