The Panera Bread outlet on Hwy. 55 in Hastings closed last week. The bakery and cafe had operated for 10 years in a free-standing building that is part of Hastings Marketplace, a Cub-anchored retail center across the street from a Wal-Mart store.

Sharon Woods, district manager for Panera, said the lease had expired at the Hastings outlet, and the St. Louis-based chain decided not to renew it. Woods said that she was not involved in the lease negotiations and that there are no plans to open a restaurant elsewhere in Hastings. Panera's other area restaurants include outlets in Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville and West St. Paul

Bryan Larson, who works in retail property management for building owner Madison Equities, said managers at Panera's corporate offices told him the company was closing the Hastings store because it was an underperforming outlet. "It was out of our control," Larson said.

Larson said he expects to have a new occupant soon for the 4,800-square-foot building but declined to say whether it will be another restaurant.

Building brisk in Lakeville

Homebuilding continues to dominate construction activity in Lakeville.

The city has issued building permits valued at about $85.2 million through the end of July. This compares with about $63 million for the same period a year earlier.

The year-to-date total includes $8.5 million in commercial and industrial permits, up from $8.1 million through the end of July last year.

Meanwhile, the city issued permits for 208 single family homes through the end of July with a total valuation of $64.6 million, up from 140 permits valued at $40.6 million for the same period in 2012.

Lakeville has been one of the most active homebuilding markets in the metro area this year. Figures compiled by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities rank the city first in the number of permits among 102 communities it tracks.

Hyundai arrives in Burnsville

Luther Burnsville Hyundai, the brand's only dealership on the Interstate 35 corridor south the river, recently opened.

The new facility is on a 6-acre site on Buck Hill Road near Southcross Drive, a short distance from Luther Volkswagen, which opened in 2011 on the site of a demolished movie theater. Luther Automotive also operates a Nissan Kia dealership in Inver Grove Heights.

The new Hyundai dealership offers new and used vehicles and has a service department. Customer amenities include a lounge with high-definition televisions, workstations, free Wi-Fi, beverages and pastries.

Send your Dakota County business news to