Paragon Outlets' large mall under construction in Eagan's Cedar Grove redevelopment area is fueling a substantial increase in the number and value of commercial permits for the city, according to Eagan's most recent building activity report.

The city reported 13 new commercial construction permits valued at $64.3 million through the end of October. That compares with six permits valued at $8.6 million for the same period in 2012.

Store buildings and a parking ramp at the new mall accounted for almost $60 million of this year's total.

The upscale outlet mall being built by Baltimore-based Paragon Outlet Partners is set to open next year. The open-air mall is expected to have about 100 stores. About 40 have already signed on, including Brooks Brothers, Calphalon, Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren. A Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will anchor the complex.

Meanwhile, Eagan's new residential construction activity also continues to increase from a year ago. The city reported 72 single-family permits valued $27.7 million through the end of October, up from 43 valued at $16.5 million for the same period in 2012.

Award for Apple Valley firm

Closets For Life recently won the 2013 Associate of the Year award at the annual Contractor of the Year (COTY) awards ceremony hosted by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

This is the second COTY award for the Apple Valley custom closet and home organization company. Its previous award was in 2011.

The Associate of the Year award goes to a company that demonstrates excellence in craftsmanship and service when working as a subcontractor to a NARI member. Entries were judged from multiple evaluations submitted by remodelers.

Closets For Life, a family-owned business, was founded by Apple Valley resident Rick Lyrek in 2005. The company works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create storage solutions for closets, garages, kitchens, home offices and wine cellars.

A move down the street

Wells Fargo recently closed its home mortgage office at 350 W. Burnsville Pkwy.

Spokeswoman Peggy Gunn said the closing was part of an effort to consolidate facilities. The employees at the shuttered office were transferred to Wells Fargo's office at 100 W. Burnsville Pkwy.

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