The city of Eagan and Frontier Communications have reached an agreement under which Frontier will become the first telecommunications provider on AccessEagan, the city's wholesale fiber network.

The agreement could mean faster Internet speeds and more service options for many businesses in Eagan. It also adds the city's 16-plus miles of fiber optic lines to Frontier's more than 302 miles of fiber in Dakota County.

AccessEagan is a wholesale fiber network owned by the city and open to any telecommunications carrier wishing to provide services to Eagan businesses. The city provides no retail services.

The AccessEagan lines are in central and north Eagan mostly, with an extension going in this summer in the Cedar Grove area, where an outlet shopping mall is being built.

Darrell Hansen, general manager for Frontier in Minnesota, said the partnership with Eagan is a natural fit. "It gives businesses of any size the opportunity to have a new primary or backup broadband connection utilizing Frontier's alternate fiber path to the Internet, which is not dependent on the usual Minneapolis-to-Chicago Internet route," he said.

Under the new agreement, businesses will be able to buy services directly from Frontier, and unlike some business class offerings, customers will be able to choose a network speed that can grow with them based on their bandwidth needs.

Unlike a traditional shared connection, the fiber network provides dedicated bandwidth with equal download and upload speeds for accessing the Internet or sending large files. As the first provider on the AccessEagan network, Frontier can begin selling to additional Eagan businesses as an open access network.

Frontier is signing a nonexclusive agreement, meaning the wholesale services on AccessEagan are available to other providers who decide later to join the network.

Liquor store celebrates reopening

The new owner of Salem Liquors is celebrating the opening of the remodeled Inver Grove Heights store with a grand reopening Friday and Saturday.

Nicole Lentsch, who acquired the business and is leasing the 3,000-square-foot space at 5300 S. Robert Trail, said the festivities will include beer and wine tastings, a cookout and a raffle, with proceeds to be donated to the Twins Community Fund.

Lentsch said she "pretty much gutted" the interior of the old store, which operated as Laser Liquor. The new store has a beer and wine tasting room and expanded shelf space for craft beers, she said.

Burnsville townhouse complex changes hands

Burnsville continues to be an active market for buyers of large rental properties.

KES Holdings LLC of Edina recently paid $5.1 million for Southcross Village Townhomes at 14800 County Road 5. The 60-unit complex was built in 1985.

The sale is the fourth recent transaction involving a rental housing property in Burnsville, where some of the largest sales in the Twin Cities area have occurred in recent months.

Earlier this year, Southwind Village, a 320-unit property at 15001 Greenhaven Drive, was purchased for $31.3 million by Virtu Investments of Carlsbad, Calif. The five-building complex was built in 1989. Minneapolis-based Pro One Management also acquired the Burningham Apartments at 1501-1513 Burnsville Pkwy. E. from Johnson Management Co. for $15.8 million.

And 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.

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