Lockheed Martin may have vacated its vast corporate campus in Eagan, but the company hasn’t completely left the city.
About 200 employees, mostly in Lockheed’s air traffic management business, still work in a building about two miles from the large complex near Yankee Doodle Road and Pilot Knob Road that once housed more than 1,000 workers. Other employees were either laid off or transferred to other Lockheed facilities.
Lockheed’s 2010 announcement of its plan to move stung Eagan, already grappling with the loss of Delta Air Lines’ headquarters. Eagan officials, along with U.S. Rep. John Kline, worked hard to press Lockheed to keep a presence in the city, said Tom Garrison, a city spokesman.
When it looked like the company might change an early plan to keep the air traffic division in Eagan, Kline urged Lockheed to reconsider. “I ask that you take into account the trust and relationship you have built with the Eagan community,” Kline wrote in a letter to Lockheed’s top management. Development Director Jon Hohenstein said the city encouraged Lockheed to work with property owners and brokers to scout for sites.
“City officials were very pleased to hear that the division was relocating [in Eagan] both because of the quality of the jobs and the fact that the employees would not need to relocate to keep their jobs,” Hohenstein said.
Now Eagan’s challenge is reigniting plans to redevelop the vacant corporate campus site. Minneapolis-based CSM Corp. last year proposed a large-scale retail center for the 47-acre parcel. Work initially was expected to begin this spring.
But the plan appeared to get a lukewarm reception from the city, and late last year the developer withdrew it. The City Council recently reviewed a consultant’s study laying out alternative plans, including some with offices, housing and an entertainment venue in addition to retail. Council members didn’t choose a plan, but their comments showed a preference for a mix of uses.