Extreme Sandbox, a 10-acre playground where grown-ups can drive and operate full-size construction equipment for fun, officially launched its expanded facilities last week.

The Hastings attraction previously operated out of a trailer. It has now completed a 6,300-square-foot building at 1901 Glendale Road.

Most of it is used as a garage for the excavators, bulldozer, skid steerer and fire truck that patrons play with. But the building also houses a banquet area that can seat 200, a gift shop, indoor spectator area, training room and offices.

Owner Randy Stenger said he is hoping the new facilities will allow him to expand Extreme Sandbox's bookings for large groups, including corporate events.

The attraction, the only one of its kind in the Midwest, also has proved to be popular with individuals in search of an offbeat way to have fun.

Small business honor

Karai Chinniah Sukumar, president and CEO of TAJ Technologies, Inc. in Mendota Heights, was recently honored as the Minnesota Entrepreneurial Success of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The award is given to individuals who own or operate a business initially defined as "small" by the agency that developed into a large business with the help of SBA loans and programs.

Sukumar was born in India and came to the U.S. in 1973. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Minnesota and later worked at Control Data Corp. He was laid off in 1986 when the company downsized. He started TAJ Technologies, an information technology consulting firm, the following year.

Rental complex changes hands

Investors continue to snap up and upgrade older apartment complexes in Burnsville.

The latest transaction saw Raven Hill Apartments, a 304-unit property, sold to Chicago-based Redwood Capital Group for $26.9 million, according to documents filed with the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

The complex, near Interstate Hwy. 35W and Burnsville Parkway, previously was owned by Condor Corp., which owns and manages more than 1,400 apartment units in Minnesota and Florida.

This was the second apartment acquisition in the Twin Cities for Redwood. In 2011 it bought the 534-unit Hampshire Hill complex in Bloomington.

Burnsville finished 2013 as one of the Twin Cities' most active markets for buyers of large rental properties, including the 339-unit Nicollet Ridge Apartments, 60-unit Southcross Village Townhomes, 320-unit Southwind Village, and 323-unit Burningham Apartments.

Earlier this year the Atrium and Trailway Pond Apartments, which have a total of 588 units, were purchased by Philadelphia-based Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.

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