Vacant Shakopee site to get new owner

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2012 - 11:54 AM

Opus has a purchase agreement and plans to build industrial buildings on the land once owned by ADC.

A 100-plus-acre site in Shakopee, once planned as a complex for ADC Telecommunications but which has been sitting idle for more than a decade, is about to pass to a new owner with development plans.

Minnetonka-based ADC had been hurt by slumping demand for its products in 2001 when it abandoned plans for office and manufacturing facilities at Shakopee's Valley Park Business Center near Hwy. 169 and County Road 101. Today, just one partly completed building stands on the property.

The site, which had been taken back by lenders, had a spurt of notoriety earlier this year when Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke suggested it for a Vikings stadium.

The stadium proposal got little traction, but later this year inquiries from other, more conventional commercial real estate investors began bubbling up, Tabke said. Three interested buyers were in the wings by the time Opus Development Corp. of Minnetonka reached a purchase agreement with Maplewood-based Premier Bank, he said.

"We're excited that after over a decade there's some movement on the site and signs that things there will begin to move forward," Tabke said. The property's good highway and rail access make it an attractive option for businesses in the market for distribution facilities, he said.

Opus Senior Vice President Dave Menke confirmed the deal but declined to disclose a price. ADC had paid $7.5 million for the vacant land in 2000, and the property, including the building, had been listed this year for $12 million.

"We're testing different site plans, different densities and different end-development uses that will ultimately occur on the property," Menke said. Opus expects to close on the transaction and start construction of some buildings early next year, he said.

Menke said he expects the site to eventually have three to six buildings, most likely warehouse-type structures. They won't be built on a speculative basis, but will be developed in phases, based on demand from prospective tenants.

Unlike the former plans by ADC, which is now owned by TE Connectivity, it is unlikely the site will have a single user. Menke said Opus already has heard from a few potential occupants interested in newly built facilities as well as the partially completed 508,000-square-foot building.

"It's land that's essentially ready to go, with the zoning already in place," Menke said. "It can be put into production very quickly."

He said Opus was interested in the site because the supply of vacant industrial properties has started to tighten in the southwest metro area and large parcels are becoming more difficult to find.

Opus' interest in the site comes at a time when other commercial development is picking up in Shakopee. The projects include a distribution center under construction by Issaquah, Wash.-based SanMar Corp. and an office and manufacturing facility planned by Faribault-based Trystar Inc.

Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282

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