Burnsville company building new digs nearby in Savage

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER
  • Star Tribune
  • October 9, 2012 - 10:22 AM

Ten years after moving its U.S. headquarters to Burnsville from Plymouth, German technology company Beckhoff Automation is moving again -- but keeping its roots in the south metro area.

Construction of an office and warehouse facility for Beckhoff recently began in Savage, west of the city's new fire station. At about 45,000 square feet, the property at Dakota Avenue and McColl Drive will be more than twice as large as Beckhoff's existing facilities in Burnsville, said Mark Lewis, manager of technical services. The site also has space for a possible expansion in the future.

Lewis said Beckhoff expects to increase its workforce slightly to about 45 after moving into the new building next spring. "We're excited about adding more white-collar jobs to the city's workforce," said Bryan Tucker, Savage planning director.

Beckhoff designs and makes automation systems based on personal-computer control technology.

The products are used by manufacturers to increase efficiency on production lines and in buildings to control heating, cooling, lighting and other mechanical systems.

The company paid $800,000 for the site, most recently valued at $447,000, according to Scott County property records. Building permits filed in connection with the new facility show a construction cost of $7.2 million.

Anderson-KM Builders of St. Louis Park will oversee construction of the Savage facility, whose two-story office portion will have a curtainwall of Kasota limestone and glass.

"The city is very pleased that it's a such nice-looking building," Tucker said.

"We hope it will set a good tone for development of the remainder of the area around it."

The project has been designed to prevent storm water from running into the nearby Savage Fen. Landscaping includes a rain garden and a storm-water retention pond.

Lewis said Beckhoff decided a few years ago to move from its leased Burnsville facilities. "It became clear that there were advantages to building something for our own use, a larger facility that would be customized for us," he said. In addition to offices and a warehouse, the new facilities will house training and repair operations, he said.

Lewis said the company looked at several sites in the south metro. The move isn't likely to add much to the commuting time for Beckhoff's employees. In fact, it is likely to mean shorter commutes for many who live farther to the south in communities such as New Prague, he said.

Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282

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