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Former Lawson Software eyeing move from St. Paul

  • Article by: JANET MOORE
  • Star Tribune
  • January 15, 2013 - 11:17 PM

The parent company of the former Lawson Software is looking for new space in the metro area for the approximately 650 employees who work in downtown St. Paul.

But the software firm also said it could decide to stay put.

Dan Barnhardt, a spokesman for New York-based Infor, said in an e-mail Tuesday that its current lease at Lawson Commons on St. Peter Street expires in mid-2015. "As any lease approaches term, the company explores additional options to house our area employees, which include remaining at Lawson Commons," he wrote.

Lawson Software was acquired by an affiliate of Infor for about $2 billion in 2011, and employee levels in St. Paul have remained "virtually unchanged," Barnhardt said. "The company stands firmly committed to our presence in the area," he said.

However, increased productivity of a mobile workforce and a new customer visitor and training center in Infor's New York headquarters reduced the need for space in St. Paul, he added.

Joe Campbell, spokesman for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, said Tuesday that the city "has received no indication that Infor is leaving."

"It's common practice in the marketplace for a business to re-evaluate its options when its lease is about to expire, and it's way too soon to sound the alarm bells," Campbell said.

The 13-story Lawson Commons building is owned by Behringer Harvard REIT I Inc., a commercial real estate firm based in Addison, Texas. A spokeswoman for the firm could not be reached immediately for comment Tuesday.

The possibility of St. Paul perhaps losing one it its major employers is just the latest in a remarkable string of news regarding the city's downtown in recent weeks.

Last week, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, which operates Grand Casinos in northern Minnesota, confirmed it is buying two large hotels in downtown St. Paul, reportedly the Crowne Plaza Riverfront and the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Just before that, retailer Macy's said it was shuttering its downtown store, leaving the city's core without a department store for the first time in more than a century.

Staff writer Kevin Duchschere contributed to this report. Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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