The commercial real estate market has been so dire in the down economy, it's hard to believe that some businesses, including industrial development, are beginning to perk up.

News on that front comes from the fine city of Shakopee in the southern stretch of the Twin Cities. Though most readers know Shakopee for Canterbury Park and Valleyfair, it's also experiencing a mini-boomlet in industrial building. Two businesses are firming up plans to expand there.

Sanmar Corp., a supplier of wholesale apparel and accessories, will occupy a new $35 million warehouse/distribution center off County Road 83 and 4th Avenue. The land was bought by a division of Lake Washington Partners, an Issaquah, Wash., developer, from Minnetonka-based Opus Group. Sanmar will lease the space.

Seattle-based Sanmar now is leasing space in Shakopee, employing about four people, said Michael Leek, the city's community development director. The new facility is expected to employ 150 within the next two years, he said. The city is reviewing a request for $1.5 million in tax-increment financing over a six-year period for the project. A public hearing is set for April 24.

In addition, a Faribault-based company called Trystar is moving its headquarters to a 28-acre tract of land on the south side of Hwy. 169. According to its website, Trystar is a manufacturer and distributor of portable and permanent power solutions, industrial cables and power accessories.

The firm plans to build a $15 million 130,000-square-foot facility in a project that will create 80 jobs. The city is considering the company's request for $1 million in tax abatements over a 15-year period. A public hearing is scheduled for May 1.

Leek says companies like Shakopee's proximity to major highways and MSP airport along with the availability of highly trained workers.

Janet Moore covers commerical real estate for the Star Tribune.