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Minneapolis Internet hub gets a pass in Vikings stadium plans

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A nondescript building in downtown Minneapolis will not be torn down as originally envisioned as part of plans to construct a new Vikings stadium, the Star Tribune reports.

The 511 Building, an easily-overlooked low-rise, concrete facility, is the state's largest Internet communications hub, a highly secure, climate-controlled home to roughly 70 different data networks, the newspaper reports.

Building owners Timeshare Systems had threatened to sue if plans were pursued to tear the structure down. But those plans have been abandoned given the value of the tech infrastructure that is housed there, the Star Tribune says.

It's hard to overstate the importance of the infrastructure – and how difficult it would be to move it, tenants said.

"This is the main connection point here in Minneapolis/St. Paul — and really the upper Midwest — to connect to the big backbones of the Internet," one tenant, Jim Hickle, president of Velocity Telephone, told MPR earlier this year.

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