Brooklyn Park is a step closer to reeling in another big business, as a Chicago-area company has received city approval to rezone 7.5 acres to permit a 120,000-square-foot office and warehouse. The Connor Commercial Real Estate project would be near the intersection of Hwy. 81 and I-94.

"It's another sign that the market is turning around," said Mike Sable, acting city community development director.

Sable said the next step for Connor is to get a city building permit. Connor doesn't have tenants lined up yet, he said, but was impressed with the site's access to the metro area. The company hopes to begin construction in the spring. Sable said the city is evaluating its request for financial help to clear buildings on the site.

Olympus Surgical Technologies America plans to build a $37 million research and manufacturing facility, and Baxter International is remodeling a vacant drug-production plant it bought for $10 million.

Both will receive city and state subsidies when new jobs appear.

jim adams