Olympus med devices unit to move to new $37M site in Brooklyn Park

  • Article by: JAMES WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2013 - 8:40 PM

The medical devices firm said it will create 100 new jobs at a facility to be built near Hwy. 610.

The competition is over for Olympus Surgical Technologies America of Maple Grove — and Brooklyn Park is the winner.

The worldwide medical technology player announced Monday that it will consolidate its Maple Grove operations at a $37 million, 180,000-square-foot research and manufacturing facility it will build near Hwy. 610. The company will move 265 workers to the new facility and create 100 new jobs there.

Olympus is expected to break ground on the new plant within a month and the project should be completed next fall, said Casey Hankinson, vice president of development for Ryan Cos., which is developing the site in partnership with Olympus. The new facility will house research, design and production operations for technology that enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive operations. Olympus officials said the Brooklyn Park site was one of four finalists for the facility, including the Boston, Memphis and Cleveland areas.

Winning the project is a coup for Brooklyn Park, Hankinson said.

“This is going to be a very big facility for them as a company,” he said when discussing the monthslong process of selecting a site. “When major corporations like this are investing major dollars, they want to look at all their options.” He added that Minnesota’s standing as a hub for medical technology helped. “With what they do, talent is very important to them,” Hankinson said.

Georg Schloer, president of Olympus Surgical Technologies America, said: “Our new Brooklyn Park facility will play a world-leading role in the production of our disposable surgical energy devices, a core competency of Olympus. We are proud to manufacture these products in the U.S. and intend for our solutions to help health care professionals provide better outcomes, more efficiently. The Minnesota community has been an integral part of the success of our manufacturing operations for the past 27 years, and we look forward to bringing more jobs to the community.”

To further spur the Olympus decision, Brooklyn Park and the state of Minnesota are pledging up to $2.25 million in assistance to Olympus to help improve infrastructure and prepare the site. The local and state aid is linked to the creation of jobs with an average wage of up to $23.80 an hour.

As part of the project, Brooklyn Park will extend Louisiana Avenue to the north to provide the “front door” to the site.

According to city officials, the development will increase tax revenues from the $37,000 currently generated by the vacant site to $625,000 once the project is complete.

James Walsh • 612-673-7428

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