Big Edina building needs a tenant with very little ambition

  • Updated: October 8, 2009 - 9:36 PM

Know anyone interested in operating a state-of-the-art nanotechnology facility?

A coalition of state officials, advocacy groups, and business leaders is scrambling to craft a public/private partnership that will establish the Minnesota Center of Excellence in Nanotechnology in Edina.

Disk-drive maker Seagate Technology, based in California but with big operations in the Twin Cities, owns the $100 million facility. But the company, which lost $3.1 billion in the past fiscal year, has abandoned its plans to establish the 58,000-square-foot building as a hub for nanotech research and manufacturing.

As a result, the facility, which is move-in ready, needs an occupant.

Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating matter less than 100 nanometers wide (about the width of a human hair) into products that carry unique properties in relation to their size, such as disk drives that can hold more data.

The company set Nov. 15 as the deadline to submit bids for the site. The public/private coalition, which includes executives from Medtronic Inc., Mayo Clinic and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, would like the facility to help local companies and researchers develop new technologies based on the emerging science.

THOMAS LEE

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