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Development picking up on Hwy. 610 in Brooklyn Park

  • Article by: Jim Adams
  • Star Tribune
  • February 4, 2014 - 3:03 PM

As walls rise for a medical products plant on Hwy. 610, two more business possibilities have surfaced along the stretch of growing development in Brooklyn Park.

PrairieCare, a doctor-owned mental health provider, is negotiating to buy 10 acres to build a 50-bed hospital for juvenile psychiatric care, city officials said. The firm has submitted plans for city review for a two-story, 66,600-square-foot hospital that would bring more than 100 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Hwy. 610’s largest builder, Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies U.S., recently acquired an option to buy 150 acres on Hwy. 610. That parcel is southeast of the expanding Target Corp. campus, where Ryan expects to finish two nine-floor office towers, each 700,000 square feet, for Target this fall.

Ryan will buy chunks of the mostly vacant 150 acres as it finds businesses that want to locate there, said Casey Hankinson, the company’s vice president of development. He wouldn’t disclose terms or longevity other than to say is was a multiyear option. He said Ryan has made proposals to custom-build facilities for a medical products firm and for an office-warehouse business on the site.

Hankinson said the land has good visibility from 610 and convenient highway access at the nearby Zane Avenue interchange. He said Ryan expects the site will attract expanding medical firms and office or industrial buildings.

The site, which surrounds the PrairieCare parcel, was planned for mixed-business and residential use and named Astra Village by its owner, the Seed family, with whom Ryan and PrairieCare are dealing, officials said.

Recent additions

In December, Ryan started building a $35.8 million manufacturing plant for Olympus Surgical Technologies America, a Japanese-owned medical technology company. Walls are going up for the 181,000-square-foot surgical innovation center south of Target and west of Zane Avenue and Astra Village.

Just west of Olympus across West Broadway Avenue is a biotechnology plant bought last year by Baxter International, an Illinois-based giant health care firm. Baxter is soon expected to start remodeling the plant that will create more than 190 skilled jobs, city officials said.

Brooklyn Park is working to create a hub for skilled jobs and medical product and service businesses.

“We have had a long-term vision for a corridor for high-skill jobs creation,” said Amy Baldwin, city business development manager. She noted the city already has several dozen medical companies, ranging from a few employees to large firms like Stellar Technology, which makes medical equipment parts.

The city has staged its growth, gradually opening more areas to development, Baldwin said. There are about 1,400 undeveloped acres around Hwys. 610 and 169 in the northwest part of the city, she said.

Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove officials have said 610 development has been spurred by the news last fall that the state will provide more than $100 million to build the last 2.6-mile stretch that will connect Hwy. 610 from County Road 81 to Interstate 94 in Maple Grove. Construction is to start next fall and be done in 2016.

PrairieCare’s plans

Assuming PrairieCare obtains the 10 acres and city approval, it hopes to start building this spring and to open by fall 2015, said city Senior Planner Todd Larson. The health provider plans to add about 120 new jobs at its facilities, most of them to be at the proposed 50-bed hospital. The facility will include 20 juvenile psychiatric care beds moved from the firm’s Maple Grove hospital.

The metro area has a shortage of juvenile psychiatric beds and the 20 at the Maple Grove building have been full almost constantly since they were added in early 2011, said Todd Archbold, PrairieCare’s chief development officer. He said psychiatric services, mostly for juveniles, have increased an average of 28 percent a year at PrairieCare’s three facilities in Maple Grove, Edina and Woodbury since 2010.

PrairieCare’s hospital plans include space for an additional 50 beds in the future, Larson said. The plans are to be reviewed this month by the Brooklyn Park Planning Commission and City Council.

Brooklyn Park won’t be providing subsidies to PrairieCare, said Mike Sable, interim community development director.

The city has promised millions in subsidies tied to jobs created by Target, Olympus Surgical and Baxter. Target would get about $5 million in property tax reductions after it fills 3,000 mostly information technology jobs in the twin towers that are expected to open this fall.

Olympus has said it plans to move 265 workers to its new research and manufacturing plant from five other facilities in Maple Grove. The company also is expected to add more space and another 100 jobs in future years. The city and state have pledged up to $2.25 million in assistance to Olympus to help improve infrastructure and extend a street to the site. The local and state aid is linked to the new jobs at the plant, scheduled to open in September.

Baxter expects to create more than 190 skilled jobs at its remodeled plant; jobs that are tied to more than $2 million in city tax increment funds and property tax reductions, and up to $10 million in state subsidies.

The subsidies also require the Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company to invest $10 million by 2018 in the renovation of the vacant plant it bought for $9.9 million early last year. The company plans to add more space and employees after 2018.

 

Jim Adams • 612-673-7658

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