The Twin Cities simply didn’t have enough firepower.
The metro area lost the battle for the Army Futures Command research and development operation to Austin, Texas, which also beat out Boston, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C., for the coveted bid.
Local officials were informed Thursday night about the loss. “I’m proud we were one of the very select few finalists,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who was part of a larger group trying to woo the military installation. “That’s indicative of the status that Minneapolis has achieved. But obviously I’m disappointed.”
On Friday morning, U.S. Army officials are scheduled to officially announce the selection, which had been whittled down from 150 cities.
In a release sent out earlier Thursday, Army officials said the establishment of what will be the fourth Army Command “marks the most significant Army reorganization effort since 1973, and brings unity of command and effort to Army modernization, ensuring greater accountability, transparency and responsible stewardship of the nation’s resources.”
The Futures Command would have brought less than 500 personnel, but it could have meant decades of partnerships with private-sector companies as the facility worked to spearhead the technological advancements for the largest U.S. military branch.
The Army started laying out plans for the Futures Command last October.
Representatives from the Army visited the Twin Cities region and met with local leaders last month.
Some of the data the Army analyzed included the number of patents issued, dollars spent on university research, quality of life factors and logistics such as how easy it is to get around the metro.
U.S. officials have said Austin’s favorable business, academic and technology climate were among the reasons it was selected, according to the Associated Press.
Army spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment Thursday night.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum, who helped lead a joint effort by Minnesota’s federal delegation to try to win the bid, also did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday.
A Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesman said Thursday evening the department had not been informed of the Army’s decision.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.