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Business Developments

by Mohammed Mourssi-Alfash
July 2016

Northern

Cirrus Aircraft has unveiled a plan to build a $16 million facility in the Duluth Airport Industrial Park that will add 150 new jobs, pushing its employee roster to 825 workers. The new project is expected to start operating in October. The City of Duluth will contribute nearly $8 million in infrastructure and construction financing for the new facility, and the company will also receive a $4 million loan from DEED through the Minnesota Investment Fund.

Maurices has built its new $80 million headquarters in downtown Duluth, marking the biggest downtown development in the city’s history. The 200,000-square-foot office building spans an entire block and includes a public parking ramp.

Central

The St. Cloud-based biological material supply company Microbiologics Inc. is adding a 30,000-square-foot expansion to its lab research and development site, which will create roughly 35 new full-time jobs paying an average wage of $21 per hour. The proposed expansion project will cost about $7.2 million, and the company will receive funds from DEED through the Minnesota Job Creation Fund to help with the expansion project and job creation

The machining precision parts manufacturer Talon Innovations is expanding its facility in Sauk Rapids and adding 50 new jobs over the next two years. The company will receive a grant from DEED’s Minnesota Job Creation Fund to help with the investment plan and job creation. Talon Innovations plans to attract technical college graduate machinists to work at the new plant.

Twin Cities Metro

Chaska-based MyPillow expanded its operation in Shakopee by opening a second plant in the city adding 500 jobs. The new site is a 125,000-square-foot factory, and the company intends to keep the smaller factory, which has 70,000-square-feet, as well. The new expansion plan increased the company’s workforce in Shakopee to 1,150.

Land O’Lakes , based in Arden Hills, announced an $80 million expansion project that is expected to create about 300 new jobs over the next few years, paying at least $19.30 an hour. The expansion plan includes adding a four-story, 155,000-square-foot office building and a 1,700-stall parking lot to the current 200,000-square-foot company headquarters. When the new project is completed the company will move 900 employees who now work in leased buildings in Shoreview to the new facility bringing the total employment in the headquarters to 2,500 employees.

Amazon, with an order fulfillment center in Shakopee, unveiled a new expansion plan to build a tech office in downtown Minneapolis. The technology development center, already underway, has an aim of hiring about 100 software developers. Amazon has already started hiring software engineers at the new office in Fifth Street Towers with 29 immediate openings.

Southern

The Kraft Heinz Co. unveiled a $100 million upgrade plan to its Southern Minnesota plant in New Ulm. The proposed site will host 50 new jobs and four new production lines including Velveeta loafs by the end of 2017.

The Rosemount, Ill.-based exercise equipment maker, Life Fitness is expanding its Cybex fitness equipment manufacturing plant in Owatonna, adding 100 new jobs, which will pay $18.37 per hour on average. The expansion plan will cost $23 million and will triple the company’s current 150,000-square-foot plant, bringing the facility to a total of 490,000 square feet. The company secured $1.3 million tax increment financing provided by the city of Owatonna in addition to another $850,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) through the state’s Job Creation Fund.

Faribault Foods announced a plan to expand its plant in the city of Faribault in a $100 million project, which could increase the workforce from the company’s current 318 employees to 443. The company will build a 589,600-square-foot food processing plant and convert another building it bought to a canning operation warehouse.

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