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MN Reconsiders Roads Near Halted Elk Run Project

According to Finance and Commerce, the state may try to cut its losses on the $34.3 million Highway 52 interchange project in Pine Island, which was designed to provide access to the Elk Run project.

Construction on the Elk Run bio-business park in Pine Island has reportedly halted, raising questions about the future of the project-including the $34.3 million Highway 52 interchange project that was designed to provide access to the park.

According to Finance and Commerce, the state may try to cut its losses on the Highway 52 interchange project in Pine Island-a road construction project that was given priority because of the promise of jobs at the proposed park.

The 250-acre Elk Run bio-business park is part of a larger planned development-a 2,300-acre, mixed-use project that will include housing and commercial buildings along U.S. Highway 52, about 15 miles north of Rochester.

Last summer, the park's developer, Woodland, California-based Tower Investments, LLC, announced plans to create 180 jobs and develop eight biotech buildings, one data center, and two commercial properties in the park by 2013.

But construction on the project has reportedly halted after crews laid the base for the first 50,700-square-foot office building last fall. And Finance and Commerce reports that project partner G. Steven Burrill of Burrill & Company has not come up with the $1 billion investment fund he has been trying to raise.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has reportedly instructed Shafer Contracting, the contractor for the interchange project, to hold off on building a planned frontage road to Elk Run.

MnDOT project manager Terry Ward told Finance and Commerce that if the Elk Run developers don't resume construction before August 15-the date its building permit is set to expire-Shafer's contract will be renegotiated to eliminate the frontage road.

Elk Run Project Manager Geoffrey Griffin recently told the publication that Burrill is working diligently to close the $1 billion investment fund, and that he is confident the job criteria promised to the state will be met "both in timelines and numbers."

Click here to read more in Finance and Commerce about the Elk Run project.

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