Academy of Neurology to Build New HQ in Mpls.

The City of Minneapolis has agreed to sell a parcel of land in the Mill District and issue up to $16.5 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to help pay for the development of a new headquarters building on that land.

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Minnesota's largest professional association, will soon have a new home in the City of Minneapolis' Mill District.

The city said Friday that its council members gave unanimous approval to sell a parcel of land to the AAN for $661,000. The city also will issue up to $16.5 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds that will help pay for the development of the organization's new 62,000-square-foot office building on that land.

The bonds are being distributed as part of the city's Recovery Zone Facility Bonds program, designed to encourage capital investment and funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The AAN's offices are currently located at 1080 Montreal Avenue in St. Paul. The new building in Minneapolis will be located at 211 Chicago Avenue South. It is one of the last available parcels of land in the Mill District.

“Thanks to the federal recovery act, we were able to issue the bonds that helped us fill this parcel with a great new addition to the Mill District-all at no cost to the city,” Mayor R.T. Rybak said in a statement. “The American Academy of Neurology adds new energy to the riverfront.”

The Mill District-bounded by the Mississippi River, the I-35W bridge, Washington Avenue, and Fifth Avenue-got its name because of the former flour mills that occupy the formerly industrial area. That area is now home to condos, various businesses, and several cultural institutions, including the Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Museum, and the MacPhail Center for Music.

The AAN's new building was designed by Ellness Swenson Graham Architects, Inc., and 20 Below Studio, both based in Minneapolis. Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction will break ground on the new facility in early 2011, and it is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in spring 2012. The five-story building will feature a sensory garden, a rooftop terrace, and state-of-the-art meeting space. The building will provide electricity to vendors of the Mill City Farmers Market through outlets placed along the exterior of the building, which will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified.

“As one of the nation's premier professional organizations, we are thrilled to be returning to our roots in Minneapolis and establishing a permanent global headquarters for the 22,500 members we serve,” AAN Executive Director Catherine M. Rydell said in a statement. “With its proximity to light-rail transit, the Twin Cities airport, and numerous hotels, restaurants, and theatres, the historic Mill District is an ideal destination for our staff and the hundreds of neurologists who will be traveling to Minneapolis each year to attend academy meetings.”

The AAN employs approximately 125 people and claims to be world's largest professional association of neurologists. It was founded in 1948 by the then-chair of the University of Minnesota's neurology department.