Nonprofit Group Reveals Plans for MN Science Park

The group plans to develop 32 acres for a research park near the University of Minnesota; construction on the first building will begin within the next 18 months.

A Minnesota nonprofit group-Minnesota Science Park Corporation, LLC-recently revealed details about its plans to develop 32 acres near the University of Minnesota's Biomedical Discovery District into a research park called the Minnesota Science Park.

The nonprofit group-founded by Peter Bianco of Minneapolis law firm Nilan Lewis Johnson, John Cuningham of Minneapolis architectural firm Cuningham Group Architecture, and health care consultant Roberta Cordano-started talking about the project almost five years ago, but their its were put on hold due to the turbulent economy.

In January, the founders decided to move forward with the project and initiated market research that, according to Bianco, gave them confidence to proceed with their plans. Bianco said that the market research showed that there was stronger interest in the research park than they initially thought.

The founders plan to start construction on the first Minnesota Science Park building, which will be about 60,000 square feet, with in the next 18 months. Bianco said that they have seen a lot of interest from potential tenants, but no agreements have been reached at this point.

Bianco said that the park could take 15 to 20 years to complete, but once it's finished, it will span between 900,000 and 1 million square feet. Bianco said that the park will need at least $750 million in private investments.

Although the park will be in close proximity to the University of Minnesota, the institution is currently not an investor in the project.

Biano said that the nonprofit group, which will establish a board of directors by the end of the year, is receiving support from the international research park community through the Association of University Research Parks.

-Melissa Loth