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MINNEAPOLIS-Coloplast, a Denmark-based company that develops intimate healthcare products, broke ground Tuesday on a $40-million office and R&D facility here. The building will be the company’s new North American headquarters, moving current US offices from Atlanta, and employing 500 people. Coloplast will own the new facility, which will be developed by United Properties, in partnership with Kraus-Anderson and RSP Architects.

In 2006, the company acquired Mentor Urology, which already had a manufacturing facility at the 5.4-acre site on West River Road between West Broadway and Plymouth avenues North. After the company bought Mentor, it reduced its US operating sites from seven to four, and planned its relocation of the headquarters to Minneapolis. The company also has an 85,000-sf manufacturing site in Mankato.

The new 178,000-sf building will have a five-story office tower, connected to a two-story research and development facility, says a company spokesman. He says the move was a consolidation effort into the right city. “Minneapolis has a thriving medical technology and device industry,” the spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. “This is an opportunity to do research and partnerships with local schools and hospitals. There’s also a rich pool of talented employees that we can tap into.” He says North and South America are currently the fastest growing areas for the company, with a total growth of 68% over the previous fiscal year.

Situated over contaminated property, the building will be constructed along the Mississippi River, in the Northeast Submarket of the city. “It’s rather unusual, we chose an urban setting instead of a suburb,” the spokesman says. “But you’ve got to notice, we have a fantastic view of the city, and we get to play a part in the revitalization of the area.” His company seeks to gain LEED certification, with green features such as storm water collection and treatment, an energy management system, a white roof for heat reflection and using existing buildings in the new construction. “An investment in green technology and operating practices will pay for itself within two to three years, and is something in which we can all take pride,” the spokesman says.

Amenities at the building will include a full-service cafeteria, fitness center, outdoor courtyard and deck overlooking the river, and open workspaces to encourage team collaboration. One of the uses of the R&D facility will be an onsite cadaver research lab and training rooms for physicians and nurses that will be used to enhance existing products and facilitate new product solutions, the spokesman says. The complex should be complete by the first quarter of 2009.

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