Cirrus Aircraft announced plans to develop the Duluth Innovation Center at its headquarters following the acquisition of a 189,000 square-foot facility from the Duluth Economic Development Authority.
"Cirrus Aircraft will invest heavily to transform the 189,000-square-foot building on 39 acres into a state-of-the-art Innovation Center where engineers will develop the next generation of Cirrus aircraft," the company said in its announcement. "The Duluth Innovation Center will feature amenities and flexible workspaces that enhance the working environment as people return to the office. Inspired interior features and design provide optimal collaborative workspace and break from the traditional office and lab environment."
"Duluth and Cirrus Aircraft have a long and important history of being great to, and for, one another and the site of the Innovation Center is no different," said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. "For Cirrus Aircraft to expand their footprint in their hometown of Duluth means the world to us because it further elevates Duluth throughout the world of aviation. We are thrilled to support innovation while repurposing this asset. We are eager to decrease public liability while exponentially growing the aviation economy, and we are one hundred percent committed to Cirrus Aircraft's vision as being central to our own vision of economic development within the City of Duluth."
The building, located at Duluth International Airport in Minnesota, has been vacant since May 2020, after its former tenant, jet maintenance company, AAR, closed, effectively cutting over 200 jobs.
Cirrus' purchase of the facility will save the city of Duluth over $600,000 per year.
Zean Nielsen, chief executive officer at Cirrus Aircraft said, "Doubling down with a massive facility such as this underscores our relentless pursuit of continuous innovation that makes owning and operating a Cirrus safe, convenient, and easy. We are a company of big ideas such as putting a parachute on every Cirrus aircraft, designing, and building a single engine Jet, introducing Safe Return Autoland, rolling out Cirrus IQ connectivity and offering a 360-degree ecosystem around the customer. This investment solidifies Cirrus Aircraft's commitment to continuous innovation. We want talent to think of Cirrus Aircraft, Duluth, and now the new Innovation Center as a special place where the latest and greatest general aviation technologies come to life. The Innovation Center is designed to become the epicenter for personal aviation engineering and to attract top talent from around the world."