Cirrus investing in former AAR building to create Duluth Innovation Center

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Big plans ahead for Cirrus Aircraft. They are investing in the former AAR building, and will turn it into their Duluth Innovation Center.

It’s where their engineers will develop the next generation of Cirrus aircraft.

The company will be hiring 80 additional engineers over the next three years.

Inside the Innovation Center will be amenities and flexible workspaces that will enhance the working environment, and be different from traditional offices and labs.

According to the company, they aim to begin renovations this month.

“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,” said Zean Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Cirrus Aircraft.

On August 24, the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) approved the agreement authorizing the sale of the former Northwest Airlines facility with a 60-year ground lease.

The agreement releases the DEDA’s ownership of the facility, which has been without a tenant since May 2020. Cirrus says the sale will save the city over $600,000 annually in maintenance, operating, and tax expense.