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German tech company SICK is building new Bloomington offices, with millions in help from the city and Port Authority.

The Bloomington Port Authority has agreed to offer the company more than $12.1 million in subsidies for its growing campus near the Mall of America. Bloomington will pay half the cost of building a parking ramp, and is giving the company a huge discount on city-owned land. City and port officials say the subsidies make sense because SICK and other tech companies are pivotal to making Bloomington's local economy less dependent on the megamall and surrounding hotels.

"I appreciate the port's focus and the [City] Council's focus on a strategy of supporting our hospitality industry — and diversifying our economy," Council Member Shawn Nelson said before both bodies voted unanimously to approve the subsidies this week. "This is an exact project that does that."

SICK — short for the company's full name, Sick Vertriebs-GmbH — is a German company that makes sensors, some of which are used for autonomous vehicles. The company has had Minnesota offices in Savage and west Bloomington, but will consolidate staff at the new office.

The company is slowly building a campus in Bloomington's South Loop district, beginning with a logistics and production building that opened in the fall of 2022. The city and the company agreed in early 2021 on four phases of possible development and up to $30.4 million in city subsidies.

Part of the subsidy is the markdown on city-owned land.

Bloomington will sell the land for SICK's office building, about 3½ acres, for $1.2 million. That's just more than a third of what the port authority deemed the land's value to be.

Bloomington bought the land in 2010 in part for the construction of Lindau Lane near the Mall of America, and as part of the port's commonly used strategy of buying land and holding out for an optimal development proposal.

The port authority will use tax increment financing left over from older projects in the area to pay for half the cost of building a 550-stall parking ramp, estimated to cost between $20 million and $25 million. SICK will pay the other half.

Bloomington will own the ramp, and has agreed lease it to SICK during the day for $1 per year for the next 50 years.

The parking ramp will be reserved for SICK employees between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and open to the public overnight until 6 a.m. The port authority has subsidized other parking ramps in Bloomington, said Jason Schmidt, assistant port authority administrator, but those ramps have been open to the public at all hours.

The office and parking ramp are expected to open in mid-2026, at which point SICK will move about 170 employees from its current office in west Bloomington to the new office. SICK expects to bring about 75 other North American staff to the Bloomington office in years to come.

To get the subsidies, SICK has to pay those workers no less than $38,000 per year. SICK has told Bloomington median pay for the office workers is about $94,500.