Burrill to Minnesota: No ink on that $1B biopark contract

Minnesotans are being advised to keep the bubbly under wraps for now. A potential billion-dollar backer may be at the table reviewing G. Steven Burrill's proposed biotech park in Rochester, but nothing's been signed.

On Wednesday the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted Burrill saying that he had a "firm commitment" for the deal from a sovereign wealth fund--but no contract as of yet. In a release Burrill put out late Thursday, the mystery investor's commitment had changed to an interest.

"We have been in active discussions for several months with one potential investor who has an interest in the project," Burrill says in the release. "However, contrary to the impressions conveyed in the press coverage, no decisions have yet been made and there can be no guarantees about the actual outcome at this point."

This isn't the first time that Burrill has spiked interest in his biotech park with confident projections about raising the money needed to get the 1.7 million-square-foot development under way. Big development deals are built on trust and confidence, especially in these financially shaky times. Any fresh delays after two years of talks, however, could end Burrill's honeymoon with state development officials.

- here's Burrill's press release