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Minneapolis firm picked to build citrus research center at Lakeland university

Ryan Cos. will build center on campus of Florida Polytechnic University for International Flavors and Fragrances.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 2:10 p.m. May 17, 2022
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Construction on the Citrus Innovation Center at Florida Polytechnic University is expected to begin this summer and be complete by late next year.
Construction on the Citrus Innovation Center at Florida Polytechnic University is expected to begin this summer and be complete by late next year.
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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A Minnesota-based real estate service company is going to lead the way in building a new facility to study Florida citrus.

Ryan Cos. — which is based in Minneapolis, a city that gets, on average, 52 inches of snow each year — has been picked to build the Citrus Innovation Center at Florida Polytechnic University.

It will head the development, design and construction of the 28,000-square-foot center. Work is expected to begin this summer and to be complete by late next year.

The center is actually being built for International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., a New York-based food, beverage, scent, health, biosciences and sensorial experiences company operating in 47 countries.

The private-public partnership between the Lakeland university and the company was announced in September. According to a statement from the university at the time, IFF, as it’s known, will have laboratory and creative space in the new building. It will finance the facility, which the university will not invest any capital in.

In exchange, “as the occupant of the new building, IFF anticipates providing internships and job opportunities for Florida Poly students, funding and collaborating on faculty research, sponsoring senior capstone projects and supporting academic programs.” 

When complete, the facility will house the company’s citrus research and development, offer sensory and experience sites, research labs, processing and analytical departments and amenities for hosting guests and researchers, according to a press release announcing Ryan Cos.’ role. It will also include a private citrus research garden. 

As part of the plan, Ryan’s architecture team highlighted the “ephemeral behavior of flavors and fragrances through the design of the building” with elements including “an undulating ribbon of perforated metal panels that ensconces the building and flows through the central spine of the interior,” according to the release.

This ribbon, which the company says was created with help from its computational design team, “reflects the density and discernment of aromas, scents and taste sensations, accentuating moments of sensory experience, and the flow of those experiences, between spaces.”

Like many who come to Florida from snowy regions, Ryan Cos. has established a foothold in the state, completing about 50 projects totaling more than 4.1 million square feet in the past five years. And it has opened an office in Tampa.


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