Campustown: Everything old is new again
When VISIONS last reported on Campustown redevelopment in the fall 2014 issue (“Campustown reborn”), the name of the game was construction. Huge, blocks-long work sites were framed by construction fences and filled with heavy equipment.
Two years later, the word is booming: booming with new housing as well as office and retail space. And booming with activity, day and night.
New apartments such as The Foundry and 23 Twenty are helping to ease some of Iowa State’s student enrollment growing pains. The Kingland building at Lincoln Way and Welch Ave. houses the Iowa State Daily, ISU News Service, and the ISU Foundation Call Center on the second floor of the three-story building, with Kingland Systems’ offices on third floor and CVS Pharmacy located at street level.
Stroll the streets of Campustown – in both the new and historic areas – and you’ll find more to do, more to buy, and more to eat. New retailers and restaurants include Starbucks, Barefoot Campus Outfitters (for ISU gear), Potbelly Subs, Campustown Spirit (more Cyclone gear), Fuzzy’s Tacos, Insomnia Cookies, an expanded Arcadia Bakery & Café, Portobello Road boutique, Indian Delights Express, TJ Cups bubble tea, a skate shop, and other continuously evolving businesses.
Research Park: Developing the future
When the $12 million, 42,000-square-foot Economic Development Core Facility opened last June at the ISU Research Park, it brought together all of Iowa State’s economic development services in one open, easily accessible location.
This is one-stop shop supports expansion of high-value companies that attract top talent to the Research Park and to the state. Two such companies – Boehringer Ingleheim and Vermeer – recently opened major new buildings at the park, joining Workiva’s recently added state-of-the-art operation.
“Early on, I made it a priority to double the size of the Research Park [from 220 acres] – and that development is moving full steam ahead,” ISU President Steven Leath said in September. “Commercial development and amenities including Ames Racquet and Fitness Club, a new restaurant, health clinic, and new recreation trails are progressing quickly. But we’re not done growing the size of the park!”
ISU Research Park’s Phase 3 expansion is adding 200 acres and will integrate more resources to attract businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, and employees. New buildings will feature media-rich shared workspaces, including conference rooms, offices, classrooms, and labs that can be utilized by park tenants, ISU faculty, students, and third parties. The new park setting will feature a Hub Square commons area, anchored by the Economic Development Core Facility, where people can gather, enjoy recreational activities, get inspired, and share ideas.
The Economic Development Core Facility, funded through an appropriation from the Iowa General Assembly, is the first building to be completed in the ISU Research Park’s next major expansion phase. The facility is on the edge of the new developable land that will support another 1 million square feet of offices and labs.
“It’s our goal that over the next five years, Iowa State will be one of the top five universities nationally in startups,” Leath said.
WHAT’S NEW AT THE ISU RESEARCH PARK?
- Economic Development Core Facility houses office and collaboration space for the
Small Business Development Center, ISU Research Foundation, CIRAS, CyBIZ Lab, Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, Cultivation Corridor, Iowa State Economic Development & Industry Relations, and other units, as well as providing event and meeting space.
- Vermeer Applied Technology Hub houses public-private collaborations that advance economic development and innovation.
- ISU Startup Factory, located in the Vermeer hub, is an intensive, 52-week program that provides participants with formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisers, counselors, and investors.
- CyStarters is an affiliated 10-week summer entrepreneurship program housed at the new Core Facility.
- Boehringer Ingleheim Vetmedica Inc. has a new facility at the park and will double its workforce in Ames.
- Workiva, a company that started with 10 employees in 2008, now has 450 employees in its 120,000-square-foot facility.
This article was originally published in VISIONS magazine. To receive the full issue delivered to your mailbox four times per year, become a member of the ISU Alumni Association.