Officials break ground for new economic development hub at Iowa State Research Park


Here's the north view of the Economic Development Core Facility, a one-stop shop housing Iowa State's economic development offices. The building is expected to open in mid-2016 and will be part of an expansion of the Iowa State University Research Park. Larger image. Image courtesy of the Iowa State Research Park.

AMES, Iowa – Representatives of Iowa State University and the State of Iowa will break ground for a new Economic Development Core Facility at the Iowa State University Research Park.

The ceremony will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the CPMI Event Center at 2321 N. Loop Dr. on the north side of the research park. There will be a short program at 5 p.m. Speakers are expected to include Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa State President Steven Leath.

The event is free and open to the public.

A $12 million state appropriation is supporting construction of the 49,210-square-foot core facility south of the existing research park. It will be a one-stop shop for business and industry to seek Iowa State expertise and assistance. It is expected to have a capacity of about 100 employees plus conference and meeting space for several hundred people. It is expected to open in mid-2016.

“This building really will be transformational for the economic development efforts we’re making,” Leath said.  “For the first time, all Iowa State economic development service units will be together, enabling us to provide services in a much more comprehensive and integrated fashion.”

Units to be housed in the building include research park administrative offices, the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations, the Center for Industrial Research and Service, the Iowa Small Business Development Center, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, Iowa State’s Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, the Iowa State Research Foundation and the Cultivation Corridor regional economic development project.

“This facility provides us with the opportunity for a much more effective way to communicate and work together,” said Steve Carter, the director of the research park. “It will be a huge step forward.”

Carter said the new facility is also a big step toward expanding the research park.

The research park currently has nearly 60 tenants with more than 1,300 employees and a total payroll of more than $70 million. A third phase of expansion at the research park calls for developing another 200 acres, growing the park’s employee base to more than 6,000 people.

“The Economic Development Core Facility will be the signature building of the research park’s phase-three development,” said Michael Crum, Iowa State’s vice president for economic development and business engagement. “It will be the gateway to campus for business and industry seeking technology or business expertise. And it’s going to be a catalyst for a lot of greater things to come.”