Campustown construction in full swing over the summer


Behind the green fencing, construction crews work to tear down buildings to make room for the new Kingland developments on May 1. The buildings should be down to dirt level by the beginning of June.

As construction continues in the Campustown district, major changes will occur on the 2400 block of Lincoln Way during the summer.

Currently, Kingland Campus Properties, a subsidiary of Kingland Systems, has demolished two buildings on the 2400 block of Lincoln Way which they purchased for redevelopment. The building demolition will continue into the summer months as construction crews prepare the area for renovation.

“They’re working on the backs of the buildings, digging down into the basements to pour concrete,” Amanda Wiebers, a spokeswoman for Kingland, said.

The construction and leveling will continue in the same vein throughout May. All of the buildings should be demolished and brought down to dirt level by the beginning of June, according to Wiebers.

“Really it’s just getting things prepped for the new building construction,” Wiebers said.

Kim Hanna, director of the Campustown Action Association, said that all the construction that will be happening over the summer will be new construction, such as the old Campustown Bookstore demolition that will happen soon. She said no streets, lanes or community parking lots will be shut down.

“The kids who are here during the summer, especially the ones in Campustown, they might want to get some heavy–duty earplugs,” Hanna said. “They’re going to be working pretty early in the morning.”

Hanna said that the Campustown Action Association has a specific web page dedicated to construction that will keep Ames citizens updated all summer.

All of the businesses that needed to move due to redevelopment have moved, Hanna said. Two office buildings and Random Goods moved to Main Street, while some businesses like Lorry’s Coffee and Charlie Yokes moved to a different location in Campustown.

The rest of the construction during the summer months will focus on establishing the parking garage foundation as well as constructing its walls.

The parking garage will be accessible from both Stanton and Welch,but drivers will not be able to walk or drive straight through the garage to the other street.

Hanna said the contractors’ goals will be to have the foundations and walls of the building built by first snowfall so construction can continue inside during the winter, meaning heavy construction will continue throughout the fall when students are back.

The pedestrian detours that are currently in place throughout the construction zone areas in the district will remain intact throughout the construction phases. The detours span the south side of Lincoln Way, the west side of Stanton Avenue and the east side of Welch Avenue. Additional pedestrian detours may be added during the various construction phases that will take place during the summer.

“Campustown is a community district, so we’ll keep the pedestrian detours as is,” Wiebers said.

Kingland has cited pedestrian safety as a primary concern since the beginning stages of its redevelopment plans.

Hanna said the Campustown Action Association will work to keep business high in Campustown despite construction that may block some businesses, like Jeff’s Pizza, who will work to promote their business with construction on both sides of the building.

Hanna said new and students coming in the fall should be interested in the redevelopment because it is for them.

“It’s happening to improve the district for them,” Hanna said. “There’s new housing being constructed, very nice housing. There are retail shops coming in that are very different from what there is now.”