Redevelopment plans for Campus Book Store uncertain


Korrie Bysted/Iowa State Daily

The Campus Book Store building on Lincoln Way across from the Memorial Union. Final project plans are under review.

Kelsey Batschelet

The Campus Bookstore building at 2300 Lincoln Way, which once catered to students, has sat empty since it closed last year.

The business, which had been a part of Campustown and student life for 39 years, impacted the student community when it shut its doors in 2013.

The store, owned by Floyd and Sandra Ballein, competed with the University Bookstore for students’ business, offering similar goods such as textbooks and supplies. With its closure, students have been left with only one local option for purchasing textbooks for class and have lost another Campustown business.

Its competitive days have ended, and the empty building has had large “For Sale or Lease” signs plastered on its windows for months now. The structure is listed with Buyers Realty for $2.5 million, and is represented by the broker David Little.

As the buildings on the prominent 2300 and 2400 blocks of Lincoln Way are bought for redevelopment by Gilbane and Kingland Systems, the fate of the Campus Bookstore site is still at large.

There are no confirmed reports on what will happen to the structure. It is likely that it will be redeveloped along the same lines of the other Lincoln Way construction projects.

“Due to confidentiality requirements of my client, I can’t release any information regarding the sale of 2300 Lincoln Way,” Little said.

According to the city of Ames project highlights report, a Des Moines-based company, Opus Development, has been considering the purchase of the building. The report describes the proposed redevelopment as a “mixed use retail-residential project.”

The report also references the neighboring Gilbane project at 2330 Lincoln Way, which will result in an apartment building and commercial retail space, and implies that the Campus Bookstore site may be redeveloped in the same vein.

“The projects, by Gilbane Development and Opus Development, will replace existing retail space and add a total of 467 beds across from campus for the 2015-16 academic year,” according to the Ames project highlights report.

The proposed plan for the projects are in the final stages of review.

Until then, the Campus Bookstore on the street corner of Lincoln Way and Lynn Avenue, which once had students streaming in and out of its doors, will remain empty. The proposed plans will potentially revitalized the site, and bring student life back to the east end of Lincoln Way.