Kingland plans affect stores, frustrate business owners


Graphic: Emily Hecht/Iowa State Daily

Outlined boxes indicate where bars and businesses were previously located, while filled boxes indicate where they now stand. The two X’d boxes indicate two businesses that seem closed.

Kelsey Batschelet

Lincoln Way has been quieter lately as businesses leave the buildings that have been purchased by Kingland Systems on the 2400 block.

As Kingland moves forward with its renovation, several businesses have had to vacate the locations in which they were established, including Random Goods and Restaurant 20/20, formerly called Project 20/20.

“It’s very costly to move and a lot of work,” said Cheryl Gleason, owner of Random Goods, a costume and vintage shop which was located in Campustown for more than two years.

Random Goods had to move locations twice, according to Gleason. In June 2013, the business moved out of the old Varsity Theater, a space that was originally intended for Phase I of construction, and into a building on the 2400 block that was meant to be part of the second phase of construction.

In August 2013, following their initial move, Gleason was informed by Kingland that the store’s new location would also be a part of the first phase of construction, and it would have to move again by December 2013.

Random Goods is among several stores and restaurants on the 2400 block that have experienced some frustration while trying to find a new location.

Restaurant 20/20, which serves Asian fusion cuisine, has vacated its 2424 Lincoln Way location and is now open at 223 Welch Ave. The restaurant moved in January when its Lincoln Way lease expired and it was unable to renew due to the impending redevelopment.

Unlike Random Goods, Restaurant 20/20 was able to remain in Campustown. Didit, the owner, said that he had the help of a friend in finding the new space.

“I was lucky,” Didit said.

There are limited spaces available for lease in Campustown, Didit said, and many of the businesses that had to move found it difficult to stay in the area.

The moves have had an affect on Random Goods’ and Restaurant 20/20’s customer traffic, and both Gleason and Didit said that business has been slower since they changed locations.

“It’s a little bit further from the university,” Didit said in reference to 20/20’s new Welch Avenue space.

The stores have lost some of the walk-by traffic that they had in their former locations on the prominent stretch of Lincoln Way.

“We don’t know if its the weather or the location,” Gleason said.

Gleason expressed interest in returning to Campustown someday but does not expect to move into the remodeled space on Lincoln Way.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to afford their spaces,” Gleason said.

Other businesses that are affected by the Kingland development are Chicha Shack and Charlie Yokes. They both left the 2400 block of Lincoln Way and have relocated within Campustown.

Angie’s Cafe, which was located at 2416 Lincoln Way, has closed.

Kingland will begin construction on the 2400 block of Lincoln Way in stages, and has said that it is “passionate about Campustown.”