Ames’ Campustown redevelopment seeks public input

Sarah Clark

The wheels of the Campustown redevelopment train are turning, and students, faculty and members of the Ames community are invited to participate.

LANE4 Property Group, the Missouri-based development company in charge of the Campustown Redevelopment Project, will hold an informational meeting Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the Memorial Union Maintenance Shop.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., will include an updated status of the plans for the Campustown Redevelopment Project. The results from public input and sample streetscapes for the Welch Avenue and Lincoln Way area will also be released.

Arrangements for the redevelopment have been in progress for more than a year now, and have since opened up many doors for what the future of Welch Avenue and Lincoln Way may look like.

Talk of higher-end restaurants, hotels and extended parking lots have been among the many things discussed for the Campustown area.

Although the project plans are still in the early stages of development, developers will establish the general concepts of the project and declare the next steps in Campustown redevelopment in Wednesday’s meeting.

Hunter Harris, director of development for LANE4, said there will be many meetings following the one this evening. Students, faculty, Ames residents and business owners who are concerned about the future of the Campustown area are encouraged to attend tonight’s meeting to become educated about the project and submit their input.

Chandra Peterson, Government of the Student Body’s Campustown Student Association senator, wants members of the Ames community to attend tonight’s meeting.

“I think it is very important for everyone to try and make it to the meeting on Wednesday. Campustown is an area that everyone visits and that everyone would like to see improvement to,” Peterson said. “In order for LANE4 to do their job they need to know what the people who are going to be using this area think. The stakeholders of Campustown [customers, business owners, people who live there, etc.] are an essential part to this process. If we aren’t there to give LANE4 feedback, LANE4 won’t know what we want.”

Harris and others are hopeful that Ames residents’ wishes will align with market realities.

“We are hearing a lot of the same things on the wish list for Campustown from students, faculty, staff, Ames residents who live near campus and those who live farther out in the community,” said Cathy Brown, program manager for facilities planning and management.

LANE4 has also scheduled an additional meeting with the GSB and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate following Wednesday’s meeting.

Peterson will be among the many students, faculty and Ames community members attending some of the meetings. She thinks community input is essential in making Campustown the safe and entertaining area citizens desire.

“This area, Campustown, is our area. I don’t know how many times I have heard people talk about how dirty Campustown is and talk about change that is needed,” Peterson said. “Well, the city and the university are giving us a chance to have that change. We have the opportunity to give our input about what we think will make Campustown successful to an organization who could make those ideas and dreams a reality.”