CYTown construction causes lack of parking


Jacob Rice

CyTown construction site, Jack Trice Way, April 24.

Mackenzie Bodell, Senior Reporter

One of the major concerns students have had during CYTown’s construction is the lack of parking available in the commuter lot.

CYTown is a district currently being built between Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium that plans to include hotels, restaurants and retail stores.

Students’ commute times have suffered due to the construction, and some students feel frustrated having to find different places to park.

“It’s frustrating because ever since I moved off campus, I’ve always parked in the same three areas, and so the lack of parking to what I’m used to upsets me slightly,” said Lydia Lawrence, a senior in kinesiology. “At this point, it’s a habit to go to where I’m familiar.”

Iowa State Athletics has acknowledged the impact CYTown has had on parking availability.

“There are less parking spaces available than there historically is, but every time I’ve driven through those lots, there are spaces available,” said Chris Jorgensen, senior associate athletics director for operations. “It is certainly more congested than normal.”

Students who struggle to find available parking spaces have seen a negative impact on their commute times.

“Currently, as a commuting student, it is causing a lot of problems with trying to find parking just to get to school every day,” said Emma Brady, a senior in geology. “It has extended my commute by a decent amount, especially depending on the time I get there.”

Parking seems to start filling up between around 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., with many spots already claimed by 8:30 a.m. By 10:30 a.m., the parking lot is packed, according to Brady.

Students who live further away from campus are particularly impacted by the lack of parking spaces due to their commute.

“I feel like the limited parking in the commuter lot has affected me because it makes it difficult to get to class,” said Elizabeth Clow, a senior in industrial engineering. “This also impacts my ability to get to class since I live pretty far off campus.”

Even before construction started on CYTown, students had trouble finding ample parking anywhere on campus.

“I think that the parking situation on campus is not suitable, and it is near impossible to park on campus anywhere other than the commuter lot,” said Monique Nespor, a senior in architecture.

Construction Updates

There are two phases of construction. Currently, athletics has received approval for phase one, which involves the construction of roughly two-thirds of the parking lots. In June, they will go to the Board of Regents for approval for phase two, which will be constructed on the remaining third of the parking lots.

The first phase is roughly a $28 million project. The second phase will be between $10-15 million. In total, this project will be roughly $40 million, with the majority being funded by the athletic department. The remaining funds will be paid back by revenues generated from leasing the land to businesses once the project is completed.

“We don’t have any specific deal contracts with any developers or businesses yet,” Jorgensen said. “We’re hoping we have something announced by this fall.”

Jorgensen said CYTown’s development is ahead of schedule due to favorable weather conditions. Students can expect to see multi-level buildings completed within the next two to three years.

Everything torn up east of the tent row should be completed by the fall, just in time for football season. Construction will not start west of the tent row during the first phase of CYTown development.

The ticket office expects to get more calls once football season starts to approach.

“In a sense, I feel we, along with our season ticket holders and fans, are awaiting updates and
are anxious to know how the tailgating lots are going to be affected for the upcoming season,” said Evan Albaugh, assistant ticket manager for fiscal operations. “We need to remind ourselves that updates will take time with the large task at hand with construction efforts.”

The parking selection process has been pushed back significantly, Albaugh said. Typically, parking selections, which would occur in April, have been pushed back into late May through early June.