Campustown reconstruction holds benefits for community

A road closed sign stands in front of Hayward Street by Lincoln Way while construction is underway. The street is getting new tar for the road and the sidewalks Aug. 25. 

Claire Norton

Reconstruction has been taking place in Campustown during the past year with development for shopping, living and retail. 

“The Kingland building, which was really the first project — if you go back into the mid 2000s,” said Warren Madden, senior vice president for business and finance. “President [Gregory] Geoffroy, who was the [university] president then, wanted to really figure out how to jump-start our Campustown redevelopment.”

Now these types of facilities are coming to life and are benefiting ISU students, as well as other community members.

President Steven Leath said Campustown was in need of reconstruction, and students will be able to get more use out of this part of town in the future.

“The new stores in the Kingland building will be much more useful to students,” Leath said.

Kingland Systems, a company focused on data, computer systems and software, will conduct business on the third floor of the new building at the corner of Lincoln Way and Welch Avenue. 

“Kingland came along and was willing to do the corner building. That’s a three-story building. The ground level will be commercial [and] retail, CVS,” Madden said. “The university, as part of helping make that go, is leasing the second floor, which is about 25,000 square feet of which the [Iowa State] Daily will be one of the occupants.”

On the ground level with CVS, a drugstore chain, the Kingland building will carry a Starbucks, as well as a place that is capable of printing shirts and various ISU gear for on-campus clubs and organizations.

Daniel Breitbarth, president of Student Government, said student organizations will be able to use the retail and T-shirt vendors located at the Kingland building to purchase university approved and trademarked gear.

“Instead of ordering [T-shirts] online, you have an in-town location to go to,” Breitbarth said. “The city required that [buildings] had to have retail on the first floor throughout the entire Campustown area.”

In order to provide more diversity for consumers, restaurants and shops are also to be added to the Kingland Building to create a more well-rounded area.

“We are hoping Campustown will be more than just bars and tattoo parlors,” Madden said.

The effect that Campustown and Iowa State has on the city of Ames has proved to be significant in the eyes of Leath.

He said the influence and impact the university has on the city of Ames is showing now more than it ever has before.

“If you think about it, there [are] more of you than there are our town’s people,” Leath said.

With faculty as well as student representatives, Iowa State is a major contributor to the city of Ames. Contributions include the revamp of the Ames airport, which is located close to the ISU Research Park, making it appealing to potential students, faculty and researchers.

The significant changes are scheduled to be completed within Campustown’s time frame of five years, according to Campustown’s website, in order to quickly boost its business assortment and provide an asset to the community surrounding it.