AMES, Iowa – ISU President Wendy Wintersteen has transferred oversight of the Iowa State Center to the Department of Athletics and appointed Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard to lead a process to reimagine the Iowa State Center and athletics complex as an arts, culture, and community district for the future.
Pollard and ISU Research Park President, Rick Sanders, will partner to conduct a feasibility study for the creation of a multi-use development district in the heart of the athletics complex. The vision is to explore the potential of re-developing the land between Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum while also relocating commuter and football game day parking to a new paved parking area east of University Boulevard.
“The Iowa State Center has served as an athletics, arts, and engagement hub for Iowa State University and the Ames community since it was originally envisioned by former ISU President, James H. Hilton, “said Wintersteen. “The Iowa State Center is an incredible asset and it is time to reimagine the future of this complex in a way that continues to serve the university and greater Ames community. The athletics department has an extraordinary track record when it comes to creating vision and bringing that vision to life. Jamie is a tremendous leader for Iowa State University and the Ames community and the right person to lead this transformation.”
“The goal of the project is to use the excitement surrounding Cyclone Athletics to serve as a catalyst to help continue to transform Iowa State University and the Ames community into one of the premier institutions and cities to study, work, live and visit,” Pollard said. “We hope to use a mixed-use development district to generate funding to build much-needed flat space for the University and Ames community. The funding would also potentially allow reinvestment in facilities like C.Y. Stephens Auditorium to help create a vibrant corridor from the ISU Research Park all the way north to Hilton Coliseum and the Iowa State Center. We hope this can be an area that will support, attract, and retain students, businesses, visitors and new residents.”
The ISU Research Park has engaged Cushman & Wakefield to serve as its consultant for the feasibility study. C&W will conduct a multi-phase study that includes reviewing background information and project drivers, conducting market research, master planning, developing financial models and finalizing potential outcomes. The first phase should take three months to complete and will be funded by the athletics department and the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The Research Park was excited to be asked by President Wintersteen to be part of this very important study,” Sanders said. “There is an opportunity to create a mixed-use site that could transform and energize the property around Jack Trice Stadium, Hilton Coliseum and the Iowa State Center. That fits perfectly with the long-term vision of growing the amenities in and around the ISU Research Park. Our board believes this is an incredible growth opportunity for the ISU Research Park and comes at the perfect time in our history.”
“I can’t thank Dr. Wintersteen enough for having the vision and confidence in our department to allow me to serve on the point for this important university and community initiative”, Pollard said. “Her willingness to support a working group and consultant to study this vision is a bold move for the future of Iowa State University and the City of Ames.”
The working group for the multi-use development space includes Pollard, Sanders, Ames Mayor John Haila, former ISU Senior Vice President Warren Madden, ISU General Counsel Mike Norton, ISU Foundation President & CEO Larissa Holtmyer Jones, Ames Convention & Visitors’ Bureau President & CEO Kevin Bourke, Ames CVB Board Chair Jim Baker and Senior Associate Athletics Director Chris Jorgensen.
About ISU Research Park
Established in 1987, The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) is a real estate development community closely affiliated with Iowa State University. ISURP assists both established and startup companies in connecting with Iowa State’s vast infrastructure to grow their enterprises; whether through students, research entities, equipment or a multitude of other resources. ISURP is currently home to 93 companies and research centers and 11 affiliates, employing 2,155 and 135 people, respectively, and occupies approximately 800,000 square feet of commercial real estate on 400 acres. For more information on ISURP, call 515.296.4204 or visit isupark.org