AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University unveiled an ambitious, potential reboot of what is now a parking lot, located directly across Jack Trice Stadium.
By relocating the lot, the university would free up about 41 acres of floodplain, making it open to development. The goal is to make this space into a multi-use development district.
“We want to create a space to the far east, away from the neighborhood [and] on the road,” said ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard. “That is, for lack of better terms, the 'Power and Light District' of Ames, Iowa ... but to also create to the north a space for a hotel and a convention center to take the parking lots and reconfigure them.”
Before any development occurs, the university is going forward with a feasibility study, which will be conducted by real estate brokers from Cushman and Wakefield. Their job will be to analyze the potential revenue for the addition, which is estimated to take about three to four months.
“So essentially, [they are] coming in and looking at the footprint, the Ames market ... what are the revenue drivers? What does that financial model look like? So that's where all the energy will be spent initially,” Pollard said.
So far there is no total estimated cost for this project, but there will be an initial $300,000 price tag for the feasibility study. The bill will be split between the athletic department and the Ames Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
When asked about the new development, various students said they are hoping for more entertainment options like restaurants, comedy clubs and social spaces. Although this project will likely be completed after current students graduated, a few mentioned they would definitely come back to see the updates.