As seen in the Little Apple Post. Reported by Monty Thompson. (Mar 22, 2017)
The Kansas State University Foundation is expanding the Kansas State University Office Park to add 59,000 square feet of on-campus, finished, leased office space along the university’s north corridor.
This phase will include the second of four office buildings planned for the Office Park that will total 240,000 square feet, part of the combined 56-acre world-class ecosystem of innovative research and academic growth adjacent to Kansas State University in the Office and Research Parks. With this phase, the KSU Foundation board of directors has committed $30 million over the last three years toward the university-focused staged progress.
“The board is committed to K-State’s vision of becoming a nationally recognized Top 50 public research university,” said Rand Berney, chairman of the KSU Foundation board of directors. “This strategic expansion tees the university up to capture the unique partnership opportunities made possible by leveraging K-State’s proximity to the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility to strengthen the university.”
“The time is now to develop K-State’s Office Park as a substantial campus innovation to attract corporate partners who desire to work and conduct research in the K-State academic ecosystem with our students and faculty,” said Richard Myers, Kansas State University president. “As we advance toward national recognition as a Top 50 public research university, these cooperative relationships strengthen the K-State and Manhattan communities.”
This expansion will include flexible move-in ready lease space to accommodate up to 35 tenants, intentional co-working areas and a locally-owned restaurant/grill. The foundation currently has lease commitments for 19 percent of the Office Park space, including for the restaurant.
“We are excited to bring Bluestem’s signature flavors to the north side of campus,” said Jenny Glenn, Bluestem Bistro co-owner. “The Bluestem Grill will be a place where anyone can swing by and enjoy from-scratch baked treats and the best of Bluestem entrees.”
Construction on the next phase of the $15.8 million K-State Office Park will begin on July 5, and be occupant ready by August 2018. Local general contractor McCownGordon Construction will lead the project. In addition to the KSU Foundation investment and federal New Markets Tax Credits, the Manhattan City Commission has also committed to the ecosystem by approving $800,000 in economic development loans and incentives toward the project.
“We are confident in the city staff’s economic development modeling numbers, which show this investment will add $93 million in economic benefit over the next 20 years to the region,” said Greg Lohrentz, KSU Foundation senior vice president of operations and finance. “We would like to thank the Manhattan City Commission and Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce for their support of this important project.”