By Alex Ivanisevic, Cultivation Corridor Communications Intern
In an ongoing effort to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community, the ISU Research Park has been undergoing transformations that are making waves. The construction of an outdoor green space and an array of amenities are predicted to enhance the work and leisure lives of the Research Park tenants, future tenants and those in the community. The expansion will increase Ames’ and the park’s attractiveness as a possible destination for young professionals, and companies.
Part of the Ames and Iowa State communities, the ISU Research Park is about 30 years old and with the recent expansion into 200 acres of developable space, now spans approximately 600 acres. Over 70 companies are already established in the Research Park, and the park’s close proximity to, and connections to Iowa State University provide for a welcoming area for enterprise developments.
The Research Park is expanding with the intentions of broadening its attractions beyond business and work life. In 2016, ISU Research Park partnered up with the Story County Conservation Board to develop the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor which will take up about 30 acres of unused land within the Research Park. The outdoor space will include interconnecting trails that will encourage outdoor activities, among small ponds and creeks. There will also be areas throughout the outdoor corridor that would be ideal meeting spaces and boardwalks near the water. The intentions of the design for the corridor are to provide an accessible and pleasant outdoor area that appeal to students of all ages for educational purposes, as well as those seeking leisure activities and relaxation in nature. One of the amenities coming to the Research Park in mid-July takes the accessibility to an active environment from outdoor to indoor. A new Ames Racquet and Fitness is being built on the south end of the Research Park!
Another development catering to the needs and interests of families and individuals in the Ames community is a new McFarland Clinic. Earlier this year the McFarland Clinic began plans to construct a clinic in the ISU Research Park which will accommodate several physicians as well as additional sports medicine services. Construction of the new facility plans to be completed by summer of 2018. In addition to the medical clinic, a daycare will be in the facility as well, opening summer 2018. It will be The Lily Pad Learning Center’s first location in Ames and will accommodate 125 children.
All amenities within the Research Park are in close proximity to each other to enhance the close-knit community feeling Ames offers. There is even a restaurant opening in the Research Park by the same owners of The Café, in Ames’ Somerset neighborhood. The quality of the environment growing in the Research Park through the development of the new amenities and outdoor corridor will enrich the work and leisure lives of the members of the Ames community and tenants within the ISU Research Park. Soon, all one will have to do to experience even more of what makes Ames and the ISU Research Park an enjoyable destination is head south down University Boulevard.