K-State Office Park advances K-State’s vision

Kansas State University Foundation groundbreaking ceremony on on June 8, 2017. (Alexcia Rodriguez | The Collegian)

Kansas State University Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony in honor of launching Phase II of the Kansas State University Office Park June 8.

The KSU Foundation will expand the K-State Office Park to create more opportunities for K-State students, faculty and the Manhattan community.

“The ability to think big, the ability to highlight and showcase what we’re already doing, the ability for our board to have the courage to decide is one thing,” Greg Willems, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation, said. “The ability to execute is completely different.”

According to a Kansas State University Division of Communications and Marketing press release from June 9, the construction of Phase II will begin July 5. The project will cost $15.8 million and will add 59,000 square feet along K-State’s north corridor. The KSU Foundation has leased commitments for 19 percent of the office park.

“When you’re close to a campus and this region in Manhattan, where you have qualified students, research and faculty that you can tap into, it makes it more accessible and easier for you to grow your company,” Usha Reddi, mayor of Manhattan, said. “That’s what we are looking forward to.”

This extension of the K-State Office Park will involve working with corporate partners and building relationships, while presenting major possibilities for the future of K-State.

“[Faculty and students] will have opportunities to associate with global companies, develop a global view and understand global problems and see solutions to those problems,” Richard Myers, president of K-State, said. “That’s a big deal for Kansas State University. All that helps us make it through the next level, and that is a top 50 public research university.”

In addition to expanding K-State’s 2025 Visionary Plan, the extension of the Office Park will establish a stronger relationship between the university and the city of Manhattan.

“The city of Manhattan and Kansas State University are not only partners, but are family and understand the solid growth of the K-State Office Park benefits our community,” Reddi said. “With the commission’s unanimous support, we look forward to growing and strengthening our economic development relationship. This is the basis of a long-term relationship.”

The extension will provide space for up to 35 tenants, including the Bluestem Grill. The Bluestem Grill is will be operated by the owners of Bluestem Bistro, a locally-owned restaurant in the Aggieville Business District.

“We’re looking forward to serving Manhattan at ‘the grill’ and building even stronger ties with Kansas State,” Bluestem Bistro’s Facebook post said June 8.

Eight shovel turners were present during the groundbreaking ceremony, including Myers; Reddi; Willems; Rand Berney, chairman on the KSU Foundation board of directors; Carl Ice, finance and audit committee chairman on the KSU Foundation board of directors; Lee Harris, board member of the KSU Foundation Center; and Ramin Cherafat, chief operating officer of McCownGordon Construction and Keith Sutton, owner of Bluestem Grill.

The project is led by McCownGordon Construction and includes a partnership with Hoefer Wysocki Architects.

The space will be available to tenants in August 2018.

The groundbreaking event opened a door to the advancement of K-State and the city of Manhattan, while emphasizing the importance of community engagement.

“We’re going to grow together,” Reddi said. “We are somewhat of an island at times, but we’re becoming a bigger region. We can no longer just be Manhattan, Kansas. This is the Flint Hills region, and we’re going to tap into every type of talent that there is around this.”