Ames City Council Approves Campustown Plans - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Ames City Council Approves Campustown Plans

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

Kingland Systems bought out nine buildings in the Campustown area last year. Last night the Ames City Council approved their plan to tear those buildings down and start from the ground up.

Changes to the Campustown area have been a long time coming.

"I've been here for 32 years and they've been talking about Campustown redevelopment since I got here and I assume before that," said City Councilman Peter Orazem.

Plan after plan has been discussed, but it took a long time to agree on what should be done.

"Trying to make Campustown better without losing Campustown is always one of the things that we're going to try to do," Orazem said.

Kingland Systems plans to fill their first floor space with retail shops.

"You go to Campustown to have dinner, you go to Campustown to shop, you go to Campustown for nightlife and that's always been what Campustown has been and Campustown will continue to be that," said Kim Hanna, the director of the Campustown Action Association.

Bringing in new businesses means getting rid of some of the businesses that are already there.

"All of the Lincoln Way buildings will be coming down," Hanna said.

Charlie Yoke's sits right on the corner of Welch Avenue and Lincoln Way.

"To lose the location. . .That's a tough hit to take," said Charlie Yoke's Co-owner Jason Crimmins.

It's a common spot for the weekend crowd and lunch–goers.

"I like the history of this building, I like this corner. I mean the corner of Lincoln Way and Welch is the cornerstone of Campustown," said Crimmins.

Now that cornerstone is coming down with the rest of the buildings, which means Charlie Yoke's has to move out.

"When leases are up, leases are up," Hanna said.

Crimmins urges students to be active in the redevelopment process.

"Have your voice heard," he said. "Get in Campustown what you want in Campustown. Don't let people who are never here decide what's best for your neighborhood."

Charlie Yoke's will be moving down Lincoln Way into the bar that is currently AJ's Ultra Lounge.

The Campustown Association said the renovations will be underway shortly and completed by the fall of 2015.

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