JEDO recieves update on development of ASTRA Innovation Center in Downtown Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The JEDO board received an update Wednesday about the current plans regarding the proposed ASTRA (Animal Science, Technology, Research, and Agriculture) Innovation Center that was announced two years ago.
“The innovation center is a transformational project for downtown. The current cost estimate is over $21 million,” said Stan Wendzel, managing partner of BioRealty, Inc. “We’re gonna bring some state-of-the-art laboratories, collaborative space, just a bunch of common areas where people can connect, collide, and collaborate on stuff.”
BioRealty is a private investment firm that specializes in science and technology real estate.
Wendzel said his company partnered with Go Topeka to develop an innovation campus because Topeka is one of the nation’s fastest growing areas for animal health sciences.
“The main theme of this innovation center is to really focus on animal health and Ag tech, and other science-based companies as well, but we know the strengths here are animal health and Ag tech.”
Wendzel also said there have been some unforeseen obstacles throughout the process that have caused a delay in getting the innovation district off the ground.
“The struggle is two-fold. One is the first tenant is out. We really only had one that has dropped out, but unfortunately it was our largest one and our anchor. But that happens. The other big issue has been construction costs. As you heard in tonight’s meeting, we’ve had an unprecedented level of escalation in costs.
Copyright 2023 WIBW. All rights reserved.