With the opening the The Anderson apartments on Main Street and the first tenant (Atlas Copco) now occupying space in the Lowenstein Building, it's time to begin looking to the next major real estate projects in Knowledge Park. There may be a few projects that can move quickly, say within 1-2 years (next phases of the University Center development?) Other major development/redevelopment sites (Good Motors, The Herald) might require years of planning and preparation before development can begin.
All of these projects will need to demonstrate strong market support before they can move forward. Knowledge Park has had some initial success in attracting office uses (Fountain Park Place, Lowenstein Building), apartments (139 Main, The Anderson) and breweries (3 new breweries expected in 2018!). Other market segments like retail, restaurants, and owner-occupied residential units have not yet found strong traction. Developers have inquired about possible new uses in the Knowledge Park area including senior housing.
What market segments will drive the next real estate projects in Knowledge Park? To the extent that the demand in these market segments may be unproven, we need to find ways to assess the demand and communicate the opportunities to developers. To that end, the Economic and Urban Development Department is preparing to commission a custom market analysis for Knowledge Park. This analysis will help the community and developers to better understand this rapidly emerging market and to plan for successful new real estate investments. My guess is that we need continued housing and employment growth before the we're going to see significant new retail/restaurant growth. Where's the tipping point? Are we getting close? What are your thoughts as to the market segments that will drive the next wave of growth in Knowledge Park?