TOPEKA (KSNT) – BioRealty, who is developing the Animal Science, Technology, Research and Agriculture (ASTRA) Innovation Center, conducted a walking tour of their new space Thursday afternoon.
“We are here at the corner of 7th and Kansas, in what was previously the old Wolfe’s building and adjoining buildings,” said Stephanie Moran, senior vice-president with the Greater Topeka Partnership. “We have 65,000 sq. ft. of space that we are looking to convert into an Innovation Center. Within that center we will have mixed use space for office space, co-working space, wet lab, dry lab and room for retail. It is a great mixed use for innovators and collaborators to move their ideas forward.”
The ASTRA Innovation Center will be a 65,000-sq. ft. project anchoring a new ASTRA Innovation District in downtown Topeka. The development will repurpose the historic Wolfe’s Camera Shop at 635 S. Kansas Ave. and will involve two adjacent properties at 633 S. Kansas Ave. through to 627 S. Kansas Ave.
“We are excited about activating this important corner downtown,” said Stan Wendzel, founder and managing director of BioRealty Inc. “We are excited about bringing Innovation Space to the area with a mixed use space, retail, lab space. There is a lot of common area in the space that will get people to connect and collaborate.”
The Center is expected to create 20-40 full-time jobs in the coming years, with an anticipated annual economic impact of $8.3 million. Over 10 years, the total economic impact is expected to reach $1.345 billion.
The campus will be developed to take advantage of 20 global startups participating each year in the city’s new Plug and Play Animal Health accelerator program. The ASTRA Innovation Center will offer world-class facilities, including wet labs, flexible work and meeting spaces. It will feature office space for business research and innovation, as well as a rooftop venue for events.