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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 4, 2007

Photo: Click here for a high-resolution version of the architect's rendering.

New Office Complex To Be Built At Oakdale Research Park

A new, 40,000-square-foot office complex will be built at the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Park, with education consultants Noel-Levitz serving as the anchor tenant.

The UI Research Park Corporation has leased 4.77 acres at 2350 Oakdale Blvd. in Coralville to Hunter Companies of Cedar Rapids, which will develop the office building.  Terms of the lease transaction were not disclosed.

Hunter Parks, president of the Hunter Companies in Cedar Rapids, said the initial grading and site preparation for the building has begun. Noel-Levitz will occupy approximately 12,000 square feet of the building in the late summer of 2007, with the rest of the building constructed in phases. Future tenants are being sought for the remainder of the space.

"The Oakdale Research Park Board of Directors is enthusiastic about Noel-Levitz coming to the park, bringing this highly-respected and nationally-known group of educational consultants to Coralville," said Thomas R. Sharpe, associate vice president for economic development at the UI and executive director of the Oakdale Research Park. "The project will provide needed space for new companies to locate on the park or for expansion."

Noel-Levitz will move 40 employees from its Iowa City offices on ACT Circle to the Oakdale site. The City of Coralville provided $210,000 in economic incentives to bring Noel-Levitz to this location.

The Oakdale Research Park offices will be designed for Noel-Levitz's needs and future growth. The north Coralville location gives the company easy access to a workforce in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and points east and west in the region, and is near the Eastern Iowa Regional Airport. Noel-Levitz will be part of a growing nucleus of technology and research and development companies on the research park, Sharpe said.

Noel-Levitz is a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in higher education student recruitment, financial aid, student retention, market research, and Web and communications development. Since 1973, Noel-Levitz has partnered with more than 1,800 colleges and universities throughout North America. Noel-Levitz has offices in Denver, Iowa City, and Braintree, Mass., and is a wholly owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation, commonly known as Sallie Mae.

The firm's Iowa clients have included the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, Coe College, Drake University, Upper Iowa University, and Simpson College among others.

"We are looking forward to being part of the Oakdale Research Park community," said Craig Engel, Noel-Levitz senior vice president.  "This new location will provide Noel-Levitz with the space and technology infrastructure needed to support our work with colleges and universities."

Sharpe added that the Hunter Companies project illustrates the steady growth of the research park. He said the UI has worked with Hunter Companies on previous projects, and looks forward to continuing a close working relationship with the company.

For the project, Aspect Architecture of Cedar Rapids has incorporated some new design concepts that the research park is adopting to not only continue to assure quality architecture, but to foster more inter-activity on the park, and more connectedness among companies and workers. The exterior design will emphasize the natural amenities at Oakdale such as the water features, green space, bike and walking trails and mature trees, said Steve Emerson, president of Aspect Architecture.

Emerson added that the design for the Corridor Office Solutions project will compliment the other buildings on the research park, combining the brick colors found on older structures with metal found on newer ones. It will be similar to the construction type to the Corridor Technology Center building on the adjoining lot.

The UI Oakdale Research Park, one of the Iowa Centers for Enterprise, was established in 1989 to provide leased building sites and space for technology companies requiring a sustained research relationship with the UI. There are currently 40 active companies affiliated with the park. The incubator and those companies, along with the four UI anchor laboratories at Oakdale, have 1,695 employees.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Thomas Sharpe, UI associate vice president for Economic Development, 319-335-3899; Pam Jennings, director of marketing, Noel-Levitz 319-337-4700; Hunter Parks, Hunter Companies, 319-366-8800