Five years after the old state fairgrounds became the University of Nebraska’s Innovation Campus (NIC), the growth continues.
“We’re very close to being completely leased,” Dan Duncan, NIC executive director, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The high demand has led to the construction of a new, 80,000 square foot building that will mostly house office space. The three-story building will feature a business incubator and common spaces built to spur collaboration. The area around the building also will include a community garden and space for outdoor activities.
“This will help us continue to grow the campus and the economic development activity that we support,” Duncan says.
The new addition means NIC will have about 460,000 square feet of offices, labs, and conference room.
The long-term goal is to have roughly 2.5 million square feet for companies that work with the university.
“We require that they have some relationship with our faculty, with our students, research relationships and so on,” Duncan says. “Our board of directors votes on each and every potential partner.”
Duncan says private funding will pay for most of the building, but some public funds from a tax increment financing district will cover site infrastructure costs.
The new building is expected to open the late summer of 2018.