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PSU, city seek community input on downtown project
Shawn Naccarato, Pitt State’s executive director of the Center for Business and Innovation Development, speaks at a recent campus forum to discuss the downtown Pittsburg Block22 project.

PSU, city seek community input on downtown project

Pittsburg State University and the City of Pittsburg are seeking input from community members regarding future plans for the downtown Block22 project.

The Block22 project will transform four historic buildings at the corner of 4th and Broadway into a unique living, learning community.

In addition to student housing, Block22 will also include offices for the University Center for Innovation and Business Development, a makerspace (a collaborative community workspace designed for creativity and prototyping), business incubator, co-working area, and a multi-function event and educational space.

The project will also feature more than 9,000 square feet of leasable commercial space that could be used for a variety of functions. It is for that space that the university, city and project developers are seeking community input. 

“We’re looking for ideas on how to best use that space,” said Shawn Naccarato, Pitt State’s executive director of the Center for Business and Innovation Development. “Do we want a new restaurant? A new grocery option? More retail space? It’s a blank page right now, and we would love to hear any ideas our residents have.”

Ideas can be submitted using a submission form on the Block22 web page, pittstate.edu/block22. Click the red button that reads “SUBMIT YOUR IDEA.”

General ideas can be expressed in the comments box. Those who would like to make an official proposal to lease the space should also click the box that reads “This is a formal proposal.”

“Our mission is to make Block22 a regional hub for supporting economic prosperity and access to opportunity,” Naccarato said. “A major part of that effort is making sure that we use the space in ways that best serves our community. The submission process on our web page is very simple, very easy to do. We encourage everyone to check it out and share your ideas with us.” 

Block22 is a joint project between Pittsburg State, the City of Pittsburg and a private developer, the Vecino Group from Springfield, Mo. Mat Burton, chief operating officer for the Vecino Group, is a Pittsburg native, a Pittsburg State graduate and former president of the university’s Student Government Association.

“This project is very exciting for me personally, because it’s in my hometown,” Burton said. “I very much want to help make Block22 something the entire community can be proud of. So, the more ideas and input we receive, the better.”

The deadline for idea/proposal submissions is Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

Block22 is expected to open during the summer of 2018. Follow the progress of Block22 on Twitter at @block22psu.

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