PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State University on Tuesday announced the names of seven businesses — a combination of existing companies and startups — that will move into the Block22 project, which involves the redevelopment of four historic buildings downtown into student housing, offices, businesses and an innovation center.

The Commerce, Baxter, National Bank and Opera House Hotel buildings at Fourth Street and Broadway are the focus of the $18 million effort involving PSU, the city of Pittsburg and the Vecino Group, a real estate developer based in Springfield, Missouri.

Students moved in earlier this month.

Six of the businesses are moving into what is being called The Foundry, an entrepreneurial space with more than 16,000 square feet on the ground floor of the former National Bank and Opera House buildings that will include a business incubator, a conference room and a collaborative workspace.

Those businesses are:

• Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Inc., which will provide high-speed internet service for The Foundry, will have desk space on the ground floor of the Opera House Hotel building.

Based in Girard, Craw-Kan serves business and residential customers in 14 counties across Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma with fiber-optic internet, high-definition television, telephone service, security cameras and alarm systems. Craw-Kan also provides business services, including wide area virtual private networking and dark fiber connectivity as well as IT consulting.

• Creative124 is a video production company founded by Jacob Anselmi, who previously served as creative media director at PSU. Anselmi launched Creative124 this summer. The company provides visual marketing consulting and videography services.

• DevSquared is a web development, mobile application development and technical product consultant agency specializing in Xamarin, .NET and Vue.js development. It is owned by Caleb Smith and John Keufler.

• Helianthus Ventures LLC, an investment platform owned by Susan and Troy Cook, will offer strategic consulting as well as consulting on capital structure alternatives and mergers and acquisitions transactions. The company will also be active in various investment activities and charitable initiatives.

• LimeLight Marketing is a digital marketing agency that offers services in marketing strategy, brand development, content marketing, website design and development, videography, and photography. LimeLight is owned by Brandee Johnson and includes an 11-person team of marketers, developers, designers, writers, videographers and photographers, most of whom are PSU students.

• Sonder & Co., owned by PSU students Brittan Brenner and Kailey Pearson, will be a boutique-style storefront showcasing and selling the works of area artisans. They also plan to develop an e-commerce site.

• Votive Display and Packaging supplies corrugated boxes and point-of-purchase displays, as well as full-line packaging materials such as tape, stretch wrap and steel banding. The company was founded in Pittsburg in 2016 by Tonya and Jeff Poe. 

Most of the businesses will be in the National Bank Building, but Sonder & Co. will be in the Commerce Building.

Four other businesses also have committed to moving into Block22. They are Root Coffeehouse, now at 802 N. Broadway, which will change its name to Root Coffeehouse and Creperie when it moves into the Opera House Hotel building this fall, and Juicy’s, Brick + Mortar and Toast.

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