"We are incredibly grateful for Evergy's generous support of Block22," said Shawn Naccarato, Pittsburg State University's chief strategy officer. "Block22 could not have gone from idea to reality without support from private donors and industry leaders such as Evergy."
Evergy, Westar's parent, donated $100,000 to Block22. The Block22 project in downtown Pittsburg was developed through a partnership between Pittsburg State University, the City of Pittsburg and the Vecino Group. The project consists of four historic buildings at 4th and Broadway that have been transformed into business space and student housing: the Commerce, Baxter, National Bank and Opera House Hotel buildings.
PSU officials say in recognition of the company's financial support, the public courtyard between the National Bank and Opera House Hotel buildings will bear the Evergy name.
Evergy was formed when Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, which operates KCP&L, merged in June of 2018. Pittsburg State alumnus Jeff Martin, who is Evergy's vice president for customer and community operations, said Evergy is proud to support innovative projects such as Block22.
"Block22 is an exciting project," Martin said. "Pittsburg State is taking an innovative approach to student life. It's a great way to utilize existing buildings to bring students downtown. Evergy and Westar are excited to be part of Block22 and the Pittsburg community."
The total cost of the Block22 project, according to PSU, is about $19 million dollars and is paid for through a mix of private contributions and public funds. PSU says "more than $10 million of the total cost is paid for through historic and new market tax credits secured by The Vecino Group, the Springfield-based development company leading the project. The City of Pittsburg has invested nearly $2 million, and the Pittsburg State University Foundation has secured private donations of more than $1 million."
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