Feature Image for Technically, park set to grow: Xpanxion plans for 'wow factor'

Technically, park set to grow: Xpanxion plans for 'wow factor'

February 23, 2017

By AMANDA PUSH
Hub Staff Writer

KEARNEY — Plans for Kearney’s tech park at 56th Street and Antelope Avenue should take form in the next couple months.

The anchor tenant at Tech oNE Crossing, Xpanxion, a software development company started by Loup City native Paul Eurek, will build a $4 million, two-story facility on 10 acres at the park. The 20,000-square-foot building will have the capacity for 120-140 employees. Xpanxion’s current Kearney facility at 810 E. 56th St. has capacity for 75 employees. Once the Tech oNE building is complete, the entire Kearney operation will move there.

Though some work has begun at the site, construction is expected to pick up significantly in mid-March, according to Kelly Barnes, vice president of rural centers for Xpanxion. The project is expected to be completed in the fall. All infrastructure and groundwork for utilities done by the city is in place, Barnes said.

“We’re demonstrating a level of commitment and leadership that, hopefully, aligns well with the purpose of that space and, hopefully, draws in partners and businesses,” Barnes said.

The company wishes to use the space as an executive briefing center. Xpanxion works with companies such as Sony Network Entertainment, The Weather Co., Intercontinental Hotel Group and Blue Cross Blue Shield. It hopes to use the new facility as an opportunity to court clients of similar caliber by using the building to “wow” prospective companies, Barnes said.

“We want it to be impressive,” Barnes said. “Our intention is to give it a wow factor in order to build out the tech park.”

Xpanxion is a strong proponent of rural America and wishes to demonstrate leadership in hiring in that market, Barnes explained. By using the new facility as a briefing center, the company hopes to demonstrate the viability of a rural workforce to current and potential clients.

The Kearney building will be the company’s largest facility and will serve as a showcase. Building features include an outdoor patio, conference rooms, collaboration areas, break rooms, secure rooms for higher-security work, conference rooms and training rooms.

“When this project is done, and if you believe in green energy, here’s your chance to buy it to power your home,” Councilman Bruce Lear said during the January City Council meeting.

“It’s designed to be space where people want to be,” Barnes said.

The city is also using Tech oNE Crossing as an opportunity to pursue green energy.

In January, the Kearney City Council approved a Chicago company’s plans to build an $11 million solar energy array at the tech park. The SoCore Energy project will be built on 53 acres. Construction could begin this summer.

“When this project is done, and if you believe in green energy, here’s your chance to buy it to power your home,” Councilman Bruce Lear said during the January City Council meeting.

Council members and City Manager Mike Morgan believe the 5.8 megawatts of electricity the solar installation will generate will be an attraction for technology companies to set up shop in Kearney.

“The community has a significant investment in the tech park,” Morgan said. “This is a good payoff for the future.”

SoCore will sell electricity from the Kearney array to Nebraska Public Power District, which will market it to residential and commercial consumers in the Kearney area and reserve some of the capacity for future Tech oNE firms. The city might purchase some of the solar energy.

NPPD, SoCore and city officials formally signed agreements for the solar array Feb. 2 in city hall.

Hub Managing Editor Mike Konz contributed to this article.

amanda.push@kearneyhub.com

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