As part of the County’s economic development strategy, the development and deployment of an economic development business incubator is being developed. Called the STEAM Engine at Novaparke, the incubator is as part of the WhistleStop complex being developed within the Novaparke Innovation and Technology campus.
The plan to adaptively use the Historic WhistleStop Inn and farmstead as a mixed use component to foster growth and development of local companies. The site is being repurposes to be a focal point for art, innovation, creativity, local markets, entertainment, and educational endeavors.
The main objective of a business incubator is to accelerate business growth and create an atmosphere for success. The incubator is developed to create jobs, diversify the local economic base, and enhance the quality of life in the community. The objectives of the STEAM Engine Business Incubator is create an environment where the County’s goal of increasing the average wage and helping companies get established, planting roots in Floyd County so they will become permanent contributors to the overall vitality of the community. STEAM Engine at Novaparke is the co-work and incubator hub. Located in the WhistleStop Inn Building, Science Technology Engineering Arts/Agriculture Mathematics Engine is a 24/7 center for emerging startups to have a place to dream, create and innovate. The WhistleStop Inn and the adjacent Building 2 Conference Building provides over 5,000 square feet of space for use.
Adaptively renovating the Historic WhistleStop Inn and farmstead on site, these newly re-purposed buildings pay homage to the areas connection to rail transportation, agricultural endeavors, and entrepreneurialism of its time. Building One, The WhistleStop Inn located at the terminus point of the Edwardsville Train Tunnel, which is the longest train tunnel in Indiana. The building initially served as an Inn for rail travelers west to stop, relax and rejuvenate before once again starting their journey west to St. Louis.
“The STEAM Engine at Novaparke is designed to promote and develop locally owned businesses. This purpose will be done through advancing a collaborative entrepreneur ecosystem, advancing sound business practices, providing physical space, and promoting innovation.”
In its new form, area entrepreneurs can access its many features office space, printing and computer equipment, 3D printers, and other tools that assist businesses in growth and development. The site will house outdoor Wi-Fi capabilities and high-speed internet connectivity.
The main objective of a business incubator is to accelerate business growth and create an atmosphere for success. The incubator is designed to create jobs, diversify the local economic base, and enhance the quality of life in the community. The objectives of the STEAM Engine at Novaparke is create an environment where the County’s goal of increasing the average wage and helping companies get established, planting roots in Floyd County so they will become permanent contributors to the overall vitality of the community.
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SITE PLANNING STANDARDS
Preserve semi-rural character and modify existing gateway overlay district to include appropriate regulatory techniques to preserve existing semi-rural character, preserve environmentally sensitive areas, promote conservation areas and office/institution campus development.
Provide landscape buffer between residential and commercial areas.
On-street parking and pedestrian crossings should be used extensively in the office/institution area to enhance the streetscape and delineate an edge between sidewalks and the street.
Develop appropriate signage and wayfinding elements to direct both automobile and pedestrian traffic.
Encourage the use of bonus system for development incentive such as in development density, provision of open space, shared parking.
Promote sustainable storm water management practices such as bioswales, rain gardens, porous pavements & native plants.
Lighting and landscaping should allow for surveillance and policing activities, but should be designed primarily to accommodate the intended use of the public space.
Energy efficiency should also be considered when locating and orienting buildings on a site.
Promote energy conservation techniques with proper use of high quality building and architectural materials, color, doors, and windows and proper utilization of building mass to create shade.
Promote breaking up surface planes of the building to create depth and remove the monotony of unvarying surface facades.
Promote hierarchy of heights of buildings on primary streets to secondary streets.
Pedestrian-scale features should be incorporated on the first floor of buildings and at entrances to help relate buildings to the streetscape. These features include entrance canopies, landscaping, lighting and signs.
Provide main entrances along the primary street to create a pedestrian-friendly presence.
Promote the use of sustainable design and construction practices both in construction phase and throughout the life of a building.