- Published on Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:11
- Written by Breanna Bright
For the first time, in a very long time, the lobby of the Marquette Tower in Downtown Cape Girardeau was buzzing with activity as press and interested parties awaited the announcement of the historic building’s future. Entrepreneur Jeff Maurer, and James Stapleton of Codefi spoke on the plans in store, not just in the Marquette’s new role, but the future of Cape Girardeau.
Codefi has stayed true to its goal to bring local, lucrative business to Cape Girardeau, and now they are working firsthand to make that happen with the announcement of the development of the ‘Marquette Tech District.’
This brand new district involves three developments that will affect Cape’s historic renovation and economic evolvement. The first involves the Marquette Tower itself which Maurer called the, “epicenter of the tech district.” Plans are underway to turn the historic hotel into office space that will not only house Codefi’s new tech offices, but several new tenants, a coffee bar, and a restaurant. Deals are still being finalized with interested businesses that will be moving into the building.
The second step involves the Marquette Center, and the H&H building located across the street. These buildings will hold another restaurant, and a brand new hotel. A deal has been made to turn the two buildings into a Courtyard Marriott. This will be the first hotel to grace Downtown Cape in 50 years.
The third announcement will benefit the community as a whole: Codefi and Big River Communications are combining forces to provide free, public wifi to the entirety of Downtown Cape.
Codefi proudly added that this project, which is estimated to cost $20 million, involves all local investors, banks, contractors, and businesses that will be using the building. They have partnered up with several regional companies to provide investments, and are still seeking public funding.
A lot of forethought went into the location of the tech district, “These buildings are recognized icons in Downtown Cape,” said Maurer, “and we want to draw attention to the businesses that will be using them.”
James Stapleton added, “We want to help make Cape a technology hub. The domestic and global economy are being driven by technology, and there’s no home for it . . . this will bring higher quality employment to the area.”
They also mentioned their educational program ‘Code Cape,’ which helps teach people how to code, run computer programs, and stay up to date with the latest technology. “ [Code Cape] immerses individuals interested in becoming coders with the skills to do so,” Stapleton said.
Plans and announcements will continued to be made over the next year and a half as developments take place.