January 29, 2023

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Manhattan’s latest live performance venue — just the start?

This historic constructing on Yuma Avenue has been transformed right into a live performance venue, performing as a landmark for native and touring bands. (Lily Murray | Collegian Media Group)

It’s a crisp Saturday in autumn. The soccer sport simply concluded, and the Kansas State Wildcats are excited to tackle the evening. The choices embrace an Aggieville outing, bars downtown and maybe a home occasion. Okay-State pupil Kaitlyn Woicke, senior in advertising, mentioned the variability appears to be missing.

“College students do the identical issues each weekend. It will get outdated each from time to time,” Woicke mentioned. 

Derek Richards, actual property dealer and proprietor of the AG Press constructing, and Eric Kleiner, promoter and Richard’s enterprise associate for The Press, mentioned they acknowledged the necessity for selection and choices for residents in Manhattan. Richards mentioned he bought AG Press, positioned on Yuma Avenue, in April of this 12 months, and he has huge desires for it.

“It is a undertaking I’ve been seeking to purchase for the final 5 years, truly,” Richards mentioned. “I wished to purchase it initially for the aim of bringing tradition to Manhattan. Lots of warehouses in larger cities are being renovated for the aim of tradition, meals halls, and actions. Only a strategy to maximize this already outdated lovely house and use it for a unique goal.”

A part of this expansive 4 acre property is devoted to the already-operational out of doors live performance venue, The Press. Kleiner mentioned the intention is to create a rock and roll venue, whereas additionally welcoming quite a lot of genres. With a capability of over 500 folks and one profitable reside present accomplished, Richards and Kleiner preserve positivity for the expansion of their venue. 

“One factor that we wish to promote: we have now 5 acts in October,” Richards mentioned. “We’ve got the entire gamut, from rock and roll, straightforward listening, to just a little heavier, to EDM. On the final occasion, we had a Kite’s meals truck right here, and alcohol. I feel the distinctive factor right here is that we’re in a central a part of Manhattan and we simply have a number of house to work with.”

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Richards had the chance to talk instantly with college students and open a dialogue on what they want to see dropped at Manhattan.

“I taught at an entrepreneur class on campus within the enterprise constructing and I requested a room of 200 college students, ‘what do you guys need?’ and so they mainly described that they need Yard Bar, however larger,” Richards mentioned. “They need a spot to go the place they’ve house and really feel comfy being in a unique surroundings. We hope to create a extra welcoming place, or a spot to only have selection. It’s good to have selection within the city.”

Sam Bartlett, a junior in entrepreneurship and innovation, mentioned he thinks one other locale in Manhattan is crucial. 

“I really like reside music and I like going to live shows, so it will be cool if there was a spot proper right here on the town,” Bartlett mentioned. “I feel it will bridge the hole between Aggieville and downtown.”

Annie Wehling, senior in human improvement and household sciences, mentioned she feels a venue like The Press may benefit the city as nicely. 

“My pals and I’ve been speaking about that,” Wehling mentioned. “We’ve got struggled after video games and stuff lately simply discovering one thing to do this isn’t 100% packed. So a bigger venue like that might be actually enjoyable to go to.”

The long-term plan for your complete property encompasses extra than simply The Press, Richards mentioned. 

“The inside of the constructing won’t get finished for no less than one other 2 or 3 years,” Richards mentioned. “Some foremost concepts are to have a venue that may host weddings, rock reveals, and various kinds of occasions. You realize, because it grows, can we put retail? Can we put a brewery? Can we put a restaurant? Can we put a stage on the skin and astro turf your complete again yard? For yard video games, there’s a lot sq. footage. There are a number of issues that might occur.”

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A brand new live performance venue is being constructed off Fort Riley Boulevard. Inside shot of the constructing from September 7, 2022. (Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

Richards mentioned he’s welcome to concepts, particularly from residents and Okay-State college students. He intends to create an area for neighborhood use, and mentioned he feels anybody who has a dream may start to construct it at AG Press. 

“AG Press is obtainable for concepts to create right here,” Richards mentioned. “I need college students that really feel like they wish to begin one thing, they might begin that right here.”

Bartlett, along with his entrepreneurial expertise and connection to Richards, mentioned he hopes to see one specific concept develop into a actuality.

“I met Derek by our church and slowly received to know him,” Bartlett mentioned. “Somebody recommended for him to do a climbing membership. I’m tremendous all for mountain climbing. I informed him I might be all for speaking about that and what it will take.”

Bartlett mentioned he’s passionate in regards to the undertaking and is aiming to mix his climbing data with Richards’ enterprise expertise. 

“It’s tremendous up within the air proper now,” Bartlett mentioned. “It may simply go down into one thing concrete if we expect it’s clever financially from a market standpoint.”

Total, Richards and Kleiner mentioned they search to learn the neighborhood of Yuma and the town of Manhattan with a refreshing number of new sounds and experiences.

“The economics down listed here are normally fairly poor, so I feel it is very important be acutely aware and take into consideration how this location can profit this space, bringing tradition and simply bringing a very good vibe,” Richards mentioned. “There’s a number of magnificence round right here. I imagine lots of people, after they consider Manhattan, they consider Aggieville and downtown, so we hope to create a 3rd district to do one thing else.”

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Extra details about upcoming occasions at The Press and future plans for the constructing can be found on their web site