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Pillar Technology coming to Council Bluffs’ River’s Edge development

River’s Edge rendering from developer Noddle Companies.

Columbus, Ohio-based Pillar Technology announced plans on Monday to occupy 8,000 square feet in the first office building of Council Bluff’s River’s Edge mixed-use development.

Pillar would commit to creating 30 new full-time IT positions over the next seven years, and move into the building’s third floor in the first quarter of 2019.

“One of the goals of the River’s Edge initiative is to attract growing technology companies and organizations to the region, that will stimulate economic growth, create high-paying jobs and make a strong commitment to the community,” said Paula Hazlewood, Executive Director of the Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation. “Pillar fits the bill perfectly.”

Over the coming weeks, the Council Bluffs City Council, Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors and the Iowa Economic Development Board of Directors will vote on a total of $1.3 million in incentives, an economic investment intended to fuel Pillar’s decision to locate in the region.

“We are working together as a team to raise the necessary funds to bring Pillar in as one of the anchor companies for the new development,” said Hazlewood. “This would be a win-win for everyone.”

Pillar Technology is an IT consulting firm known for uncovering and executing industry-disrupting opportunities. Presently, Pillar operates The Forge, an energy-driven, integrated workspace, in Columbus, OH, Palo Alto, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and Des Moines, IA.

Council Bluffs would be Pillar’s sixth Forge following an announcement last month that Pillar also plans to open a Forge in Jefferson, Iowa, as part of Future Ready Iowa, an initiative with the state and its educational system aimed at keeping attractive IT jobs in the region.

Linc Kroeger, Pillar’s Regional Lead in the state believes the Omaha metro area is an ideal fit for the firm’s expansion plans.

“At Pillar, we know that some of the best IT talent can be found in the Midwest,” Kroeger explained. “But all too often that talent heads to the coasts, in search of more attractive jobs. We believe the potential in the Silicon Prairie is limitless. That’s why we’re expanding our presence here, bringing on board the best software developers and problem solvers the region has to offer in order to build software the right way, right here. “

The expected expansion to Council Bluffs would be the result of a collaboration between Pillar, the Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation, the City of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, the Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Hazlewood and Pete Tulipana from the Iowa West Foundation were introduced to Pillar last year when they visited the company’s Forge in Des Moines.

They quickly recognized that Pillar could be a tremendous asset to the region.

“We were extremely impressed with the innovative, cutting-edge work that Pillar does, and its forward-thinking approach to solving problems,” explained Tulipana. “Perhaps more importantly, the company has demonstrated its commitment to the communities in which it operates, and this is exactly the type of partnership we want to cultivate. I know that Pillar would have a positive impact on our region in the years to come.”

Matt Walsh, mayor, Council Bluffs, echoed Tulipana’s remarks.

“This organization is as strategic as they are employee and customer-centric.,” said Mayor Walsh. “Choosing to expand in the riverfront region not only deserves congratulations but also warrants excitement.”

Pillar would be the River’s Edge office building’s second tenant. The Iowa West Foundation will occupy the building’s fourth floor. Plans for the 21-acre riverfront site include two multi-story office buildings, a parking structure, apartments, townhouses and various mixed-use buildings.

“We applaud Pillar’s momentum. They’ve chosen a region rich with transformational change – and our community is eager to connect,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber.