$1.2B Purdue Plan Underscores Innovation

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The chief operating officer of the Purdue Research Foundation says there is nothing quite like the proposed $1.2 billion Purdue Innovation District. Brian Edelman says the project is a partnership with Indianapolis-based Browning Investments LLC and could feature seven million square-feet of development. Plans include a mix of university properties and private businesses, as well as housing and entrepreneurship-focused spaces along the highly-anticipated State Street Redevelopment, creating an "urban density feel."

One key aspect of the vision is an Innovation Hub, which Edelman says will serve as a "front door" to potential investment, intellectual property exchange and research relationships.

He tells Inside INdiana Business the district is poised to have a "multiplier effect" in and around the area and private investment is essential. Edelman says an economic impact has not yet been done, but he believes the impact will be felt throughout the community, surrounding counties and beyond.

When combined with the Purdue Aviation District, the project involves 450 acres on the west edge of the Tippecanoe County campus. Purdue and local officials say the Innovation District is the direct result of the $100 million State Street Redevelopment, which is set to begin this year and is designed to create a corridor connecting the campus and the rest of West Lafayette. Edelman says another driver for the Purdue Innovation District is strategic decision by Purdue President Mitch Daniels and his administration to focus on finding ways to attract and retain students to live, work and play on-campus.

Browning Investments says the project could unfold over the course of 15-20 years. The vision for the district includes a hotel and conference center, retail, business, research and industrial space, as well as student and non-student housing, restaurant, laboratory, and collaboration components. Edelman says buy-in from the private sector is important to the project's success.

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