The Purdue Research Foundation has announced details of a proposed $1.2 billion Purdue Innovation District. The 15-20-year project is a partnership with Indianapolis-based Browning Investments LLC. Plans include a hotel and conference center, as well as retail, business, research and industrial space. Officials say the project is spurred largely by the $100 million State Street Project that bridges the West Lafayette Campus to the rest of the city.
In all, developments could total several million square-feet and encompass some 450 acres on the west end of the campus. Planning and design work will get underway in the coming months. Additional pieces call for student and non-student housing, hospitality, lab, research and collaboration spaces.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels says "if residential higher ed is going to retain its appeal to the best faculty and students, it will have to offer attractive settings for living, recreation and successful business neighbors. We don’t know of a comparable town-gown collaboration like ours along State Street, which we hope with the adjoining innovation district will provide the foundation for a next era of growth and prominence for Purdue."
Browning CEO John Hirschman calls the project "unique" in scale and says it will serve as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship opportunities. "Academic and private industry research and discovery will be purposefully integrated with commercial activity and residential options in a transformative development for Purdue University and West Lafayette."
Construction on the State Street Project is slated to begin by the end of this year or early next year. West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis says "with the opening of U.S. 231 around the west side of West Lafayette and the State Street Redevelopment Project, the west side of our city has become an important entry to Purdue and the city of West Lafayette. The Purdue Innovation District stands to offer the world what Town and Gown truly can mean: a social gathering place for entertainment, living and commerce that spans generations, occupation and orientation."
Officials believe the district will have have an impact well beyond the campus and State Street corridor.