Purdue University says plans for a $1.2 billion Innovation District on the West Lafayette campus could include the creation of a "front door" to the school to serve as a magnet for private sector investment. Purdue Research Foundation Chief Operating Officer Brian Edelman says the "Innovation Hub" could link Purdue with a variety of industries. "Industry that’s interested in technologies of the university, the startup companies formed around those technologies, venture capitalists and private equity all would be located in this innovation hub," said Edelman. "And we think there would be a multiplier effect to Tippecanoe County and surrounding counties."
Purdue announced plans for the ambitious Innovation District last week. It is a partnership with Indianapolis-based Browning Investments, which will serve as the master planner and developer.
Purdue and Browning believe the project could ultimately entail seven million square feet of space, including residential, research, office, retail and hospitality, on 450 acres on the west side of campus and could take 15-20 years to completely build out.
In announcing the project, Purdue President Mitch Daniels said, "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."
In an interview on Inside Indiana Business Television, Browning Chief Executive Officer John Hirschman echoed Daniels’ comments. "It’s all about quality of life and placemaking," said Hirschman, who adds the project is unlike any other in the country. "The scale of the project is massive and immense and that lends itself to all sorts of creative ways to create a place and make it a live, work, play environment."