Purdue, Browning partnering on $1.2 billion project

June 13, 2016

Purdue University announced on Monday that it is partnering with Indianapolis-based Browning Investments on a $1.2 billion project to develop roughly 450 acres at the west end of the campus in West Lafayette.

The area, called the Purdue Innovation District, will be developed by the Purdue Research Foundation and Browning, and will include up to 7 million square feet of building space.

Plans call for student and faculty housing, a hotel with conference center, restaurants, research facilities, parks, and retail, office and industrial space. Officials estimate the project will take 15 to 20 years to complete.

Browning will lead a master-planning effort that will take several months to complete and will include a design for streets, land use, infrastructure, and open spaces. Development of the district is expected to begin late this year or in early 2017.

 “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,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in written remarks. “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.”

The development continues a collaboration among Purdue, Browning, and West Lafayette, and will complement other initiatives already occurring on the west side of campus. They include the State Street Redevelopment Project, Horticulture Park, Todd's Creek relocation, new recreational fields, Purdue Child Care Center and the Rolls-Royce facility at the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District.

“This opportunity is unique in its scale and potential impact as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurialism," John Hirschman, president and CEO of Browning, said in a press release. "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.”

Officials say the project is necessary in part to meet student housing demands. With nearly half of Purdue undergraduate students living on campus, university housing is experiencing a 17-year high.

Founded in 1930, the Purdue Research Foundation is a private, not-for-profit created to advance the mission of the university. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers.

Browning, founded in 1977, has developed and constructed more than 22 million square feet of space. One of its current projects is The Coil mixed-use development in Broad Ripple anchored by a Fresh Thyme grocery that should be finished early next year.


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