Construction starts on $86 million private complex on west side of Perdue University campus

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aspire rendering

Construction is set to begin this month on a private $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex that is the first facility in a $1 billion development district on the west side of the Purdue University campus, Purdue Research Foundation officials and a joint venture between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Walsh Investors announced on Jan. 9,

In a news release, the developers say that the four-story, three-building, 387,000-sq.-ft. complex will be located in the Discovery Park District and be called “Aspire at Discovery Park.” The development includes studio, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartment styles. Rental pricing of the apartments will be comparable to or lower than similar apartments in the area. The complex also has committed 18,000 sq. ft. for community and retail space in the facilities.

Slated to be complete by the August of 2019, the apartment complex will be located on a five-acre tract on the south side of State St., a major east-west artery running through campus in West Lafayette.

“The Balfour Beatty team is excited to be the first major construction in the transformation of the west side of the Purdue University campus,” said Bob Shepko, president of Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions. “Aspire at Discovery Park will be situated in an ideal location for residents to take advantage of all that this new development will offer.”

A newly formed joint venture between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and Walsh Investors, which has signed a long-term lease with the Purdue Research Foundation for the land, will collaborate with respect to the project, and Walsh Construction Company, one the largest general contractors in the US will perform the construction in joint venture with local construction contractor Smoot Construction.

“The Walsh Construction and Smoot Construction Joint Venture is excited to be part of this innovative project and Walsh is extremely pleased to continue to expand our growing relationship with Purdue University”, said Sean Walsh, president of Walsh Construction.

“It is certainly a milestone to break ground on the first of many developments in the Discovery Park District,” said Jeff Kanable, director of the Discovery Park District (formerly called Purdue Innovation District). “In just a few years this area will feature modern living, learning, shopping and dining for Purdue students and the surrounding community.”

The Discovery Park District is a partnership development between Purdue Research Foundation and master developer Browning Investments and is designed to provide a preeminent environment for educational, economic, cultural, community and real estate development encompassing several million square feet with a total investment of more than $1 billion.

The 450-acre district will feature 7 million sq. ft. of interior building space including a hotel with conference center; restaurants; retail, office and business spaces; parks; research facilities; and industrial space. The project is planned to take place over a 15- to 20-year period.

Discovery Park District supports the $120 million State Street Redevelopment Project jointly developed by the City of West Lafayette and Purdue University. The project stretches from the Wabash River through downtown West Lafayette, Purdue’s campus and Discovery Park District to State Street’s intersection with U.S. 231.

“All the developments in and around Purdue University and West Lafayette are carefully planned to support and complement each other and advance Tippecanoe County as a destination to live in and visit,” said John Dennis, mayor of West Lafayette. “Another major advantage is that the Discovery Park District also will allow us to recapture taxes paid to the state through Indiana’s TIF funds to support continued development and prosperity for our city.”

The state of Indiana has designated TIF, or tax increment financing, districts for areas encompassing many of the new developments, meaning the area can recapture some taxes collected by the state and use the funds for additional development opportunities.