April 19, 2019

Then & Now: State Street redevelopment

Wilmeth Active Leanring Center Power plant, smokestack and Engineering Administration building

Purdue's sesquicentennial celebration provides inspiration to reflect on the University's 150-year legacy. How has the University changed over the years? Purdue Today will take a look through its new "Then & Now" photo series, which will highlight Purdue traditions, buildings, landmarks and more. The topic of the series today is the State Street Redevelopment Project.

In the fall of 2013, Purdue University, the Purdue Research Foundation and the City of West Lafayette began work to reimagine the State Street corridor running through the heart of campus.

The plan: Transform State Street into an attractive and easy-to-navigate city point of pride. To create a corridor that would be friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians with tree-lined sidewalks, bicycle paths, enhanced safety features, greenspaces and more. To reinvigorate State Street to help drive growth in the local economy, create jobs and contribute to regional prosperity.

Groundbreaking for the $120 million State Street Redevelopment Project came in June 2016. Work stretched from the Wabash River through downtown West Lafayette and Purdue’s campus to its intersection at U.S. 231. Completed last fall, the project made many changes:

Riverfront district

  • New roundabout at State Street and Tapawingo Drive.
  • Redesigned travel lanes, turn lanes, and medians for improved traffic circulation.
  • Dedicated bicycle path on north side of State Street.
  • Enhanced business district with new lighting, street trees, greenspace and wayfinding.
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks for improved pedestrian access.
Chauncey Village area Chauncey Village area with new two-way traffic pattern, bicycle path and outdoor seating. (Photo provided) Download image

Chauncey Village

  • New two-way traffic pattern.
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks and bus stops for improved pedestrian safety.
  • Dedicated bicycle path on north side of State Street.
  • Improved access to Village businesses.
  • New outdoor gathering areas, lighting, street trees, greenspace, outdoor seating and wayfinding.

Purdue campus

  • Redesigned travel lanes and new two-way traffic patterns for intuitive navigation.
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks and bus stops for improved pedestrian safety.
  • Dedicated bicycle path on north side of State Street.
  • New lighting, street trees, landscaping and outdoor seating.

Western gateway

  • Redesigned travel lanes with convenient access to campus, Horticulture Park and Discovery Park District.
  • Improvements to Horticulture Park, including installation of native wetland plants and new trees and shrubs; cleanup of the park and trail system; installation of a pedestrian bridge; and creation of shared used paths connecting the park to the surrounding trail system.
  • Relocation of Todd's Creek to a more natural location within Horticulture Park to support wetland areas and help mitigate flooding in and around the area.
  • Redesigned travel lanes with convenient access to campus, Horticulture Park and Discovery Park District.
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks for improved pedestrian safety.
  • Shared use bicycle paths on the north and south sides of State Street.
  • New lighting, street trees and stormwater/drainage improvements.

Stadium Avenue and McCormick Road

  • More than 20,000 linear feet of new bicycle-pedestrian shared use paths with a connection from Third Street to the Northwest Athletic Center on Cherry Lane and new designated cycle track added primarily along Stadium Avenue between Northwestern Avenue and McCormick Road and along State Street from the Levee area east of campus to U.S. 231.
  • New roundabout at Stadium Avenue and McCormick Road.
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks for improved pedestrian safety.
  • New lighting, street trees and landscaping.
Aspire at Discovery Park Aspire at Discovery Park, a private $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex, is slated to open in mid-August. (Image provided by Balfour Beatty) Download image

Building off the State Street Redevelopment Project, Purdue in April 2018 unveiled a master plan for the $1 billion Discovery Park District that outlined a 30-year commitment to transform the west side of the West Lafayette campus into a mixed-use gateway for intellectual discourse and commercial partnerships.

Economic development initiative in the district could support 3,500 new high-tech jobs. Rolls-Royce open a research and development facility in 2017 and SEL Purdue is expected to open in FY20. 

Work on the new Aspire at Discovery Park, a three-building, 387,000-square-foot residential complex, is slated to be complete by August. The development includes studio, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartment styles. The complex also has committed 18,000 square feet for community and retail space in the facilities.

Also underway is the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, 145,000-square-foot resource hub for innovation, technology commercialization and entrepreneurial activities. The center will include a large lobby and plaza spaces for engagement and business activity and retail space on the first floor. Construction should be completed by December.

In the photos

Then: The intersection of State and University streets before the start of the redevelopment project. (Photo provided by Administrative Operations Communications)

Now: The intersection after the redevelopment project shows the redesigned travel lanes, new and reconstructed sidewalks, new bicycle path and new lighting. (Purdue University photo/Rebecca Wilcox)

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