June 13, 2016

Purdue, Browning partner on $1 billion development district to transform west side of campus

Daniels district The Purdue Research Foundation and Browning Investment are partnering on a $1.2 billion Discovery Park District, which includes as much as 7 million square feet of interior building space including restaurants; retail, office and business spaces; parks; research facilities; and industrial space. The project is slated to take place over a 15-20-year period and support other enhancements occurring on the western side of the Purdue University campus including the State Street Redevelopment Project, Purdue Research Park Aerospace District and Horticulture Park. (Purdue Research Foundation graphic/Oren Darling) Download image

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. and WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Research Foundation and Browning Investments LLC, announced today a partnership to develop approximately 450 acres at the west end of the Purdue University campus called the Discovery Park District.

Development will total several million square feet with total investment in excess of $1 billion. Browning and Purdue Research Foundation have come together to build a preeminent environment for educational, economic, cultural, community and real estate development with a long-term plan and vision.

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

Browning will lead a comprehensive master planning effort that will take place over several months and produce a design for streets, land use, infrastructure, and open spaces that serves as a road map for future development. The full plan will include student housing; non-student residential; hospitality; lab, research and other collaboration spaces; office; discovery and entrepreneurial spaces; retail; public spaces; and aerospace industry-focused research, advanced manufacturing and light industrial space.

“This is a tremendous long-term opportunity to develop several million square feet across a full spectrum of property types,” said Adam Chavers, senior vice president of Browning. “The vision is large enough that Browning and other developers will be executing vertical development over the next 15 to 20 years.”  

The development project is in large part due to the history of collaboration among Purdue, Browning, and West Lafayette, and will complement other initiatives already taking place on the west side of campus including 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.

"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,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “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."

With nearly 50 percent of Purdue undergraduate students living on campus, Purdue's on-campus housing is experiencing a 17-year high. It is anticipated that number will increase in the coming academic year. Purdue data show that students who live on campus are more likely to graduate in four years, stay in school at a higher rate than their off-campus peers, earn better grades and are more likely to have leadership opportunities, according to Mike Shettle, Purdue University Residences director of administration.

The Discovery Park District will support Purdue's long-term enhancement and improved quality-of-life goals.

"We are working to support Purdue's mission including the support of research, innovation, economic development and community development by linking faculty, staff, students, visitors and area residents," said Brian Edelman, Purdue Research Foundation COO. "But this is a full university and community effort as there are many, many individuals and entities working together to create a place where world-changing ideas become reality. The State Street Redevelopment Project, Horticulture Park, Aerospace District and now Discovery Park District will do more than construct buildings, vibrant thoroughfares and development spaces. The researchers, students, staff, community members and private industry groups will work together to test new lifestyle and collaboration models of the future."

Interest in developing areas around university campuses has increased in the past decade.

"Districts surrounding university campuses have always been viewed as lively places for students, but they are now recognized as key areas where students and community members can fully enjoy the experience of living near an academic environment," said Michael B. Cline, Purdue University vice president for physical facilities. "The entire look and feel of the Purdue campus will benefit from this and other new initiatives."

Enabled largely by the State Street project, development of the Discovery Park District is expected to begin late this year or early 2017.

"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," said John Dennis, mayor of West Lafayette. "The Discovery Park 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."

It is anticipated that the impact of the planned district will go well beyond the area.

Jeff Kanable, director of the Discovery Park District, said Indianapolis-based Browning was chosen because of its expertise in long-term development projects.

"Browning has a strong history in funding, creating, and executing comprehensive plans for major long-term projects," Kanable said. "We are confident in their leadership in the development of the Discovery Park District as well as the Research Park Aerospace District."

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org

About Browning

Founded in 1977, Browning remains one of the premier development companies in Indianapolis and is engaged in the acquisition, development, construction, leasing, management, ownership and disposition of investment real estate properties, primarily in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. In total, Browning has developed and constructed more than 22 million square feet of space. To learn more, visit: www.browninginvestments.com

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org

Media contact: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu


Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

John Hirschman, jhirschman@browninginv.com

Adam Chavers, achavers@browninginv.com

Brian Edelman, 765-588-1039, beedelman@prf.org

John Dennis, jdennis@westlafayette.in.gov

Michael B. Cline, 765-494-8000

Jeff Kanable, 765-588-1065, jlkanable@prf.org

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-22 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.