Research Foundation News

January 9, 2018

Construction of $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex to begin in Purdue west-side development district

Aspire rendering Construction begins this month on a private $86 million, 835-bed apartment complex that is the first facility in a $1 billion development called 'Discovery Park District' on the west side of the Purdue University campus. Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, a leading developer and operator of infrastructure projects for the college and university market, reports that the four-story, three-building, 387,000-square-foot complex called “Aspire at Discovery Park” includes studio, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartment styles. (Image provided by Balfour Beatty) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – 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 today (Jan. 9).

Balfour Beatty, a leading developer and operator of infrastructure projects for the college and university market and Walsh Investors, a Chicago-based infrastructure and real estate investment  firm, reports that the four-story, three-building, 387,000-square-foot 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 square feet 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 Street, a major east-west artery running through campus.

“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 square feet of interior building space including restaurants; retail, office and businesses spaces; 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.

About Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions

Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions LLC provides development, asset/property management, and other real estate services to colleges, universities and their affiliated entities with a special focus on projects utilizing a public-private partnership model. The company offers an alternative solution for higher education institutions to finance and execute their necessary capital plans, including academic facilities for faculty, classrooms and labs, athletic spaces, wellness centers and student housing. Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions is part of Balfour Beatty Investments Inc., a global company focused on financing and operating the vital assets that enable societies and economies to grow roads and railways, health and education facilities, power and water systems, places to live and places to work — the infrastructure that underpins progress. Balfour Beatty Investments is a division of Balfour Beatty plc, a U.K.-based international infrastructure group operating in construction services, support services and infrastructure investments.

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

About Walsh Investors

Walsh Investors, LLC is the investment arm of the Walsh family, owners of The Walsh Group.  Walsh Investors, through direct investment and various partnerships and joint ventures, invests in infrastructure projects and office, industrial and residential developments throughout the United States and Canada.  The Walsh Group is a 120-year-old company operating as Walsh Construction, Archer Western and Walsh Canada across 18 regional offices. The company is ranked as the 11th largest contractor in the United States according to Engineering News-Record. Additional information about The Walsh Group can be found at


Maureen Omrod, Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions, 610-355-8136,

Cynthia Sequin, Purdue Research Foundation,

Pete Doherty, Walsh Group, (312) 492-1533,

Research Foundation News

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