- Purdue University announced that it has chosen Browning Investments LLC to develop its $1.2 billion, 450-acre, self-contained "live-work-play" community, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.
- The planned community, which should take 15 to 20 years to complete, will include housing, entertainment and business components meant to draw "the best faculty and students," according to Purdue officials.
- Browning said it could have a development plan as early as late this year, with construction set to begin soon after the plan is in place. The first major projects would include an 800-bed university housing project, a hotel and convention center and "an innovation hub" — a gateway for investment by venture capital firms and others interested in the university's intellectual capital.
Local officials said they hope the project won't just be a boon for the university but the city of West Lafayette as well, and that it will help to retain college graduates with employment opportunities. The city of West Lafayette and the university have already collaborated on the $120 million State Street project — another "quality of life" initiative by Purdue in the hopes of attracting students and staff talent.
Whether it's to draw or retain quality employees or just create a more walkable community, the construction of mixed-use facilities is on the rise. Even new sports complexes like the $1 billion Texas Rangers stadium includes shopping, dining and hotel and convention center elements.
In addition, companies like Verizon, which has a $1 billion mixed-use complex in the works in Texas, see these kinds of developments as a way to draw "transit-oriented" employees who are looking for a high-quality employment experience, where they can live, work and find entertainment options all in the same area without having to commute or spend a lot of time driving to their destinations.