WEST LAFAYETTE – Wandering West Lafayette’s Village, a few blocks from Purdue University, Friday morning, Sam Tressler couldn’t help noticing – and stating – the obvious.
For one: “This place is a ghost town today,” Tressler, a 1997 Purdue grad from Indianapolis, said on what she said was an annual sweep through campus memories and a stop at Von’s Books over the holiday. (On Friday afternoon, she also thought she might meet friends at Harry’s Chocolate Shop to watch the Boilermakers in the Music City Bowl, but wondered if campus during winter break really was going to be the most exciting option.)
For another: “It’s looking a lot different around here,” she said.
On that second point, she was referring to the skeletons of Rise on Chauncey and Hub Plus, a pair of high-rise projects expected to start leasing apartments to the Purdue student crowd in time for the fall 2019 semester.
“So tall,” she said. “So many cranes.”
Once finished the two projects on State Street, near the corner of Chauncey Avenue, will be part of what a new report from the Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission calls “the greatest increase in multi-family units in the city’s history.”
Nine projects, each under construction or about to start and each aimed for the Purdue market, are expected to add 2,519 bedrooms in parts of West Lafayette, near campus, according to an annual Tippecanoe County Student Rental Report, released Dec. 19.
But is it enough in a report that suggests vacancy rates near campus have dipped well below 1 percent, as Purdue enrollment grows?