WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Neighbors and developers talked about what a large building would mean for the New Chauncey neighborhood's future.
Neighbors to the Wang Hall, also known as 516 Northwestern, said they still have questions, but are open to seeing if it will work for the neighborhood. The four-story building would be built in between McDonald's and the parking garage on Northwestern Avenue.
Some question if is the right fit for a neighborhood. It's not on Purdue's campus, but across the street. It will hold classrooms, offices and retail space, but what can't be created is more parking. Parking problems already plague those who live in the New Chauncey Neighborhood.
"I am concerned about the parking. I am concerned about the flow of traffic. Those things haven't been addressed," said New Chauncey resident Linda Eals.
The building would be a private development by the Purdue Research Foundation. The Foundation met with neighbors at the Purdue Technology Center to discuss the project. No parking plan was presented, but one is in the works.
"We believe we've identified a parking solution that will adequately serve the building," said Purdue Research Foundation Chief Operating Officer Joe Hornett.
Details remain unknown. The Purdue Research Foundation said the building will offer big benefits for the neighborhood. The City of West Lafayette is looking into creating a TIF or Tax Increment Finance district for the area. That would allow some of the tax money collected to be funneled back into the neighborhood. The hope is the cash could rehab some historic homes and attract families to the area.
"It's significantly non-residential now in terms of non-owner occupied homes. Estimates are between 60 to 75 percent are student rentals," said Hornett.
"That would be fantastic and I'm not so narrow minded to realize the potential is great," said Eals.
But other neighbors also worried there is the potential the project could change the neighborhood feel of New Chauncey.
The project will see it's first major test Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at the Area Plan Commission, which meets at the County Office Building in Lafayette. There will a public hearing about the building at 7 p.m. If the project gets approval, construction would begin in the spring of 2012 and the building would be done in 18 to 24 months.
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