WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - One week after several members of West Lafayette city council expressed concern and disappointment with the possible future tenants of Wang Hall, they say it's not as big of an issue as they thought.
Construction continued on schedule for Wang Hall Tuesday afternoon, with a targeted completion date of next fall.
Back in 2011, after lots of neighborhood discussion, the building passed council unanimously as a mixed use development with classrooms, retail and office space.
But last week, several council members including Steve Dietrich and Ann Hunt questioned development officials about rumors that more areas of the building were being leased to Purdue, in turn, meaning fewer tax dollars for West Lafayette.
"That certainly was a major component in our decision-making process," said Dietrich.
But Purdue Research Foundation Senior Vice President Joe Hornett said about 10 percent of the 140,000 square foot facility will be used for a bank and other retail space, the same as was discussed two years ago.
"We had nobody signing any leases as of yet. We had a number of discussions but then the university came along," said Hornett.
Hornett adds about 8,000 square feet of retail space is still available, with about 20 possible tenants under consideration.
"I still hope they do something to try to increase the tax base," said Hunt.
"I still think it's good for the community. I still think it will be a great landmark," added Dietrich.
Hornett says the good thing with the current arrangement is that the building will be fully occupied as soon as the building opens. Also, with the building housing an expansion of the engineering program, it will mean an extra 100 faculty jobs will be needed.
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