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A historic building and former ATO Fraternity house could be torn down if new proposal is approved

The owner of the building is asking to tear the historic building down and develop a four-story apartment building with retail space below.

Posted: Sep 16, 2021 12:28 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- A proposal for a mixed-use building in West Lafayette could demolition the former ATO House.

The owner is asking to tear the historic building down and develop a four-story apartment building with retail space below. The development would have 51 residential units, over 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a 31-space ground-level parking garage.

For close to a hundred years, the house was home to the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

However, ATO stopped renting the house last year and it's been vacant since.

Several people spoke out against this proposed development, including Purdue University itself.

General Counsel for Purdue Steve Schultz gave Purdue's formal opposition at the Area Plan Commission Meeting tonight.

He says, that the University feels that the mixed-use development is inconsistent with Purdue's master plan.

He added that Purdue planned on preserving the property for congregate living space in the future since it is a historic building and is on the national registry.

However, Dan Teder, the attorney representing the owner of the building says, Purdue was interested in the development previously.

"Purdue's been made very much aware of this situation and to come in 6 to 8 months later and say it doesn't fit with the master plan," said Teder. "Well, what about our master plan?" 

Even though the building is designated as historic, it has no protection since it's not in a historic district. That means the building can be torn down regardless. 

The Area Plan Commission passed the proposal 12 to 5. It now goes to West Lafayette City Council for approval.

If approved the 12 to 15 million dollar project could break ground in the Spring of 2022. To see the proposal click here. 

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