Tippecanoe County's growing gains

What's it like to live in the fastest growing cities in the state? Greater Lafayette falls into that category this year.

Posted: May 9, 2018 6:36 PM
Updated: May 9, 2018 8:51 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Recent data shows Lafayette and West Lafayette are the fastest growing cities in the state.

"From a small ant to a large elephant," said Randy Griffith when asked about growth in Greater Lafayette. 


"Growth can be good," he added. 

"I was born here, so I've been here 80 years," said Joe Bumbleburg. "I think that over the years Lafayette has done a really wonderful, incredible job of moving into the modern day."

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski agrees. He said in a global economy, you're either growing or you're dying.

"Because the minute you think status quo is OK somebody is going to come in here and snatch up some of your businesses some of your resources, they're going to start draining all of your talent," said Roswarski. 

That's not happening in Greater Lafayette. Large companies like Subaru are expanding. Jobs are being created, money is flowing into the local economy and more people are moving to the community.

"This house sold almost before the ink dried on the listing contract," said Cathy Russell, owner of The Russell Company Real Estate. 

If you want to sell your house, do it now.

"Cause it's nothing like it has been in the past," explained Russell. 

Buyers are so willing, they're signing escalation clauses. It's a purchasing technique Russell just started seeing within the past year.

"They're going to bid on the house maybe full price, maybe a little under, maybe a little lower, but then they're going to escalate their offer up to their cap," said Russell. 

Sometimes she'll have 15 different offers at once. Russell knows why people fight to live here.

"Just a great sense of community, good schools, it's a great place to live," said Russell. 

Tippecanoe School Corporation has been growing since its inception.

"We're one of the largest employers in the county, so as our school corporation grows we're adding jobs," said TSC Superintendent Dr. Scott Hanback. 

Partnerships with local businesses and the University have allowed school corporations to better prepare students for jobs in the future too.

"The pending Greater Lafayette Career Academy. All three of us are going to come together and provide a place where students can have some significant curriculum that we might not be able to otherwise offer," said Hanback. 

"I think what's going on here is what needs to go on here," added West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. 

Dennis said the neighboring cities have done an excellent job deciding what fits where. In West Lafayette, it's a world renowned research university, tree tops and roof tops. Across the river, it's advanced manufacturing with a small town feel.

"Those individually are great things but collaboratively, you can see how that really is starting to bring a lot of attention to Greater Lafayette," said Dennis. 

It's bringing attention from both outside communities and lifetime residents like Shannon Smeltz.

"The restaurant scene is getting a lot more exciting and a lot more variety," said Smeltz. 

That's because of restaurateurs like Melissa Mckeithanrohwer who just opened Core Life Eatery this week. She owns two other restaurants in Greater Lafayette as well.

"Performance history of my existing brands tells me that this is a strong market," said Mckeithanrohwer. "And it's a really sound investment for future growth for my brand."

It's an easy sell to employees when quality of life is constantly improving.

"We are hiring people that are coming into the community to relocate for a better opportunity to raise their children," said Mckeithanrohwer.

That may be the greatest benefit of all to those living here. Shannon Smeltz is proud she chose Greater Lafayette to raise her family.

"I wouldn't consider raising them anywhere else," said Smeltz. 

It's not all rainbows and butterflies, though. There are some negatives that come with a rapidly growing community.
Including an increase in crime and homelessness.

Growing Pains airs Thursday night on News 18 at Six.

Lafayette
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Kokomo
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 51°
Rensselaer
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Lafayette
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 54°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 54°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Monticello
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 52°
Logansport
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Freezing to 80s & Storms...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 711787

Reported Deaths: 13252
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion970181723
Lake52028950
Allen39414672
Hamilton34709406
St. Joseph34386543
Elkhart27543433
Vanderburgh22109394
Tippecanoe21967213
Porter18043301
Johnson17600374
Hendricks16873310
Clark12728190
Madison12379337
Vigo12248244
Monroe11535166
LaPorte11258204
Delaware10390184
Howard9712211
Kosciusko9184114
Hancock8031139
Bartholomew7925155
Warrick7709155
Floyd7574176
Wayne6921198
Grant6862171
Boone6584100
Morgan6425138
Dubois6101117
Marshall5819109
Dearborn572076
Cass5706104
Henry5591101
Noble544583
Jackson494672
Shelby481995
Lawrence4351118
Gibson429789
Harrison429371
Clinton421853
Montgomery419387
DeKalb414484
Whitley383239
Huntington380480
Miami374165
Steuben368757
Knox367589
Putnam353660
Jasper352946
Wabash348578
Adams338453
Ripley335769
Jefferson318180
White309254
Daviess290199
Wells286981
Decatur279792
Fayette277362
Greene270685
Posey269533
Scott262053
LaGrange256170
Clay255245
Randolph236780
Washington231931
Spencer228231
Jennings225548
Fountain209845
Sullivan208342
Starke206452
Owen192956
Fulton192440
Jay186629
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178553
Rush170824
Vermillion166543
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford134131
Pike130934
Pulaski114445
Newton104434
Brown100740
Crawford98114
Benton97613
Martin83315
Warren80215
Switzerland7728
Union70210
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events