Ask The Mayor: West Lafayette's John Dennis On Pricing People Out Of The City

Oct 4, 2018

The mayor says he doesn't think adding hundreds of the most expensive apartments in the county and retail space where rent is greatly increased from spaces in the current Chauncey Hill Mall will lead to a "haves and have-nots" culture in the city.
Credit City of West Lafayette

For months, tenants have slowly been moving out of West Lafayette’s Chauncey Hill Mall, in anticipation of the bulldozing of the space at the end of 2019. But current tenants are beginning to voice more concerns about what the redevelopment of the space – and the surrounding area – are doing to the economics of the neighborhood.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about whether his city’s need for enough tax revenue to pay off the State Street project is pushing local businesses – and, perhaps, some prospective renters and homeowners – out of the market.

It’s a topic one listener wants to know about, too – he reasons a college town should, logically, be a place where Indiana’s brain drain can be arrested. That seems less likely, he says, if the only housing that’s going up near the Purdue campus are apartments which can cost in the neighborhood of $4,000 a month to rent.