Members of the team overseeing reconstruction of West Lafayette’s State Street say they’ve found several million dollars in savings that will allow them to expand the scope of the project.
Purdue University Legal Counsel Steve Schultz says the project management team and the developer, Plenary Roads State Street, went back through the initial construction agreement and freed up the $5.4 million needed to build a so-called perimeter parkway that rings the core development.
"We were able to move things around within this budget through cost-saving measures and through Purdue’s willingness to defer cost recovery to build more project within that already established budget," he says.
The city-Purdue partnership aims to convert State Street into a tree-lined two-way corridor that controls the flow of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists through the commercial areas of Wabash Landing and Chauncey Village to the university’s future aerospace technology park.
Redevelopment Commission Chairman Larry Oates says the city was adamant about finding funds to widen Airport Road and McCormick Road on the western edge of campus.
"Because we have a real fear that if we just change State Street to a two-way street that will just create a traffic bottleneck," he says. "And, what the perimeter parkway does is give you a route to get people around the campus."
The redevelopment commission and joint management team authorized the project modifications on Thursday.
Oates says the city’s $60 million financial commitment to the $120 million project is unchanged.
By speeding up the financing timetable, Schultz says Purdue and the developer will pay less in interest over the life of the project. Additionally, the university is banking on recouping its money from increased property taxes generated by new developments near the corridor.
Construction is scheduled to start this year and be completed by 2019.