The Boldly Wabash Avenue Neighborhood Enhancement Plan is the culmination of a year long project engaging its residents, businesses and stakeholders. This future vision for the Wabash Avenue neighborhood was funded and facilitated by the City of Lafayette Economic Development Department with consultant group MKSK. The Wabash Avenue Neighborhood Enhancement plan entitled, Boldly Wabash, lays out a path for the future. The rich heritage, close-knit village feel, and the authenticity of people who call Wabash Avenue home are part of the reason why this is such a fantastic place! The Boldly Wabash planning process was a vehicle for resident engagement to honor their past heritage, take stock of the present and advocate for their future. This engagement included not only the residents but businesses, faith based organizations, churches, government entities, civic, and cultural organizations as well. The neighborhood residents steered the direction for the work and was active in all aspects.
The City of Lafayette and Rebar Development announced a new $17.7 million mixed-use project slated for downtown. The planned project, called The Ellsworth, meets several of the City’s goals identified in their downtown plan, brings economic investment to an opportunity zone, and was awarded a redevelopment tax credit from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Planned for the southwest corner of 5th and South Streets, The Ellsworth project redevelops a key, currently underutilized parcel next to Regions Bank. Designated an Opportunity Zone by Governor Eric Holcomb to encourage capital investment in economically distressed areas, the project will stimulate economic development and vibrancy along South Street, while bringing additional population density downtown. The Ellsworth pays homage to downtown Lafayette’s history with timeless architecture and high-quality materials. The five-story project includes 97 loft apartments, 2,000 sq. ft. of commercial space along South Street, and 40 public parking spaces during business hours. Planned to attract and retain young professionals, empty nesters, and a growing workforce to downtown, the modern lofts include luxury furnishings and building amenities, including an indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge, a courtyard with a dog park, fitness room, media room, pet washing station, indoor bike storage, and incredible views of downtown Lafayette.
Built in 1938 as an urban cinema, the Lafayette Theatre was purchased by the City of Lafayette to stabilize its use as a leading venue for arts and entertainment downtown. Along with the Long Center for the Performing Arts, these two facilities will complement each other providing greater choices to host a variety of shows for Greater Lafayette’s citizens. After careful study, the City is planning for extensive upgrades and renovations to enhance the user experience. The Theater will be maintained and owned by the City of Lafayette but managed by the non-profit Long Center community board.
Located at 200 S. 4th Street in downtown Lafayette, Nova Tower is a $16,800,000 mixed-use development with 76 apartment units and 6,000 square feet of commercial space. This five-story project has a striking modern design and high-end finishes with 84 parking spaces at grade (most below the 2nd floor), an on-site lobby and business center, and an Anytime Fitness facility in the 2nd floor commercial space. The NOVA project will continue the transformation of the south end of downtown Lafayette and the 4th Street corridor, catering to young professionals, graduate students, empty nesters, and any other resident seeking walkability to all that downtown has to offer. Developed by a joint venture between Jackson Dearborn Partners, Green Street Realty, and Illumination International, NOVA LAFAYETTE, LLC started construction in Spring 2020 for a planned opening in 2022. The project will create two full-time and six part-time positions as well as 128 temporary construction jobs. The Lafayette Redevelopment Commission is pledging an Economic Development Bond not to exceed $1.9M paid by a portion of the project’s property tax increment revenue to support and ensure the project’s feasibility.
ThePullman Station Apartment Complex is located at the corner of 5th and South Streets. The five-story mixed-use project features 76 apartments and 7,900-square-feet of commercial and retail space on the first floor, plus a parking facility. Construction of the $12.5 million project came at a time when a city-generated study suggested that downtown Lafayette can support 550 to 800 more housing units by 2022 to meet the demands of the growing population. To support and make feasible the project, an approximately $1.2M economic development bond was issued by the Redevelopment Commission. The bond will be paid by its property tax receipts. This bond is based on an amount of approximately 75% of the estimated property tax revenue that will be generated. Construction was completed in April 2020.
The Tippecanoe Arts Federation partnered with the City of Lafayette and the Redevelopment Commission, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lafayette, and the Wabash Avenue Neighborhood Association to develop and implement Wabash Walls. This is a hybrid of TAF's Mural Art Initiative and Visiting Artist Program which is a collaborative and educational outreach program that brings together communities and underserved populations. By engaging artists and stakeholders such as building owners and young people, the program shows how public art can unite communities and activate spaces. Area students and residents of Wabash Avenue work in tandem with several artists to de-sign and execute the murals throughout the neighborhood. Members of the Neighborhood developed themes through a brainstorming session wherein individuals offered words that they felt captured what Wabash Avenue meant to them. This place-keeping program has caused economic and community development to occur in the Wabash Avenue Neighborhood.