West Lafayette Stadium Square Strip Mall Development Interview

Listen to the full phone interview:

MP3: [audio:http://themediacollective.org/wp-content/uploads/newschannelinternet/2011-Interviews/themediacollective.org-Stadium%20Square%20Strip%20Mall%20Interview.mp3]

Download the West Lafayette Stadium Square Strip Mall Development Interview (35:39) MP3 | OGG

We had the pleasure of speaking with Marc from Boilercribs about their development plans for the Stadium Square Strip Mall (currently housing Mad Mushroom Pizza, Jimmy Johns, Taste of China, University Bookstore, Emporium Hairstyling Center):

View Larger Map

The background:

Marc, from Boilercribs, and his real estate development company are planning a 10-story high rise in place of the Stadium Square strip mall (~13,000 square ft) and adjacent apartment building (see map above). The new building will be (and these are just approximations since everything is still in the planning stages):

  • The main floor would be commercial retail space (~30,000 – 40,000 square feet)
  • Floors 2 – 10 would be apartments ranging from 1 bedroom to 4 bedrooms

On June 17th, Marc announced on Twitter:

In conjunction w our development plans across from Mackey, #BoilerCribs will contribute $250,000 cash to support the neighborhoods.

This prompted a flurry of interest from all over, including us here at the Media Collective. We scheduled an interview and have the audio available below.

In discussing the $250,000 announcement, Marc learned that the city of West Lafayette and surrounding neighborhood would like to see projects that focus on protecting, revitalizing, rehabilitating, rejuvenating the neighborhoods. The individual projects are still being discussed as this is very much in the early planning stages.

According to Marc, in tandem with the recent new construction and renovation of Mackey Arena, the Purdue Athletic Department is also trying to develop an environment where locals do not come just 30 minutes before a game, but spend a couple of hours in the area beforehand.

A specific area of concern for us is the particular commercial entities that would call this new building their home. Marc stated in the interview that several commercial enterprises already established on other Big Ten universities have expressed interest in this new development. Due to the proximity of the structure to the New Chauncey Neighborhood, the types of businesses (chain, franchise, original) will determine the community and culture that will develop there.

We understand that the term local business is not a binary, but a scale. Studies have been done that show the more locally-minded the business is, the greater amount of their capital is spent (on goods, services, wages, taxes, etc.) in the local economy. We would like to see original (not chains or franchises) businesses move into this new development. Especially ones that maximize spending their capital in the local economy. This, along with the cultural and community impact, should be at the forefront of the business recruitment process.

One idea we forgot to mention to Marc was to approach established local businesses (e.g. Triple XXX, Greyhouse, Von’s, Vienna, etc.) and see if they would be interested in pursuing a venture in this new space.

Thanks to Marc’s determination and appreciation of the benefits in transparency, he is encouraging everyone with an interest in this project to contact him (Facebook, Twitter, website). Along with input, he will also release the plans for the development to the public. With an emphasis on an open and democratic process, the new development will, hopefully, fit the cultural, community, and economic needs of the people who live in the New Chauncey Neighborhood and not just those of the outside businesses that have expressed interest.

UPDATE 2011-06-20

There was a brief question on Twitter about Mad Mushroom losing it’s location:

bwheaton07: No more Mad Mush? http://t.co/WSrxbsv

Boilercribs: quite the contrary, hoping they want to be part of new development. Love mad mush! RT “@bwheaton07: No more Mad Mush? http://t.co/GVQMIV5

This story has also caused WBBA and J&C to take notice:

Boilercribs: Phone interview with @wbaanews @mikeloizzo at 10:15am today regarding our stadium development and $250,000 neighborhood contribution

amandahamon: Just spoke with Marc from @BoilerCribs. The company is planning a 10-story high rise at Stadium Square mall in WL. More @jconline soon.

Here is a link to the first Journal and Courier article, Developer plans 10-story high rise in WL.

Update 2011-06-21

The Journal and Courier released a second article about the development, 10-story plan floated for site across from Mackey.

WLFI has joined in the fun with an interview:

@spooling Erick Thomas: As a student I fully support this Marc RT @Boilercribs: just had phone interview with @WLFI re our proposed 10 story high-rise

Marc was also Tweeted this:

@Boilercribs Just had largest online real estate publication in country reach out to me for potential interview, this is going national

The story even made the AP news wire, Plans for 10-story tower near Purdue worries some.

This is very exciting.