UPDATED: Proposed Indiana Tech project would accommodate student housing, shops

This proposed four-story building would provide housing for Indiana Tech students on the upper floor and retail space at street level. (Courtesy image)
Matt Bair

The Indiana Tech building boom continues in the form of plans to add more student housing and retail space near its campus just east of downtown.

According to an application filed this week with the Allen County Department of Planning Services, the school is seeking to erect two buildings near 1411 E. Washington Blvd. across from the campus. One building would face East Washington and would include four stories, with student housing on the top three floors and space for shops at ground level. The other building would face Schick Street and include three residential floors. The stores would be available to both students and nearby residents, the application states.

But according to Indiana Tech spokesman Matt Bair, only the four-story, 100-bed, 44,000-square-foot building is currently planned. The second building is potential dorm but “we have no imminent plans for that,” he said

Indiana Tech is seeking waivers on height limitations to accommodate the plans. The waivers would allow the buildings to be consistent with existing structures and the ability to provide more interior space on a smaller footprint.

Construction has been common for Indiana Tech in recent years. The school is currently working to convert part of the Donald Ross Golf Club on South Calhoun Street into athletic facilities and has also announced it plans to lease 10,000 square feet in the Electric Works project on the former General Electric campus. In 2011 Indiana announced plans for a $4 million, three-story residence hall near Schick and East Washington after building a dorm in each of the previous four years. In 2010 Indiana tech also announced plans for an 18,500-square-foot “athletic annex.”

Bair could not say what the project will cost, but said the school is “in conversation with local partners to fill those (retail) spaces. We envision these spaces being places where students and members of the neighborhood can meet up for food, get a coffee or an adult beverage, etc.” The residential spaces will be geared toward sophomores, he said, with two beds per suite.” A primary focus of our newly developed strategic plan is growing our campus to provide more educational offerings for our students and give them a first-class experience while they are with us. We are currently at capacity in terms of housing and we expect our growth to continue, so the time is right to add more space for our students to live,” he added. For more information on that plan, go to https://strategicplan.indianatech.edu/

The project could be the subject of a public hearing next month, and construction could start in October, with occupancy in August 2019. Indiana tech’s current enrollment is about 1,700.

Because of a shortage of student housing, officials at Purdue University Fort Wayne recently said they would at least temporarily provide space in the nearby Holiday Inn across from the Memorial Coliseum.