A Chicago-based businessman wants to build the largest privately owned development ever to be constructed near Purdue’s campus.
Marc Muinzer, the Purdue alumnus who founded Boilercribs, has been active in developing properties in the Purdue Village and near Mackey Arena. According to the city’s director of development, Chandler Poole, Muinzer is one of many developers who are interested in properties close to Purdue’s campus. Muinzer owns the strip mall located at 720 Northwestern Ave. that houses several business including Mad Mushroom Pizza, the University Book Store and Jimmy John’s. His plan is to redevelop that property and the adjacent apartment complex into a larger version of the building that houses Noodles & Co. at 102 N Chauncey Ave.
“Everyone wants to be as close as they can to the Mackey Arena area and the Purdue Village area,” Muinzer said. “We are actively working with architects, engineers and having some conversations with city officials about really doing a cool project.”
Like the Noodles & Co. building, the development would be commercial on the first floor and residential on the top floors. Muinzer said he has had interest from the existing tenants as well as outside businesses including restaurants and stores. That mixed-use model is what Poole said city hopes to use more in the Purdue Village area.
“You start thinking about what these other schools have – we don’t have them,” Poole said.
Poole pointed to stores such as Urban Outfitters and Patiya, clothing stores located near the University of Illinois and Indiana University’s campuses. Muinzer worked to bring Urban Outfitters to Purdue in 2008, and although his effort was unsuccessful at the time, he said the economy’s rebound makes him hopeful that stores similar to it will be moving into Purdue.
City Councilor Eddie VanBogaert, D-District 1, said he thinks it’s important for the Village to bring in stores other Big Ten universities have. He thinks there is a big opportunity to increase the number of entertainment venues near campus.
“I think that we need to make sure we are still providing these opportunities to Purdue students so that our university remains competitive,” he said.
Joshua Teasdale, who is running for the council seat against VanBogaert, said he wants to look into what city codes and polices need to be changed to accommodate more businesses.
“I think we really need a grocery store near campus,” he said.