Indiana State University Newsroom

State Budget Committee Oks revised student housing/retail project

December 20, 2013

The State Budget Committee has approved a revised plan for a student housing and retail complex in downtown Terre Haute.

Committee members on Friday endorsed a 30-year lease agreement between Indiana State University and ThompsonThrift Development that calls for construction of a five-story building in the 500 block of Wabash Ave. The estimated $18.7 million project will provide apartments for upper class students in the top four floors with retail space on the ground floor.

ThompsonThrift will construct the building and be responsible for leasing the retail space while the university will lease the residential portion with an option to purchase. Contractors on the project will be covered by Indiana's prevailing wage law.

"We appreciate the bi-partisan support of the State Budget Committee and are pleased ThompsonThrift was able to work with us on a revised lease that addresses the committee's concerns," said university President Dan Bradley. "This project will be another step forward for our strategic plan goals of providing expanded housing options for students while also serving as a catalyst for downtown development.

The committee tabled the project earlier this year when some members expressed concern about the cost, potential increases in rent for students choosing to live downtown and the fact that the original proposal did not include provisions for the university to eventually own the building. In addition to a purchase option, the revised agreement reduces the cost of the project in order to make it financially feasible.

"Unfortunately, we will not be able to save the historic facades of existing buildings as we had initially hoped, but this project will complement the architecture of neighboring downtown buildings while also providing the housing amenities students want," said Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs and finance at Indiana State.

Paul Thrift, president of ThompsonThrift, said he is pleased for the university and its students that the project can move forward.

"I applaud President Bradley's commitment to the project and the fulfillment of one of the university's major goals in its long-term strategic plan. Only through his leadership has it been possible to reach the point we are at today," Thrift said. "I can't overemphasize the importance of this student housing and retail project to the city's and the University's futures. Its impact on developing downtown into an attractive and active business, retail and residential center will be significant."

Construction is expected to start in the spring with the building ready for occupancy by fall 2015, McKee said.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said he is excited about the project and believes it will be "the next big step" in downtown revitalization.

"Housing projects such as this obviously bring more people to live in the heart of the city, which in turn provides additional business growth opportunities," Bennett said.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or