Construction continues on Aspire at Discovery Park District, 1245 W State st., Friday, July 5, 2019 in Lafayette. (Photo: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
Construction continues on Aspire at Discovery Park District, 1245 W State st., Friday, July 5, 2019 in Lafayette. (Photo: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
WEST LAFAYETTE – When the first privately built apartments in Purdue’s new Discovery Park District open in mid-August, part of the 835-bed complex will double as a stand-in for the Union Club Hotel, as the 90-year-old hotel is closed for a year’s worth of renovations.

Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions – the firm building the Aspire at Discovery Park complex where some of Purdue’s Married Student Housing once stood – is asking to rezone the 4.8-acre site along State Street to allow for up to 50 “transient guest rentals,” Tippecanoe County’s equivalent to a short-term, Airbnb-style overnight rental.

The application comes months after Purdue asked to lease 340 beds for the 2019-20 academic year to help handle what’s expected to be another record enrollment.

That means, if negotiations come together between Balfour Beatty and the Purdue Research Foundation, the $86 million Aspire project could open with 46 percent of its capacity dedicated for the next year to Purdue contracts.

Rich Michal, vice president of facilities for the Purdue Research Foundation, said PRF and Balfour Beatty are negotiating the deal now. He said he was confident terms would come together before Aspire opened and before the first home football weekend on Sept. 7, when Purdue hosts Vanderbilt. Football weekends typically meant sellouts for the Union Club Hotel, a 1926-bed lodging option attached to the Purdue Memorial Union.

“We felt like with losing those beds at the Union, between now and next summer while it’s renovated, it was a win-win,” Michal said. “We can help Balfour Beatty get a little bit of a leg up in filling up rooms, and we can help the President’s Council and alumni and the development office in maintaining strong relations with those who have counted on the Union Club Hotel through the years.”
Copyright © 2019 www.jconline.com