Pedestrian traffic moves along University Avenue in the Village Friday morning.  (Photo: Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press)
Pedestrian traffic moves along University Avenue in the Village Friday morning.  (Photo: Jordan Kartholl/The Star Press)
MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State University is taking steps to breathe new life into The Village retail-residential district at the edge of campus.

"The university has developed and is in the process of issuing a request for information, or an RFI, seeking ideas or concepts for developing sites adjacent to The Village and Ball State," Jim Lowe, an associate vice president at Ball State, told the board of trustees on Friday.

"RFI's will be sent to over 50 developers requesting input from private real estate developers to assist Ball State with investigating ideas for potential development in this area," Lowe continued.

Ball State's long-range plan calls for a potential "mixed-use" building on a vacant city block that it owns in The Village at the northeast corner of McKinley and University avenues.

But the university is broadening the scope of the potential project to include the entire Village neighborhood.

"Originally, the thinking was focusing on that little block, but you can't focus on the little block without focusing on the full area, because there has to be some synergy in how this all develops," Lowe said.

A mixed-use neighborhood is associated with living, working and playing in the same  place — a pedestrian-friendly blend of residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and other land uses. 

The university is hoping to interest developers in a project or projects rather than trying to do something on its own

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