The Ball State University Board of Trustees on Friday approved a development agreement for a revitalization plan for The Village, a commercial district located immediately adjacent to the campus.

The agreement is the next step by Ball State and development firm Fairmount Properties to create a best-in-class, multigenerational district driven by arts and culture, entertainment, and innovation. The comprehensive plan, which includes a new performing arts center, is also expected to include a new select-service hotel and new dining, retail, and gathering options for the area.

“We are excited to continue to move forward with our collective vision for The Village,” Board Chair Renae Conley said. “Working together with our partners at Fairmount Properties, we look forward to enhancing the appeal of our University and our city.”

Under plans approved Friday:

  • Site No. 1, located on the northeast corner of University and McKinley Avenues in Muncie, will include the new performing arts center and a privately-owned hotel and thematic restaurant. Construction could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Fall 2026.

  • Site No. 2, located on the southeast corner of University and McKinley Avenues, will include retail and restaurant tenants, as well as apartments. A potential start date for construction is yet to be determined.

  • Site No. 3, located on the southeast corner of Ashland Avenue and Martin Street, will include an innovation center—a mix of university and private tenants—and a connection to Ball State’s East Mall. Construction could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Summer 2026.

  • Site No. 4, located on the southwest corner of University Avenue and Martin Street, will include an activity center and event plaza. Construction could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Summer 2026.

  • Site No. 5, located between North and Gilbert Streets, will include for-sale townhomes/condos and apartments. A first phase of construction could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Summer 2026.

The University has prioritized revitalizing The Village, which has experienced a slow, steady decline in recent years. In Ball State’s ambitious strategic plan, Destination 2040: Our Flight Path, community engagement is one of the University’s primary goals. Implementing a long-term, phased plan to revitalize The Village is a key strategic imperative of that goal.

The University’s investment in the performing arts center—the catalytic anchor for the revitalized commercial district—is expected to leverage approximately $80 million in private investment into the project.

“I am grateful to our trustees for their continued support of this important initiative,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “At Ball State, as outlined in our strategic plan, we have pledged to partner with the community to improve the lives of our neighbors. We anticipate this project serving as a catalyst for other collaborative opportunities with community stakeholders to enhance the quality of life and place in and around Muncie.”

The Board of Trustees also approved the University’s General Fund Budget and Salary and Wage plans for the 2023-24 academic year, as well as tuition and mandatory fee rates that continue to position Ball State as one of the most affordable schools in the Midwest—especially among institutions within Indiana and the Mid-American Conference.

“As we have done historically for the last decade-plus, our Board continues to focus on keeping rates unchanged or very low if increases are necessary,” Trustee Conley said. “Our students and families—as well as Indiana taxpayers—depend on us to ensure Ball State remains accessible and affordable.”

Ball State continues to provide the lowest in-state undergraduate tuition and room and board rates among all 12 MAC schools.