The Ball State University Board of Trustees on Friday approved five important contracts to advance the implementation of the University’s Village Revitalization Plan.
- The Board approved Build Operate Transfer (BOT) agreements that authorize the University to sign agreements with development firm Fairmount Properties to lead the design and construction of the new Performing Arts Center (Site 1 in the Village Revitalization Plan) and the Center for Innovation (Site 3). Both facilities will be transferred to the University upon completion of construction.
- The Board authorized the University to sign a 75-year ground lease with Indianapolis-based Schahet Hotels. The company will build and operate an upscale Tapestry by Hilton Hotel franchise connected to the Performing Arts Center.
- The Board also authorized the University to sign two purchase agreements that enable the University to acquire a total of seven properties located on two Village sites. Plans call for these sites to include retail and restaurant tenants, apartments, and the Center for Innovation connecting to Ball State’s East Mall.
“We are excited to take these significant steps forward in our Village Revitalization Plan,” said Rick Hall, who was appointed chair of the Ball State Board of Trustees at Friday’s meeting. “We know how much The Village means to the community and to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I look forward to this revitalized district again becoming a hub for arts and culture, restaurants, retail, and other social activity.”
The Performing Arts Center (PAC), a modern venue for Ball State Theatre and Dance students, is expected to host more than 160 University performances and draw more than 35,000 people to The Village each year to attend those performances. Located at the northeast corner of University and McKinley Avenues in Muncie, the PAC will be a two-story structure with a lower level that includes:
- A main stage theatre with seating for 425 spectators
- A studio “black box” theatre with seating for 175 spectators
- Dressing rooms
- A lobby connected to the hotel
- A scene shop, costume shop, and lighting and sound shops
The Tapestry by Hilton Hotel, which will be connected to the Performing Arts Center, will be a four-story structure that includes:
- A total of 95 guest rooms, including seven suites
- A ground-floor bar and restaurant
- A rooftop bar and lounge
Construction on the PAC and hotel could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Fall 2026.
The Center for Innovation will be located at the southeast corner of Ashland and Martin Streets, just south of the new Alderdice Gates. It will be a three-story, 30,000 square-foot-facility that will leverage the following University resources to promote entrepreneurship and business expansion in the region:
Construction on the Center for Innovation could begin in Fall 2024 and be completed by Summer 2026.
The Board on Friday also approved purchase agreements for seven properties across two Village sites, both currently owned by Cardinal Properties:
- The University will purchase five properties on Site 2, located on the southeast corner of University and McKinley Avenues. This site will include retail and restaurant tenants, as well as apartments.
- Ball State will also purchase two properties on Site 3, which will become the Center for Innovation.
“Revitalizing The Village is a strategic initiative that will provide sustained benefits to our campus and to the community. The Performing Arts Center and the Center for Innovation will be University-owned buildings fulfilling a permanent University need while also generating strong community engagement,” Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said. “I am grateful to our Board of Trustees for approving these contracts to move forward with three key sites in our revitalization plan.”
In December, the University announced it had received a $35 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., through its College and Community Collaboration initiative, to support the Village Revitalization Plan. The majority of the grant will support the design and construction of the Performing Arts Center, the principal catalyst for the entire Village plan.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Ball State to advance this ambitious project—a project that’s been decades in the making and that will fundamentally change the future of our great city,” Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour said. “From creating new entertainment, dining, and housing options to generating increased tax revenue to helping reverse property declines in this near-campus commercial district, the benefits of a revitalized Village are tremendous.”
The University’s ability to formally execute all agreements relative to the Village Revitalization Plan is conditioned on receiving approval from several state entities, including the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.