Changes coming to the village

Taylor Staples

According to a press release by Ball State, The Ball State University Board of Trustees took a major step on Friday to advance a long-term, phased revitalization plan for the Village.

The comprehensive plan includes a performing arts center for university events. This performing arts center will be the anchor for the commercial district, and the university’s investment in the center will leverage approximately $100 million in private investment. Once the project is completed, the Village will provide a “best-in-class, multigenerational district driven by arts and culture, entertainment, and innovation with new options in dining, retail, service, hospitality, living, and gathering”.

They are not removing any existing buildings along with this plan.

The new performing arts center will consist of two new performance venues for Ball State Theater and Dance students.

This process has been two years in the making and will be done with the development firm, Fairmount Properties.

As a result of the partnership with the university, Fairmount Properties will invest approximately $100 million to design and construct a hotel, a mix of retailers and restaurants, innovation spaces for office and research use, and apartments and townhouses.

The living spaces will provide an attractive, convenient residential area for employees of Ball State, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, and other Muncie businesses.

“This important revitalization on the edge of our beautiful campus will attract community members from throughout our region, enhancing the appeal of our University and our city,” President Mearns said. “For residents, this work will enhance the quality of the place in Muncie. And for businesses, this work will promote talent retention and spur economic growth. I am grateful to our trustees for their support for this vital initiative.”

“The proposed partnership will re-establish the Village as a regional destination and reinforces the strong town-gown partnership between Ball State University and the City of Muncie,” said Mayor Dan Ridenour, who attended Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “This revitalization restores a true cultural district to the Village area that will serve the Muncie community and the entire region.”

The university anticipates that the development agreement will be completed by the end of 2022, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in 2024.

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