Residents, business owners concerned about incoming high-rise

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — West Lafayette residents and business owners have concerns over a more than $50 million tower that’s coming to the city. The high-rise will include apartments, retail space and underground parking.

“It’s a huge problem I think — adding giant huge structures to shadow and dwarf everything else,” said John Von Erdmannsdorff, owner of Von’s at the top of Chauncey Hill.

Von Erdmannsdorff has owned the business for 50 years. But he said the new high-rise may put his shop in jeopardy.

“The vast bulk of the people in the city don’t want it and people see all the kinds of problems that will go along with it,” said Von Erdmannsdorff.

The Rise at Chauncey was approved by the city council earlier this month and will be built across from Chauncey mall, where the University Lutheran Church currently sits. It will include three wings that are 13, 15 and 16 stories, making it the tallest building in the city.

“I think it’s 289 units and a total of 675 beds,” said Erik Carlson, West Lafayette’s director of development.

The bottom floor will be retail space.

Von Erdmannsdorff is mostly worried about limited parking will force drivers to park in spaces reserved for his customers.

“The biggest business problem is if I have to have someone monitoring my parking lot 24 hours a day or I won’t have any parking for my customers,” he said.

The tower will have more than 200 available parking spaces underground. The idea behind the project is to free up space for pedestrians and walkers.

“To really get cars off of the street because that’s one of the things that has been aimed at this,” Carlson said. “Because we’ve noticed that less and less college students drive cars these days.”

Residents are also concerned about a lack of green space. But Carlson said the complex will actually add some green space.

“This will have green roof elements to it, as well and planters along the side walk,” said Carlson.

Residents and business owners will now play the waiting game.

“The public is going to have to figure out how to deal with it later on. And there is not going to be an easy solution,” said Von Erdmannsdorff.