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  • This artist's rendering shows Indiana Tech's planned building that would include retail space and housing. (Courtesy Indiana Tech)

  • Indiana Tech is planning a four-story, 44,000-square-foot building that would include retail space and housing for students. (Courtesy Indiana Tech)

Saturday, August 11, 2018 1:00 am

Tech files plan for dorm with 1st-floor retail

To allow students, neighbors meet up for food or coffee

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Indiana Tech officials hope to begin construction in October on a four-story, 44,000-square-foot building that would include retail space and housing for students.

The building, one of two outlined in paperwork filed this week with the Allen County Department of Planning Services, could be open by next year if city officials approve plans to rezone property at 1411 E. Washington Blvd., across from the university campus.

Matt Bair, an Indiana Tech spokesman, said in an email the townhouse-style building will include suites for students on the second, third and fourth floors.

“The first floor will be comprised of three retail spaces, and we are currently in conversation with local partners to fill those spaces,” Bair said. “We envision these spaces being places where students and members of the neighborhood can meet up for food, get a coffee or an adult beverage, etc.

“Although we are still in the planning stages, we hope to break ground on the project in October and have the building ready for occupancy in August 2019.”

The second building would face Schick Street and is planned as a three-story dorm, but Bair said there is “no imminent plan” for that.

Both are included in a development plan that asks officials to approve a neighborhood center zoning designation, which would allow for residential and retail space. Indiana Tech also seeks waivers to height restrictions for both buildings.

The university last built a dorm on the northwest corner of East Washington Boulevard and Schick Street in 2012. Residential space in the proposed mixed-use building would be geared toward sophomores, Bair said.

Plans for the buildings align with Indiana Tech's comprehensive plan, which includes suggestions for development adjacent to existing development, development to enhance area connectivity and establishing “compatible mixed use, transit-accessible developments.”

The project's cost is not included in planning documents.

“Indiana Tech desires to provide student housing and neighborhood services as close to the main campus as possible,” the documents state.

mleblanc@jg.net