By Eric Althoff
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.—Real estate firm Subtext and general contractor Brinkmann Constructors have broken ground on the VERVE West Lafayette student housing project at Purdue University. Working in conjunction with WDG Architecture, the builder is now hard at work on the 235-unit development.
The seven-story, mixed-use community will be sited at 102 W. Wood St., just two blocks from Purdue’s campus, allowing for easy integration of university life and living arrangements for the students. VERVE will feature 235 units offering 751 beds in various layouts from one to four bedrooms each. The complex will also offer 265 parking spaces and have 5,516 square feet of retail space on the building’s first floor.
As designed by WDG, VERVE’s more than 15,000 square feet of amenity space will include study pods, fitness center, lounge, communal kitchen, coffee bar and market. WDG’s design incorporates a two-story lobby to greet students and visitors, who can then ascend up a grand staircase to the amenity level. For the warmer months, the outdoor area includes a pool and hot tub, outdoor cooking facilities, dog park, hammocks and fire pits.
The expansion of living facilities was needed given that Purdue recently set an all-time enrollment record of over 50,000 students—many of whom are away from home for the first time and thus will be in need of finding a sense of community once they enter into a university setting.
“The influx of students in West Lafayette is putting increased pressure on housing, which is already in short supply, so we’re happy to be a part of the solution to both of these challenges,” said Brandt Stiles, founder and CEO of Subtext, the real estate firm behind the deal. Stiles also said that the environment fashioned at VERVE “will support how Gen Z wants to live, learn, and connect with their peers and community.”
He added that “with recent research showing that more than half of Gen Z college students report feeling lonely, we aim to create student housing with a purpose: student well-being.”
“It’s exciting to partner again to construct this multi-use and student housing community just two blocks from Purdue University, an area [where] Brinkman has previous experience,” Brian D. Satterthwaite, president of Brinkmann Constructors, said of the project. “We value our partnership with Subtext—together we have been able to create unique communities in desirable locations.”
In a subsequent statement to School Construction News, Brinkmann Senior Project Manager Greg Beerman said that the key to overcoming many ongoing issues facing the construction industry is to fashion a sense of collaboration and communication among the various parties.
“One of the more challenging aspects of this project is dealing with the continued supply chain disruption and long material lead times while ensuring the project is delivered on time,” Beerman said. “The project team is well positioned to tackle these issues head on.”
VERVE West Lafayette is expected to be ready for student residents for the fall of 2024.