Developer Engagement

Discovery Park District Overview

The Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) has partnered with Browning for the master planning and development of PRF’s land holdings west of Purdue’s campus. Discovery Park District is being developed as a unique, mixed-use district that supports the university’s mission, expands the area’s knowledge-based economy, and enhances the quality of life in the greater Lafayette area. A $1 billion mission-driven development plan unfolding over 400 acres during the next 30 years, Discovery Park District will link faculty, staff, students, visitors, and area residents in the support of research, innovation, economic development, and community development.

Discovery Park District is a uniquely designed, purpose-driven community that inspires creativity and innovation while offering an extraordinary lifestyle for residents. Here you’ll find yourself at the western gateway to Purdue University, its faculty, students and vibrant Big Ten campus. Collaborative office and lab space blend with apartments and for-sale housing, green space, walking paths, restaurants and retail. All creating a rich, connected community like no other in the Midwest.

How the master developer can help you

The vision for Discovery Park District has always been that its success is shared by many developers over the entirety of the project, and the progress to date reflects this. Browning’s role as master developer is outlined below, but the master plan calls for an array of property types which requires ideas, expertise, and relationships of an equally broad number of owners and developers. 

As the master developer of DPD, Browning plays three key roles:

  • First, Browning is responsible for establishing and maintaining the overall master plan for DPD.  The majority of this work has been completed and was approved by the PRF Board of Directors and the Purdue University Board of Trustees in August of 2017.
  • Second, Browning assists other developers or project owner-occupiers to execute developments that are consistent with the Master Plan. For example, Browning issued an RFP on behalf of PRF for a student housing project as the inaugural development in DPD.  Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions in partnership with Walsh Group was selected by PRF to be the developer, and this project will open for the fall semester of 2019. Similarly, Schweitzer Engineering Labs is the owner-occupier of a 100,000 square foot research and development facility under construction in the Aerospace District. In addition, a subsidiary of PRF owns a 145,000 square foot collaborative office building under construction for delivery in January 2020.
  • Third, Browning will develop, construct, finance, and own certain projects. 


In lieu of TIF funding and its traditional use to support development projects, PRF carries the obligation to provide infrastructure for DPD. PRF is funding new streets, sidewalks, landscaping, utility access, drainage solutions and other right-of-way improvements for DPD in accordance with the master plan. This commitment by PRF and investment in the viability of future DPD development projects is anticipated to exceed $100 million over the course of the project.

Ground Leases

PRF is the single land owner of DPD, and it is institutionally necessary for PRF and Purdue University to maintain long-term land use control of the areas adjacent to campus. Accordingly, developers will receive land control via a long-term ground lease with PRF on financeable terms and conditions that are project-appropriate for each development type. For projects in the Aerospace District, both land sales and ground lease structures will be considered.

Design Approval

A design approval process has been established to ensure all projects are consistent with the master plan. This process provides a clear and expedited path for developers to receive preliminary project approval from PRF prior to standard entitlement and permitting processes.

Questions / Clarifications

Browning and PRF are available to answer any questions potential developers and owners may have regarding development in DPD. The master plan and supporting documentation are available upon request.

Please contact Adam Chavers or Jeremy Slater for more information.


Adam G. Chavers
Senior Vice President of Development

Jeremy D. Slater
Director of Discovery Park District