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Purdue Research Park adds high-tech building, fitness center

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Construction will begin next month on the first phase of a 75,000-square-foot privately funded building at the Purdue Research Park that will include space for high-tech companies and a full-scale health club with memberships open to the public.

architect's rendering
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Research Park Associates LLC, which is funding the new facility, is the second group of Lafayette-based private investors to construct additional space for startup companies at the research park. Purdue Research Park is home to the largest high-tech business incubator in the country. Several of the park's client ventures are growing too large to remain incubator tenants.

facility floor plan
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"Economic development experts tell us that access to recreational activities, such as West Lafayette's new trail system and this fitness center, are important amenities in our efforts to attract high-tech companies to the Purdue Research Park," said Joseph Hornett, senior vice president and treasurer of the Purdue Research Foundation, the organization that administers the research park.

Stephen Shook, the leasing representative for the project and a partner in The Shook Agency/Coldwell Banker Commercial Realty Services, said, "Our investors want to make sure that Lafayette-West Lafayette does its part to revitalize the Indiana economy by creating an appealing space for technology companies. We agreed to purchase acreage in the research park in 2002, spent the last two years marketing building concepts to technology companies both inside and outside the research park, and are now negotiating with several potential tenants for the office portion of the facility."

The building will be the first facility constructed in Phase II of the Purdue Research Park, which includes 50 acres of land developed under an economic development partnership among Purdue University, the Purdue Research Foundation and the City of West Lafayette. The building will be located at the intersection of Win Hentschel Boulevard and McClure Avenue, both newly constructed roads. Duke Construction of Indianapolis has been hired as the general contractor.

"This new facility will be a most welcome addition to West Lafayette," said West Lafayette Mayor Jan Mills. "Purdue Research Park continues to be a hotbed of economic development - a place where high-tech companies are locating, expanding and creating jobs - because of the university and city's shared vision and investments in quality of life as well as infrastructure."

The project will be constructed in three phases: the International Sports Clubs' fitness center will be built on the west side of the building, followed by office space on the east side. Construction on the first phase will be completed by the fall, and construction on the next phase will begin soon thereafter.

Shook said the two office modules, although separated by a two-story glass atrium, have the potential to be connected on the building's second floor. High-speed Internet access comes standard and requests for lab space will be considered.

The fitness center will have a separate entrance from the office area, with parking on the south side of the building.

Paul and Lori Fortwendel, owners of International Sports Clubs, have owned and operated a fitness center in the West Lafayette Levee area for the past 20 years and a 40,000-square-foot facility on Indiana 26 in Lafayette for the past two years.

"We're expanding our operations to West Lafayette's north side because there is a tremendous need for a top-notch health club in the area," said Paul Fortwendel. "Once we're up and running, we anticipate we'll see more than 1,500 customers coming through the doors of this fitness center each day."

The new 24,000-square-foot facility at the research park will carry many of the same features and services as the one located in Lafayette, including advanced resistance and free-weight exercise equipment as well as flat-screen TVs and Internet access on each of the 50 pieces of cardio-vascular training equipment in the cardio theater. The new center also will offer an advanced aquatics center with an Olympic-sized pool.

Additional amenities include swim lessons and group aquatic classes, play areas, whirlpool and desert dry saunas, free group exercise classes for members, free towels, free infant and childcare center with a computer lab, and a mini basketball court. International Sports Clubs' spa services include therapeutic massage, pilates and yoga studio, hair and skin services and a supplement/nutritional store. Memberships are available to the general public by contacting (765) 447-8866.

Writer: Jeanine Phipps, media relations, Purdue Research Park, (765) 494-0748,

Sources: Joseph Hornett, (765) 496-8645,

Stephen Shook, partner, Coldwell Banker Commercial Realty Services, (765) 742-5096,

Wyatt Hornsby, public information officer, city of West Lafayette, (765) 775-5104,

Paul and Lori Fortwendel, (765) 447-8866 or (765) 714-0521,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: Several publication-quality graphics are available at


In February, Duke Construction of Indianapolis will break ground on a 75,000-square-foot high-tech facility in the Purdue Research Park. Research Park Associates LLC is the second group of Lafayette-based private investors to fund construction designed to accommodate the space requirements for growing high-tech companies within park's incubation complex. The building will feature a state-of-the-art fitness center operated by International Sports Clubs (rendering/courtesy of CSO Architects).

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