Vincennes University has announced intentions to expand into the city’s Historic District.
That expansion took it’s first official step last night as VU’s Vice President of Finance and Government Relations Phil Rath appeared before the city’s Historic Review Board, stating the school’s intentions to tear down the currently standing structures at 600 and 602 North 1st Street.
The Vincennes Sun-Commercial reports it’s the beginning of an estimated $15 million housing project that would see a total of four blocks eventually be torn down to make way for a French-style housing development named ‘The French Village.’ The area would see a number of brightly colored, two-story houses built, and used for off-campus student rentals. The project not only aims to improve the area, but to help the University with student retention as well.
Rath says the University has already purchased a handful of properties between Second Street and the Wabash River.
According to the newspaper, members of the Historic Review Board didn’t have any qualms about the properties in question last night, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be greater concern about the scope of the project in the future, given the potential large impact along 1st and 2nd streets. Those issues, however, will be faced in what Rath believes will be many future appearances before the Board.