Smitty’s lot finally getting redeveloped, but will it please neighbors?




WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – For nearly 10 years, Susanne Robinson and Anna Davidson have lived across the street from an empty gravel lot. The lot used to house Smitty’s grocery store, and as Northwestern Avenue started to take a new design the lot still sat vacant.

Developer Lor Corporation hopes to build on the lot, but not without the public’s input.

“The whole point of the matter is trying to figure out what it is that particular component of the community wants,” West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said.

Neighbors may not want what is planned.

Dennis said the developer has a plan for a multi-use building including residences and commercial space.

“We don’t need more apartments,” Davidson said. “We really don’t. What kind of retail will it be?”

“I don’t want student housing,” Robinson said.

Davidson and Robinson hope attending a public meeting between the community, developer and city Tuesday evening will give them some answers.

The city of West Lafayette has worked to develop the section of Northwestern Avenue near Lindberg Road. Mayor Dennis said the final piece to the puzzle is the vacant lot.

“When we talk about what we’ve been doing here over the past seven years in the city of West Lafayette, we see a lot of areas that were once blighted that have turned into amazing developments,” Dennis said. “This is sort of that last old school parcel that needs to have some sort of constructive development done.”

After years of waiting, Robinson and Davidson hope the gravel lot will turn into something right for the neighborhood.

“We’d like to go back to homeowners,” Davidson said.

The public meeting will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Faith West. That address is 1920 Northwestern Ave. in West Lafayette. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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