News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 13, 2013

Indiana State buys several lots west of U.S. 41

Demolition under way on former Great Wall, Pizza City restaurants, Farmers Market building

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A lot of demolition is occurring west of Third Street and north of Cherry Street on property that has been purchased by Indiana State University.

ISU purchased the Great Wall restaurant at 100 N. Third St., and that building has been demolished.

In recent weeks, the Farmers Market has come down, property also owned by ISU. In the same area, just north of Chestnut between First and Second streets, another structure has been demolished, once a trucking depot.

It all falls within ISU’s master plan, which calls for some athletic facilities to be re-located west of Third Street and closer to the river.

Starting next spring, ISU is expected to begin a project to relocate its track and field facility west of First Street near the former ICON (Pillsbury) property, said Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs.

Now, the school’s track and field facility is located just east of Third Street and north of Chestnut Street.

The new facility will be designed for multiple uses, but at this point it would be used for just track and field, she said. Down the road, if funds became available, it “might be possible” to further develop it for other athletic programs, she said.

In that area between Third Street and the river, west of ISU, the university has acquired other, smaller pieces of property that — as part of the master plan — are in ISU’s area of interest, she said.

The former Farmers Market and former Pizza City properties “are part of that,” she said.

At this point, the demolished properties “will become green space. There are no immediate plans to construct anything,” she said.

As for the purchase of the Great Wall restaurant, the owner was interested in selling, and ISU saw it as an opportunity. ISU has no immediate plans to build anything there, McKee said. It also will be green space for now.

“It was an opportunity to kind of improve the aesthetics of that corner,” McKee said. “It’s a very visible part of the community.”

With ISU looking to develop its athletic campus along the river, and with the initiatives Riverscape has undertaken, the purchase of the property at Third and Cherry streets provides an opportunity for ISU or another entity to improve that corner. “It’s pretty strategic,” she said.

ISU is not actively pursuing any other properties along Third Street at this time, she said.

“We are concentrating now on the track and field facility and getting that up and running,” she said.

She doesn’t rule out additional purchases of property in the area west of Third Street, if and when they became available. “It depends on circumstances at the time. I can’t speculate on whether we would or would not have an interest,” McKee said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or