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April 10, 2013

Hotel, restaurant changes coming to southside near I-70

Area Plan Commission to hear proposal tonight for hotel, restaurant work

TERRE HAUTE — Some major changes are in store for the Terre Haute Holiday Inn and surrounding property, including renovation of the existing five-story structure, potential construction of new hotel and two new restaurants.

The developer, General Hotels Corp., has a request before the Vigo County Area Plan Commission to plat nine parcels of land into five buildable lots to better meet existing and future needs.

The plan commission will consider the request when it meets at 7 p.m. tonight.

“It divides up the property into lots to match up with the existing structures that are there,” said Jeremy Weir, executive director of the Area Planning Department.

It creates a lot for a future hotel, which would be located between the existing hotel and Springhill Suites, and a lot for a new restaurant.

Bill Burdine, Holiday Inn general manager, said the plans are “not set in concrete yet.”  

One definite is a Panda Garden Express that will be located on property south of the hotel. “It’s a done deal,” Burdine said. “We sold property to them.”

Talking about other changes, he said, “It’s pretty well known that in 2015, our franchise agreement is up on the Holiday Inn,” which will be 51 years old Saturday. Major changes are needed to refranchise, he said.

Over the next two years, proposed plans call for the Holiday Inn’s two-story structures to be demolished, while the five-story structure would be gutted and renovated to make it more modern. “It will look like we built a new hotel,” Burdine said.

The renovated five-story structure could be a Holiday Inn or a different brand under the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) logo, Burdine said.

A new hotel with suites would go between the existing Holiday Inn and Springhill Suites.

Proposed plans also call for a new restaurant, a steakhouse. When asked the name of the restaurant, Burdine said, “I’m not at liberty to say.”

The Holiday Inn’s existing bar and restaurant also would be demolished, while the banquet facilities would remain.

The subdivision name is Terre Haute Inn Developers Corner.

In a separate matter, Hulman and Co. is requesting a mining overlay district on property east of Hunt Street, about 3/4 of a mile north of Indiana 42. The purpose is “for oil extraction purposes,” according to information provided to area planning.

The property is currently zoned A-1 or agricultural district.

“It’s really just an extension of their existing project,” said attorney Lou Britton. It would be for another well facility, but not for storage. It would be located on the opposite side of Hunt Road from their existing facility, he said.

Britton described mining overlay as “kind of a temporary zoning classification that allows for oil/gas exploration.”

Once production stops, it reverts back to agricultural, he said. The proposal involves about 16 acres of property.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

 

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