TERRE HAUTE —
A combination indoor firing range and gun shop could be coming to Terre Haute’s south side.
Steve Ellis, owner of Top Guns, is hoping to move his business across U.S. 41 into the former Furniture Gallery building and open what he believes would be a major economic attraction for Vigo County.
Ellis hopes to open a large indoor shooting range in addition to expanding the gun shop. The combined facility, which would be at South Seventh Street and U.S. 41, would employ about 25 people, he told the Tribune-Star Tuesday.
An application to rezone the furniture store property is currently before the Area Plan Commission, which is scheduled to meet at 7 tonight in the Vigo County Annex.
The rezoning request has received a favorable recommendation from the Area Planning Department staff, which advises the 12-person commission. The request calls for changing the property’s zoning classification from a C-3 regional commercial district to a C-7 general commercial district.
Kim and Jim Worland, owners of the Furniture Gallery, are seeking the rezoning before selling the property, Kim Worland said Tuesday.
Ellis said the new business would be the largest and most modern of its kind in this part of the country. He believes it would draw customers from as far as Chicago, St. Louis and Cincinnati, he said.
“It will bring a lot of business to the city,” Ellis said. “I don’t know of anything [in the Midwest] that would be larger or more advanced that what we have planned.”
The furniture store building is about 60,000 square feet. About two-thirds of that would be for the expanded Top Guns business and the new indoor firing range, Ellis said. The building would also include about 18,000 square feet of commercial space for lease, he added.
Law enforcement agencies could use the facility for training, Ellis said, adding the business would include a classroom, safety classes, individual firearms instruction and more.
The walls of the building are concrete, meaning there is “zero” chance any bullets could harm someone outside, Ellis said.
Apart from a zoning change, there are several other legal and regulatory “hurdles” the business would have to clear before opening, Ellis said. “It’s a large, large undertaking,” he said.
n Also tonight, the plan commission are expected to hear a request to subdivide property in the Vigo County industrial park for a future Casey’s General Store distribution center.
Casey’s CEO Bob Myers announced in April his company, based in Ankeny, Iowa, was opening a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in the county. The facility is expected to employ about 150 people when it is fully operating, he said.
The subdivision request also has received a favorable recommendation from the Area Planning Department staff.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or email@example.com