ONE bid for old paper mill property submitted to Vigo County Commissioners.
Vigo County Commissioners had approved a Request For Proposals document that allowed potential investors to submit plans to the County for approval. They were hoping to see the nearly 60 acres of land that sits close to the Wabash River developed into something great for the community. The property has been vacant since 2007 when International Paper closed the mill in Terre Haute.
Commissioners received one proposal. It was for a music venue, dubbed, “little DeerCreek Music Center” by some because its plans would mimic the Ruoff Music Center on a smaller scale. The proposal was submitted by Tim Drake and outlined a phased $1.5 million dollar investment. Drake has experience with the Ruoff Music Center and is a co-owner of Show-Me’s Bar in Terre Haute.
A 45 lease has now been approved by the Commissioners for Drake.
Drake said his plans have change some and that he now will grade and level the property and put up a mobile tempory stage and Porta-potties. Drake said that his company must also obtain a liquor license so that booze can be sold at the outdoor concerts.
Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, formerly known as Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana sells a 24oz beer for $13.25 according to tripadvisor. A bit more than Show-Me’s current price.
The venue will also be located close to Prairieton Road, be all ground level, with overflow parking available adjacent the aquatic center when events are not happening at the pool.
The Commissioners had previously tabled the proposal.
The Vigo County Commissioners had stated that one stipulation of the property was they did not want to sell the land, but lease it. They wanted to retain some control over the development of what is located there. Commissioner Kearns had stated a music venue, distillery, brewery, or water park would all be favorable uses of the location. Something that could be used by people in the community.
This decision ruled out a possible location for a Casino and Resort Hotel to develop on the location. While a casino and hotel could beautify the property and contribute to quality of life projects like the River Walk and Turn to the River initiative, or adjacent water park, a 5yr lease as originally stated would have been a difficult venture for an investment of over $100 million dollars. This would have also hurt the City/County Leaders plan to push through a SR46 location.
Commissioners at the time did not commented on whether the property could be used as a central location for a New Terre Haute Central High School. Incorporating Terre Haute North, South, and West into one high school directly across from the school corporations new Aquatic Center.
60 acres would have been sufficient space to build the facility and would be centrally located to Vigo County School students. Terre Haute North currently is located on approximately 66 acres and Terre Haute South is on about 55 acres.
A community effort to build a community school at this location had been speculated to lead to a tie-in with Fairbanks Park and the Turn to the River project.
The adjacent property is owned by Green Park Holdings LLC.
The Green Park Holdings property is an additional 60 acres and was the site of Wabash Environmental Technologies.
Wabash Environmental Technologies processed used oil at the facility from 2001-2004. In December 2004 the Indiana Department of Environmental Management closed the facility for serious environmental violations. The EPA and Indiana Department of Environmental Management removed over 200,000 gallons of contaminated fluid from waste water treatment facility located on the property. The owner of the business was sentenced to 60 months in prisons in Nov. 2007 for making false statements under the Clean Water Act.
The EPA spent $1.3 million dollars cleaning the property up and Green Park Holdings LLC. foreclosed on the property and retained the deed to the land when no bids were placed during the Sheriff sale in Dec. 2016.