TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — New development is being considered at the Terre Haute Regional Airport, including gateway beautification and new airport overlay zoning.
After losing her job in Terre Haute, Linda Cooper planned to open a gift shop at the Terre Haute Airport. However, due to extenuating circumstances her plans were put on hold.
“I had vendors lined up for different items for the gift shop talked to the people who had renovated the restaurant at the time and then we lost everything,” she said. “We lost the commuter airline, we lost the air force thing, it went to Fort Wayne. So I gave it up and ended up moving to Indianapolis to find a job.”
She said after being back in Terre Haute for several years, she is happy to see the city finally investing in the eastside of town.
“You’re going to have people coming into Terre Haute and Vigo County for all kinds of things,” Cooper said. “People are curious. That’s what interests me because we need something to boost the area.”
Monica Newhouse and a team of others have been working to implement a strategic plan at the Terre Haute Airport. The plan will include a four-part beautification effort, new overlay zoning and other developments along State Road 46 and U.S. 40.
“Right now it looks just like commercial corridor with all kinds of pavement,” Newhouse said. “How can we make that look nicer? Let’s create some beautification. Let’s put some signage. Let’s do some landscaping and make it a beautiful front door for this whole corridor. Hopefully over time as things develop they’ll also continue with that kind of landscaping.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, budgeting has been delayed. But, Newhouse said it’s exciting to see local community partners rally behind more economic development.
“You’ve got great airport staff. You’ve got a great airport board. But you have a community that is really invested in making sure that this airport and the whole community is successful,” she said. “It’s really exciting because you don’t see that at a lot of airports. It’s usually a bit of a fight for resources. This community understands how much of an economic engine this airport is.”
Project costs and funding sources were not mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting. Newhouse said once budgets are finalized, they’d like to begin the beautification process.