New Landscape on the Horizon

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A third downtown hotel is on its way to Terre Haute to accommodate a Convention Center. That’s expected to hold up to one thousand guests.

Those plans are laid out in a traffic study, which was released by an Indianapolis Company … A & F Engineering. We got a closer look at a projected new landscape for downtown.

It’s an effort that business owner Greg Gibson is spearheading.

The traffic study looks at how much parking will be available for the Convention Center and the hotel.   That’s considering part of 8th street from Cherry to Wabash will be used as a part of this construction.

Convention center plans are on the horizon and for local business owners it’s not so much about the traffic impact as it is about foot traffic.

“We hope that it will bring more people here on a regular basis, not just on the First Friday of the month or not just during Blues Fest or during Miracle on Seventh Street,” Libby Waters, manager of Crossroads Cafe said.

Waters has been at the cafe for close to 20 years. She’s seen the highs and lows of local business.

This project is something that’s generated conversation for years, but now we’re closer to what things might look like.

In A & F Engineering’s traffic impact study, we see a Courtyard by Marriott hotel labeled just north of the Convention Center. A hotel parking garage to the west and convention center parking garage to the east. This all between Wabash and Cherry and 7th and 9th Streets.

Water says what she’s most excited to see in the plans …

“Extra parking and the hotel coming in.”

She says those staying at the Hilton and Candlewood Suits frequently dine at Crossroads Cafe bringing them business.

“That’s the big thing with downtown is parking, so hopefully that will help,” George Azar, owner of the Saratoga said.

Azar says seeing the Copper and Terminal bars still standing in this map is another plus to these plans.

“They’re a historic building and we don’t want to see any historic buildings torn down, ours is a historic building. As a life long resident of this community, I like seeing the older buildings remain, so hopefully they’ll be able to keep those and utilize them to the best of their ability.”

Azar says as far as the closure of a portion of 8th Street goes for these plans, that will be discussed at Thursday’s City Council meeting.

Holding up to 1,000 people, the Convention Center estimates 833 vehicles at capacity, but only 458 parking spaces in their garage.

The traffic study states that in a “worst case scenario” 30 percent of those guests will stay at hotels, taking 250 spots in that new parking garage. Meaning 458 cars could park at the Convention Center garage. The remaining 125 at the ISU parking garage.
    

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