Air Adventure developer haggles with Merrillville council
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent May 7, 2013 11:42PM
Updated: May 8, 2013 11:12AM
MERRILLVILLE — The developer of a proposed domed family entertainment center told the Town Council on Tuesday he is looking at other locations besides Merrillville and asked what type of incentives he could get from the town should he build there.
The council, in turn, asked developer Steve Krumdick to consider another location besides the Tri-Land property at the southwest corner of U.S. 30 and Broadway for his development, which Krumdick said would include a wind tunnel, indoor sky diving, rock climbing wall, arcade and more.
During a special workshop session, Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said he would rather see Krumdick’s $5 million Air Adventure Family Entertainment Center on a 2.9-acre vacant parcel at 85th and Ohio, which Pettit said is close to several hotels and should draw a lot of business.
Pettit said a Tri-Land representative had called him and said the company has other plans for its former Century Mall property that it wants to talk to the town about.
“I haven’t heard from them in three years,” Pettit said of Tri-Land.
Krumdick told the council his investors are looking at other locations in Northwest Indiana for the project. He asked that the town buy the land and lease it back to him plus put money toward construction costs.
“If we buy the land, why don’t we just build it ourselves,” Pettit said.
He said the town will need to look at tax implications. For instance, if the town buys the land it won’t be able to collect taxes from it.
On the positive side, Pettit said the project will generate 25 jobs, a $500,000 payroll and a place for kids to go.
Councilman Donald Spann, D-1st, said the town should give Krumdick a fair offer, but added “this is just one business adventure to us.”
Krumdick said the project will cost $5 million, $800,000 of which will be for the land, $800,000 for the 80-foot high dome and the remainder for equipment.
Pettit said the council will wait to see what happens when Krumdick meets with another community next week before making any decisions.