Multiple communities vying for family entertainment center

2013-05-07T21:00:00Z 2013-05-07T23:28:03Z Multiple communities vying for family entertainment centerChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | It appears Merrillville isn't the only community attempting to attract a proposed family entertainment center.

Steve Krumdick told the Town Council on Tuesday that officials from two other municipalities have contacted him in an attempt to bring Air Adventure to their communities.

Krumdick said each of the other communities is offering incentives to Krumdick and his partners for the facility, which would offer a sky diving simulator, rock climbing wall, indoor go-kart track, arcade and other amenities. He said the incentives include land and funds. The value of the incentives range from $1.8 million to $2 million.

Krumdick didn't name the communities offering incentives.

He said he and his partners haven't decided where they would locate the business, and they want to know what Merrillville could offer before making a decision.

Councilmen discussed several options, including purchasing the land for the business and funding the construction of the structure that would house the proposed business.

If Merrillville chose that option, it could use funds from the Mississippi Street tax increment financing district to offer the incentives, Councilman Shawn Pettit said.

Town leaders said they are interested in Air Adventure opening in Merrillville, but they don't want to rush into a decision and possibly offer too much to attract the business.

Councilman Richard Hardaway said Merrillville couldn't collect property taxes from the business if Merrillville owned the land and building.

Councilmen decided to continue discussing the matter during another meeting on May 15 before deciding on an incentive package.

"We don't want to give away the ship," said Bruce Spires, Merrillville's town manager/director of municipal operations.

Krumdick initially was interested in opening the business in Century Plaza near U.S. 30 and Broadway, but that no longer appears to be a viable option. He said he is interested in property near 85th Avenue and Ohio Street if he and his partners decide to locate Air Adventure in Merrillville.

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