After a brief reprieve, the longstanding Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville will be torn down. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report owner White Lodging has decided to demolish the theatre, along with the nearby Twin Towers, next summer to make way for a new development.
The Star Plaza Theatre, which was built in 1979, was originally slated to close last year, along with the Radisson at Star Plaza Hotel, but the theatre was saved after an outpouring of public support. The theatre will officially close in December after a final show with the Oak Ridge Boys, according to the publication.
The 220,000 square-foot Twin Towers office complex was built in 1972. The Times reports White Lodging will honor its existing leases and expects the complex to be vacated by next summer.
"As we think about the end goal of creating a development with a unique sense of place that will enhance the local community for decades to come, it became clear through a collaborative effort with our development and land planning team that leaving the theater and office complex would have, in many ways, limited the full potential of the redevelopment," Deno Yiankes, chief executive officer of investments and development at White Lodging told The Times. "While it will require some patience, we have no doubt this ‘clean slate’ approach will allow us to create a destination that will have an everlasting positive impact on Northwest Indiana, as Dean White’s original development provided for nearly 50 years."
White Lodging plans to build a new hotel on the property, which was part of the original plan last year. However, the publication reports no further details of the redeveloped property have been released.