Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Inc. no longer plans to develop the 40-acre site where the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville once stood, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana.
The hospitality company also intends to sell the property, considered prime commercial real estate near Interstate 65 and U.S. 30.
In 2018 White Lodging proposed building a $356 million complex called The Farms at Crossroad Commons that would have included four hotels, a meeting and event center, an office building and a variety of restaurants.
But according to the publication, the idea stalled when the Lake County Council pushed back at the idea due to a $75 million incentive the company was seeking.
“The White family doesn’t have any further plans to develop the property,” said White Lodging Director of Communications Mike Banas. “The site is not being actively marketed. It is our hope that the site develops into something positive for the Northwest Indiana community.”
White Lodging is owned by Bruce White, the son of the late hotel and billboard magnate Dean White, who built the Star Theatre and the Twin Towers 1970s. The complex was closed in 2017 and demolished in 2018.
The paper reports White Lodging looked to redevelop the area instead of investing large sums of money into maintaining the nearly 40-year-old facilities.
During its heyday, the musical venue hosted some of the biggest names in music from country to rock.