Churchill Downs Plans to Rezone the $240m Terre Haute Casino in Indiana

Churchill Downs Inc. is altering its Terre Haute casino development plans as the gaming company wants to rezone the property on west-central Indiana city’s east side. CDI applied for rezoning the $240-million property on Monday.

CDI Was the Only Company That Didn’t Want the Casino to Be On the East Side

Back in November, Churchill Downs was picked by the Indiana Gaming Commission to be the operator of the state’s 13th casino. During that time, the company was the only one out of all four applicants that did not want the Terre Haute casino to be built on the east side.

However, Churchill Down’s vice president for corporate development, Jason Sauer, stated on Monday that the community actually encouraged the company to rezone the property.

He added that Churchill Downs listened to what the public had to say and hence, it will be commencing the groundbreaking on a site that is almost 50 acres and can be accessed from State Road 46 and I-70. Sauer concluded by saying that development will take place under IGC’s watchful eye.

Details on the Rezoning Process

According to WTHI-TV, the property is zoned for agriculture at the moment and before commencing any development, the Terre Haute Board of Zoning Appeals will have to give the green light. The project is set to be discussed on March 2 and the rezoning request will go before the Vigo County Area Plan Commission.

If the project is approved, then it will go to the Terre Haute City Council the next day. The executive director of the Area Planning Development, Jared Bayler, stated that according to the application. Churchill Downs seeks to “rezone agricultural land to a C-3 Regional Commerce District.”

The company intends to rezone two side-by-side parcels. The first one is 25.48 acres and the second one is 23.52 parcels. The site’s main access is from East Margaret Drive and more entrances are proposed from New Margaret Drive. Bayler also added that the site features three locations where the casino could be expanded in the future. Finally, he stated that the rezoning request has around 1,600 parking lots and a 205,000-square foot hotel and casino.

While speaking about the rezoning request, the IGC stated that there’s no law or rule that stops CDI from asking for the casino to be built in a different location.

In 2019, the casino’s licensee was supposed to be Spectacle Entertainment as it was the only applicant. The IGC was just moments away from awarding the license, but it cut ties with Spectacle after its executives were tied to a federal investigation. A revised Spectacle proposal went down in May 2020.

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