Opposition to Terre Haute land swap growing

More than 2,500 people have signed petitions opposing a proposed land swap that would make room for more retailing in Terre Haute.

Responding to rising retail competition from Plainfield and Evansville, Terre Haute developers Gibson Development and Thompson Thrift want to swap 72 acres they own plus pay $9.2 million in return for the county fairgrounds. The fairgrounds adjoin existing retail.

However, critics say the new location for the fairgrounds is out of the way and fair attendance would suffer. Other critics say the fair board should seek additional bids for the property because the price offered for the 100 acres is too low.

Proponents say the area would benefit from the economic development that a modern shopping center would bring. They also say newer fair facilities are needed.

The Wabash Valley Fair Association board in Terre Haute plans to meet tomorrow to discuss the offer.

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