Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Demolition

Radisson demolition expected to begin

An iconic piece of Northwest Indiana history, and a stimulator of its commercial growth, will soon become history with demolition beginning Friday on the 48-year-old Radisson Star Plaza.

Work will start inside the massive building at Interstate 65 and U.S. 30, and continue throughout spring and summer,. It is expected to be completed in about four months, according to Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp.

“This is a bittersweet moment because this hotel is such an important part of the history of our company, and more importantly, the Northwest Indiana community,” said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of investments and development for White Lodging.

White Lodging spokeswoman Felicia Joy said a few steps need to be taken before passersby will begin seeing the wrecking ball at the hotel complex located at Interstate 65 and U.S. 30, one of the busiest intersections in Northwest Indiana.

She said equipment started arriving on-site in the middle of this week.

Sheila Shine, with Merrillville’s planning and zoning department, expected someone involved with the project to pick up the demolition permit on Tuesday afternoon.

She said demolition needed to begin within six months and completed within two years, although she said she doubted that much time would be needed.

The hotel, its restaurants, adjacent Holiday Star Theater and various colleges and businesses helped stimulate the local economy and were instrumental in transforming the area around it into a retail and hospitality corridor for half a century,

White Lodging is now looking to create a new legacy to mark the next 50 years and pay tribute to the complex’s founder, the late Dean White, who died last fall.

“We are proud that this work marks the beginning of a new era for the region as we look at the best way to honor the community and to continue to make contributions that carry on the legacy of pioneer Dean White and his vision for the intersection of I-65 and U.S. 30,” Yiankes said.

he Radisson hotel was built in 1969 by Dean White, father of White Lodging’s founder and chairman, Bruce White. It originally opened as a Holiday Inn. The Holiday Star Theater was added in 1979.

Joy said there are no set plans for what will be built at the site as yet, although White Lodging officials have said an upscale hotel with 215 rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space are expected to open in late 2018.

It has not been revealed what hotel will locate there, but White Lodging operates more than 165 hotels elsewhere, including some by Marriott International Inc., Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Global and Intercontinental Hotel Group.

Karen Caffarini is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.


Posted on March 30, 2017 in