Former U.S. 30 drag strip for sale.

Publication date: 12/06/1996 – Source:
Article Title:  Former U.S. 30 drag site for sale.
By: Staff

HOBART - The roar of engines and the cheers from racing fans haven't been heard at the U.S. 30 Drag Strip since it closed in the fall of 1984.
The property, which has at times been embroiled in controversy and remained idle since then, is up for sale through Commercial In-Sites Inc. of Hobart.
"It is up for sale as of this week at $12,000 per acre," said David Lasser, president of Commercial In-Sites.
He said the 138-acre site at U.S. 30 and Clay Street is zoned residential but could possibly be rezoned for other uses by going through the proper city planning channels.
In addition, there are an adjacent 12 acres, next to Carter Lumber Co., on U.S. 30 that could be bought as part of the development package.
"We're excited because we think that there are a number of possibilities including commercial and residential, or commercial and light industrial," he said.
Lasser said although the property isn't in the tax increment finance district - areas created as an incentive for development - future owners could request a property-tax abatement on any development there.
He said the property is owned by Bear Inc. of  Honolulu.
Jim Brown, a Merrillville attorney representing the owner, said he wasn't aware of the sale offer and that had not recently been in contact with the owner.
Brown had said last summer that the drag strip owner was considering selling the property.
Lasser said it was because of that indication from Brown that he contacted the owner, who in turn gave Lasser the approval to handle the sale of the property.
The U.S. 30 Drag Strip, which opened in the spring of 1957, was brought in racing fans from throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area.
Complaints from nearby residents about the noise at the drag strip led county officials to pass a strict noise ordinance.
It required track owners to pay $250 for a permit each time races involving jet engines were held. It also limited the track to four such races each year and required that races end by 10 p.m.
The drag strip closed in the fall of 1984 in a leasing dispute between the property owner and the drag strip operator.
Lasser said he thinks it is unlikely that the property, which was part of the land annexed by Hobart in 1994, will be reopened as a drag strip since that proposal was turned down by the city two years ago.
"But if (the future owners) want to purchase it for that they can apply to the Plan Commission," he said.

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