News and Tribune

Business/Money

July 9, 2014

New Albany sees signs of new life for Charlestown Road

Bids to be accepted for house; change orders OK’d

NEW ALBANY — Compared to the publicity given to businesses that move downtown, there’s not been as much fanfare for the new establishments that have launched along Charlestown Road recently.

While downtown was booming, the corridor — between Twin Oaks Drive and Scheller Lane — had seen several businesses move out over the past five years. While there are still vacant buildings to fill, New Albany Redevelopment Commission members said Tuesday they’re pleased to see some life return to the area.

Domino’s Pizza will soon open in the former Taco Tico building, and Hardee’s launched last month at the former Wendy’s property.

David Duggins, director of economic development and redevelopment for the city, said the Domino’s addition was a pleasant surprise.

“I didn’t think anybody would take [the] Taco Tico [location], but I was wrong,” Duggins said.

Mandarin Cafe opened at 2602 Charlestown Road last year adjacent to the Save A Lot grocery store.

Irving Joshua, president of the redevelopment commission, said the new businesses are “improving the likelihood we can keep the grocery store there.”

The city has also taken steps to improve quality-of-life opportunities in the area. Ground has been broken on the construction of a multiuse recreational center that will be located off Silver Street near Charlestown Road, as city officials have said they targeted the neighborhood for such improvements due to the heavy population in the area. The city also is adding a turn lane at the Beechwood Avenue intersection on Charlestown Road.

Challenges do remain in the area.

The former Sonic property will be a difficult facility to find a new tenant for due to its design, Duggins said.

“It’s not a building that a lot of people can use,” he said.

There are also gaps in the sidewalk network in the corridor, and Duggins said it could cost $1 million to connect the paths and finish the pedestrian project.

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