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January 28, 2014

DNR clears Colston Park in Jeffersonville for development

Jeff redevelopment, parks authority to hold workshop to discuss future project on site

JEFFERSONVILLE — The archaeological investigation of Colston Park is complete, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has given its blessing to develop the property, as long as a few conditions are met.

The Jeffersonville City Council voted unanimously Monday to hold a joint workshop between the city’s redevelopment commission and parks authority to discuss what to do with the park, which had been undergoing an archaeological investigation. The workshop will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18.

Development of the site had been held up by the discovery of a former cemetery on the property.

“You have clearance to start work at Colston [Park] as long as you ensure that you stay within the area we investigated and protect the cemetery from disturbance,” Anne Bader, owner of Corn Island Archeology, wrote to City Engineer Andy Crouch and Corporation Attorney Les Merkley.

Corn Island was the company hired to perform the archeological investigation.

“Of course, if you find human remains, you must stop and address that,” she added.

Mayor Mike Moore has been in talks with developers, and he says the developers he’s spoken with share his vision for three-story brownstones on the property.

“It’s going to take property that’s never generated anything for the city and it’s going to become something unbelievably nice,” Moore said.

Moore said that developers estimate the value of future developments on the property to be between $6 million and $10 million. The city will solicit requests for proposals prior to naming a developer.

Moore said that ARC Construction Management — which is in the process of converting Rose Hill Elementary school into a mixed-use commercial and residential facility — is one of the companies interested, and said he was excited about the possibility of working with them on the Colston Park project.

“I’m excited about them, not only because they financially have the means to get this done, but they’re a local company,” Moore said.

A message left with Alan Muncie, principle owner of ARC Construction Management, was not returned by press time.

“We don’t want to leave this land vacant any longer,” Moore said. “It’s too valuable.”

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