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February 26, 2013

Relocation and national interest

Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission to hold workshop Tuesday

JEFFERSONVILLE — Homes that are scheduled to be relocated as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project have a potential destination.

As part of a settlement agreement between the National Trust for Historic Preservation, conservancy group River Fields Inc., the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Indiana Department of Transportation, $1.7 million has been dedicated to a historic preservation and enhancement fund. The relocation of five homes in Jeffersonville slated to be torn down to make way for Big Four Station and the new Interstate 65 bridge were given priority consideration for the funding. 

In addition to the five homes, Greg Sekula, director of the Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office, identified three additional properties he would like to see included in the relocation project. And Sekula and the city’s redevelopment office have a potential site.

“There’s an opportunity here to save these buildings, to move them to alternative sites,” he said. “Ideally ... the idea is to try and move them within the boundaries of the old Jeff Historic District.” 

The location identified by the city and historic landmarks would sit at the 200 block of Maple Street, facing the north entrance to the Big Four Station — a park planned at the landing of the Big Four pedestrian and bicycle bridge. 

Redevelopment Director Rob Waiz said there is potential to locate three to five homes along Maple Street, where there is currently a vacant parking lot and land behind the former American Legion building.

The homes being considered for relocation are located at 216, 218 and 222 Market St., and 227 and 229 Pearl St., Sekula said. The additional homes he identified were the Prentice houses located at 340 W. Maple St. and 338 Ohio Ave., and another home at 113 Fort St.

Of the homes that could potentially be relocated to the 200 block of Maple Street, Sekula said he would like the preservation and enhancement fund to pay for relocating the structures, pouring new foundations and running utility lines to the homes. Part of the proposal would then call for the city to turn around and sell the properties after they are moved and possibly offset some of the original acquisition costs Jeffersonville incurred to buy the homes, he said.

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