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February 27, 2013

Jeffersonville redevelopment commission taking all comers

Any plan will do

JEFFERSONVILLE — A call for plans to develop downtown Jeffersonville was launched Tuesday night.

The Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission held a workshop Tuesday to begin hammering out the details of what will become of 84 properties acquired as part of a proposed canal project.

Discussions of what to do with the properties came to the redevelopment commission in the wake of a proposal that would turn several downtown properties into an arts and cultural district. Included in the potential properties were two pieces of land that may be leased to the Clark County Museum on Michigan Ave. Two additional properties — the former Gray & Wells Collision Center and the former Bales Auto lot near Spring Street — were identified as potential sites for an artists’ incubator and a location for the Vintage Fire Museum.

Along with the arts and cultural district discussed, a plan to relocate several historic homes identified in a settlement agreement with the Ohio River Bridges Project to Maple Street, the redevelopment commission agreed, would be put on hold until a proposal of how all of the property that had been acquired by the city would be developed.

Redevelopment Attorney Les Merkley at the outset of the meeting said the intent was first, to determine which properties would be included in the request for proposal, then once the properties are identified, what details would be included in a request for proposal.

According to the draft request for proposal, “the commission is seeking proposals for the best use and development of the property to include commercial, retail, residential with an arts and cultural component. The objective of the Falls Landing mixed-use development project is to transform underutilized land into a vital, urban fabric of the city with a diverse range of residential, retail and other commercial uses.”

The redevelopment commission had already agreed to approve a lease with the museum, but a provision to amend the bond plan that purchased the property required approval to go through the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council before heading back to the redevelopment commission.

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