Redevelopment Commission President R. Monty Snelling said that he would like to retain that property.
“The only area that I would like to see us keep is ... where the museum is wanting to go through,” he said. “You’re talking about a small area. I could see it being an asset to the community.”
But Redevelopment Commissioner James Lake disagreed and said he would like to see all of the properties included in a potential plan before deciding on what to do with the property.
“That entity can be relocated somewhere else,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to preclude that property as having already been given a use. That’s a substantial amount of property and it’s great corridor. I don’t think I would exclude any of it.”
Merkley added that the city would like to amend the lease with the museum to allow an out clause if a developer would want to purchase the property.
Questions persisted about other nearby properties that could potentially be developed, including Colston Park.
“I think it’s hugely important,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore of Colston Park. “But it’s really not under the control of this board.”
The Parks Authority owns the property and requests have been made to deed the land over to the redevelopment commission. However, no movement has been made to transfer the property. In addition, questions about the location of a cemetery on part of the property would further complicate potential development of the park.
While the discussions about how to develop the land continued, Moore made one request of the redevelopment commission.
“I don’t want to waste time,” he said. “I really don’t want to extend this, for the sake of the city beyond ... 45-60 days max.”
Lake suggested that the redevelopment commission draft its plan and submit it to Ben Wauford, an architect with New York-based Cooper Carry. Lake explained Wauford helped draft the canal plans and did much of the legwork for a request for proposal.