JEFFERSONVILLE — The downtown section of Jeffersonville has seen a rebirth of sorts in recent years.
Since the opening of Big Four Station Park and its namesake walking bridge over five years ago, new restaurants and shops have popped up in the surrounding city blocks. Last year, the Marriott TownePlace Suites opened up just across the street from the park, bringing the hospitality industry to downtown.
One thing that hasn't been brought to the area in that timeframe, however, is a significant amount of new housing options. The first step toward attracting a new wave of residents took place with the ribbon cutting at Colston Park Residential Lofts at 210 Mulberry Street on Tuesday.
Arc, headed by owner Alan Muncy, is the development company behind the $12.5 million hotel and the three-story condominium building, which was finished in September with a price tag of $6 million.
"I'm not sure any significant housing project like this has ever been built in downtown Jeffersonville," Muncy said. "I think the hotel project was the most significant project money-wise built in the last 20 or 30 years."
Muncy said he bought the property before the walking bridge had come to fruition. His vision was that as the city and region as a whole grew, so too would the demand for downtown housing.
"When you're going to build a park, you're going to have some people gather," he said. "When you build a walking bridge, you're going to have some people gather. We're off of Interstate 65, and we're a mile from downtown Louisville. It made sense to me that people are going to want to be here."
"Bridge life," Muncy said, is the concept he's pushing with the 30 residential units. As the downtown area becomes increasingly walkable with a number of amenities just a short distance away, along with having easy access to the opposite side of the Ohio River, Muncy believes people will be motivated to live there.
The complex is sandwiched between two parks — Big Four and Colston Park — giving residents scenic views of the surrounding cityscape from their private balconies.
"We're selling the opportunity to live on the park, to have access to the walking bridge, and to have access to the restaurants and shops downtown," Muncy said.
Muncy added that he expects to have the likes of empty-nesters and young professionals among the prospective tenants, with some having already purchased units.
"We're providing opportunities for people who already live in Jeff to move downtown, but also providing opportunities to people from out of the market," he said. "We just recently sold a unit to a couple from Delaware. They have family here, and they come once a month to spend time with their family. When they come here, they love coming downtown. Those are also new people that are seeing the opportunities of the lifestyle that Jeffersonville has to offer."
The bottom floor of the building holds one-bedroom units, while the top two floors have two bedrooms in each unit. The 1,265-square-foot one-bedroom units are listed at $259,000, while the 1,350-square-foot units with two bedrooms will sell for $279,000.
By midsummer of 2020, Muncy said he expects the building to be sold out.
"To put that in perspective, you can go to the bank today, borrow money based on our current interest rates, and pay roughly $1,100 a month for a unit," Muncy said. "By the time you add on the $290 a month in [homeowner association] fees that includes your sewer, your water and all of your maintenance and tack on the utilities and insurance, you're going to be at roughly $1,600 a month to live downtown in a condo. That's really our pitch — being able to come down here and live a great lifestyle that's affordable."
Jeffersonville City Council member Dustin White, who represents the district in which the development sits, said he's happy to see new housing come to downtown. Along with the nearby Walcott Jeffersonville luxury apartments currently under construction and another arc project advancing at the corner of Spring and Market streets, over 200 new units will be available in downtown in the coming years.
"This increases homeownership," White said. "We've got 214 apartments going on across the street. Hopefully, we'll have 22 more at Spring and Market streets. We're adding a good mixture of different types of housing, which I think is important for the type of diversity you want in a downtown area."