JEFFERSONVILLE — The cityscape of Jeffersonville is going through a rapid transformation as new structures continue to pop up throughout downtown.
Over the past several months, a number of projects have been announced, made progress in their development, or completed entirely in the vicinity of Big Four Station Park. Taking the place of once-vacant land are new residential and recreational options for those in the city to enjoy.
"Infill development is great," said Jay Ellis, executive director of Jeffersonville Main Street. "Any time you have an empty lot that developers want to build on, that’s a very positive thing.”
One with much excitement attached to it is Union Restaurant & Gameyard. Last September, developers Chad Sprigler and Steve Resch released the design plans for the entertainment venue at the corner of Pearl and West Chestnut Streets, which will offer a unique blend of indoor and outdoor games, food and drinks.
Included in the plans are two already existing houses, one of which was formerly the home of the regional office for Indiana Landmarks. The yard that sat behind the home, however, is no more, as a new nearly 4,000-square-foot building has taken its place.
Construction just started roughly two weeks ago, but the vision is already coming to fruition.
"The weather has helped tremendously this year," Resch said. "We were actually expecting it to be rainy like last winter. So far, it’s worked out well. My goal was to get that structure up under a roof before any bad weather hits, and it looks like we're going to make it."
The frame of the new building is coming along nicely, with only one day of poor weather so far. By next week, Resch hopes to have shingles on the roof.
Outdoor work is slated to start in March, with it expected to last about a month and a half.
“We're still shooting to have it open by the first of May," Resch said. "The big push is to be open by Derby Day. I think if the weather does hold out, we're going to make it."
While visitors from throughout Southern Indiana are sure to patronize the establishment, it was also have an influx of new downtown Jeffersonville residents to serve.
Directly across Big Four Station Park from Union sits the recently-finished Colston Park Residential Lofts. In November, developer Alan Muncy showcased the 30 units at 210 Mulberry St. for the first time.
At the ribbon cutting, Muncy said he expects the $6 million building — which neighbors his $12.5 Marriott TownePlace Suites — to fill up by summer.
But Muncy isn't the only person bringing new residents to the area. Just around the corner at 222 W. Maple St. is the massive, $30 million Walcott Jeffersonville. Taking up a good chunk of land between West Maple Street and West Court Avenue, the 214-unit apartment community has filled out in recent weeks. The work is expected to finish entirely by mid-year.
“Seeing all of these new living spaces downtown is tremendous," State Rep. Rita Fleming, D-Jeffersonville said. "These are ideal places. Virtually everything you need is within walking distance. You can even walk across state lines thanks to the bridge.”
Fleming, who also works alongside Ellis at Jeffersonville Main Street, said the transition seen in downtown Jeffersonville over the past 10 to 15 years has been exciting.
When Ellis began his work 24 years ago, he said the city's core was spotted with board up buildings and empty lots. It was at that time that people began looking toward the future, and how they could bring Jeffersonville back to life.
"We knew this wasn’t going to be an overnight thing," he said. "We’ve seen this come along steadily, and seen a strong push to move the ball down the field. We’re starting to see the benefits of that now.”