JEFFERSONVILLE — From Vissing Park to just past Ind. 265, east 10th Street is the dawn of Jeffersonville's emerging growth, benefiting from the increase in traffic from the Lewis and Clark Bridge and River Ridge Commerce Center's constant unfurling.
Development is slowly emerging along 10th Street — just as officials hoped when planning the thoroughfare's upgrade — as a white fence, akin to something you might see in upscale areas of Louisville's east end, points the way to new growth on both sides of the street.
The most recent buzz surrounds Jefferson Ridge, a mixed-use development across the Jefferson Commons development and the recently opened Kroger Marketplace and Feeders Supply, where McAllister's Deli will open by the end of this month. McAllister's occupies a nearly 19,000-square-foot retail building that is the first brick-and-mortar evidence of a project that in a few years could house multi-family housing and hotels, along with more retail.
Tenth Street, long a barren ribbon of roadway bordered by a patchwork of fields, is dressed for an entirely new type of party.
"When you think about growth in the Louisville MSA, Southern Indiana is where the new construction is happening," said Alexander Blieden, executive vice president of Louisville-based Kaden Companies, developer of Jefferson Ridge. "With River Ridge, that's the largest industrial park in the state of Indiana and it's also the largest development site near an urban area in the country.
"So I do think that's going to definitely enhance the population, and the demographics will probably get stronger in that area. Hopefully our development fills a void."
Baptist Health Care quickly gobbled up 15 acres at Jefferson Ridge — Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said their plans are on hold for the time-being — a sign that the project was poised for growth. Blieden expects the mixed-use site to attract more retail tenants, with Vision First already on board and negotiations ongoing with three other proposals.
"There's definitely activity," Blieden said.
For Moore, the likes of Jefferson Ridge and Jefferson Commons, being developed by the Nicklies Development, also headquartered in Louisville, are the fruits of the city's 10th Street labor, which was a $7.5 million investment. It goes beyond those two developments, as projects are rising at Ind. 265 and Ind. 62, mainly at Bridgepointe Commons, home to Growlers USA and the upcoming Xscape Theatres.
"It's huge," Moore said of the growth. "Just beyond 265 is where a lot of the new growth for the city of Jeffersonville has happened, both commercially and residentially. We've got a large faction of the population out in that district out there, certainly that's where they're going to be eating and shopping."
Moore said the city's $7.5 million investment in improving 10th Street will benefit the city through tax revenue invested any number of ways, including $470,000 each year to Greater Clark County Schools.
"I don't hear anyone complaining about the growth," Moore said. "No one's property taxes were raised to create a new shopping district and it's a convenience for them. It's always good to offer more of a selection, then everybody gets the benefit from it."
The landscape along 10th Street has begun to change, and in three to six years, as Jefferson Ridge matures, it will change even more dramatically.
"It's a great area," Blieden said. "It was green out there and it's just going to take some time to fill in. But we're confident. There are users that are definitely poking around. It's definitely going to end up being a nice development."