Plan for new homes, businesses near base of Big Four Bridge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plan for new homes, businesses near base of Big Four Bridge

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- New homes and new businesses are part of Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore's vision for development near the base of the Big Four Bridge.

Mayor Moore's plan involves the old Colston Park softball field in Jeffersonville. Rose Hill Commons consists of Brownstone businesses and condominiums situated across from the Big Four Bridge on Mulberry Street.  Mayor Moore poses the question, "Can you just imagine being on one of these roof top terraces and having that view?"

But the mayor adds, "When the state and city jointly created this park and ramp across the street, we did it with the idea that there were other ways to create revenue from that. This is a perfect opportunity to do that. It is going to take corporation from the City Council."

That could bring a problem, according to Jeffersonville City Councilman Ed Zastawny: "I think this press conference was premature. What needs to happen is do some of the leg work, do some of the detail work -- work with the party that owns the property before you start showing some pretty pictures."

Jeffersonville City Council owns the property and serves as the Parks Authority.  Leaders plan to use it as a soccer field.  But the mayor wants them to turn it over to the Redevelopment Commission to begin the process of finding a private developer for the land.

Zastawny, said, "My first thought is Redevelopment Department already owns $11 million of property that used to be on the tax rolls -- all the land purchased for Big Four Landing and also for the canal....I'd prefer the Mayor look at developing those first."

Those disagreements are bringing about a growing reputation for delaying projects in Jeffersonville. The latest example is the Big Four Bridge -- its opening has been pushed back to November because parties couldn't agree on lighting and railing for the bridge.  Louisville's side opened earlier this year.

Another issue crews recently discovered is graves under Colston Park.

Mayor Moore says the front of the property could still be developed, but more site studies need to happen first.  

Redevelopment leaders are waiting for the dust to settle.  Monty Snelling of Jeffersonville Redevelopment says, "If you want a city to survive you have to have people living in the city, and this will draw people actually coming down to live here. That's what gets your businesses going downtown and I think the council understands that it's just getting on the same page."

Moore says a developer also expressed interest in purchasing the closed elementary school next to Colston Park. Plans are to use the first floor for retail and add three floors of condos on top.  A deal has not been signed.

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