New life at site of historic IN ammo plant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New life at site of historic IN ammo plant

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CLARK COUNTY, In. (WDRB) --At first glance, an old, rundown ammunition plant off of Highway 62 in Clark County may look like nothing by a large eyesore.

"It was just sad. It looked rundown, and like a ghost town," local, BJ McCoy said.

For people like Clark Nickles though, it represents who he is.

"My mom was born on the property and when the army came in to start building the plant, they took her farm," Nickles explained.

Nickles returned to what used to be his family's land to work among the people who took over. Men and women who were part of a booming business, when that wasn't easy to come by during World War II and the Korean, and Vietnam Wars.

"It was a great boost to Charlestown's economy," said Nickles.

When the conflicts were over-- the Indiana Ammunition Plant shut down, and upkeep was not a priority. Windows were broken, wood began rotting, stalled railcars just sat there.

While others seemed to forget about it, Nickles didn't. He built a museum, showcasing what was about to be sent to the dump, to remember the glory years.

Nickles is going to need to add a wing to his museum called "River Ridge." It's the new name of the property. There's certainly enough room for it.

"We have 6 miles of frontage along 62 and in some places we go 1.5 to 2 miles deep," River Ridge Executive Director, Jerry Acy said.

That space is equal to pretty much all of downtown Louisville, going from the Ohio River, and extending out to Standiford Field. Work on the site began a while ago.

"We currently have developed about 600 acres with new companies," said Acy.

That includes one of the biggest businesses in this country, Amazon. Their huge fulfillment center was built less than 2 years ago.

"Over time, I anticipate having 10, 20, 30 thousand people working here," Acy said.

The construction of the East End Bridge, in the next few years, will only help-- bringing employees and business to the Hooiser state from the Bluegrass.

"It's a wonderful thing," Nickles said.

If the plan for River Ridge stays on track, development is set to be completed in 10 to 20 years.

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