It sat empty for a long time, but a prime chunk of land on Veterans Parkway in Clarksville will soon be put to use.

“There were trees there and some grass, but there were no businesses there,” said Matt Hall with One Southern Indiana.

The Veterans Crossing shopping center near the Clarksville police station and McAlister’s Deli will have six buildings housing 11 businesses, including First Watch, Mission BBQ, Sleep Number Mattress, CoreLife Eatery, T-Mobile, Blaze Pizza Kitchen, Starbucks, three unannounced shops or restaurants and Chillburger, a family owned, southern Indiana restaurant.

“We're excited,” Chillburger’s Ken Rollins said. “We’re growing, and we’re local. We've had great response out here in Valley Station, and they've been over there for 65 years with Zesto and Chillers, and we are just expanding the brand.”

Hogan Real Estate is developing the shopping center, but the town had some big requirements.

“We have heard concerns about whether or not Clarksville needs more drive-through and fast food restaurants,” said Dylan Fisher, Redevelopment Director for the Town of Clarksville. “I believe upon visiting Veterans Crossing for the first time, residents will observe that the only drive-through is connected to Starbucks, which the public has been asking for a stand-alone Starbucks in Clarksville for many years, and that all of the restaurants are either fast-casual or casual sit-down models.”

The town also wanted a mixture of national chains and locally owned restaurants.

It wanted to ensure the “developer signs a diverse mix of tenants that include some with local roots and a limited number of national locations,” Fisher said. “Signing Chillburger as a tenant in Veterans Crossing allowed Hogan to meet the requirements to integrate a business with less than eight national locations, and one that's local as well.”

The plot of land sold for $4.9 million to Hogan. The town said the community will soon see that money put to good use. It's using it to construct well-lit walking and biking trails on the CSX railroad corridor, connecting several parks including the Ohio River Greenway.

The new shopping center is pouring the money back into the local community while providing a new business front for a local restaurant.

“Growth is good, especially if you're local,” Rollins said.

The businesses are scheduled to open in early summer of 2018. 

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.