Redevelopment of Colgate property could be finished by end of decade

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)     -- These days nothing seems to be moving at the old Colgate Plant other than the hands on the giant red clock, but there are still plans to redevelop the property.

Since it closed in 2007 there have been proposals to turn the 52-acre site into condos, shops and restaurants, but so far nothing has panned out, and it doesn't appear much has been accomplished.

"I think anybody would want development to come quicker," said Clarksville Redevelopment Director Nick Lawrence, adding: "It can't come quickly enough."

Lawrence says work has begun on infrastructure improvements.

"Right now we've recently installed a new sewer line out in front of the facility," Lawrence said. 

Clarksville leaders have been working with the owners -- The Boston Development Group -- to get the project moving.

Lawrence says repurposing the old toothpaste factory takes time.

"You're taking it from a chemical plant to an actual retail commercial living possibility," Lawrence explained. "That sort of development takes a long time."

Town officials hope the redevelopment will be a catalyst for what will be called Clarks Landing -- a revitalization of the neighborhood south of the plant all the way to the river.

"We're hoping for residential, we're hoping for commercial and retail where you can live, work and play, which is something we don't see a lot of in this market," Lawrence said.

Lawrence says road improvements need to be completed before the project can proceed.

Some are currently underway as part of the bridges project near the second street bridge. The town is working on an updated master plan.

We've master planned for the Colgate property," Lawrence said. "We would like to do something a little more comprehensive that encompasses the whole area."

Even optimistically it will likely be 2020 before Clarks Landing will be fully developed.

"We realize it's a marathon with this property, it's not a race."

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.