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1/5/2012 10:42:00 AM
Development plan for Clarksville Colgate site gets favorable recommendation

Braden Lammers, News and Tribune

CLARKSVILLE — There is a plan for Clark’s Landing North.

Clarksville’s Planning Commission unanimously offered a positive recommendation for a master plan for Clark’s Landing North, a project to develop the former Colgate-Palmolive Co. plant into a mixed use development. The recommendation will be passed along to the Clarksville Town Council at an upcoming meeting for approval.

The plan, presented by Matt Gullo, a landscape architect and urban planner with Kovert Hawkins Architects, outlined potential uses for the site that included retail space and residential areas. However, even with the positive recommendation of the master plan the town or a developer is not tied to completing the project as presented.

“This master plan is not a concrete master plan, but a tool to build from,” he said.

Among the concepts in the master plan is to develop the site using the main buildings of the former Colgate plant — which also served as an Indiana State Prison from 1846 to 1921 — to serve as its focal point of the development.

In addition, three new roads, one of which would be a service road, would be built through the site connecting with South Clark Boulevard and East Montgomery Avenue.

Gullo also said parking structures are probably going to be a necessity for the site because of the amount of square footage that is available.

But several questions remained about the proposed development.

Sharon Wilson, Clarksville’s planning director, said that as they develop the site the specific development plans will come back before the commission for a recommendation before they are put into action.

Planning Commission Attorney Rebecca Lockard added, during a work session before the regular meeting, that the commission also retains control over their vision for the site through zoning approvals and infrastructure plans.

An infrastructure plan that caused some concern among commission members were the plans for the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project, which limits exits off of Interstate 65 near Clark’s Landing to Sixth Street. Under the preferred alternative plan for the bridges project exit 0 would no longer exist.

Project planners said improving access to Clark’s Landing is something they were still refining.

“The access drives economic development,” Wilson said.

Despite the lingering questions the purpose of approving the master plan document was an essential step in being able to begin to develop the site, which is still owned by the Boston Development Group.

“They can go out and find developers ... take that information and figure out where they fit into the puzzle,” Gullo said, referring to the town of Clarksville.

“It gives people the visualization of what it is and could be,” said Nick Lawrence, senior director of business development with One Southern Indiana, interjecting.

Both Gullo and Lawrence said there have been companies that have expressed interest in the site, but they were unable to divulge any details.

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