New businesses, downtown in the works for Clarksville

New businesses, downtown in the works for Clarksville
The Colgate clock will be a focal point of a new development to create a downtown area in Clarksville. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Colgate clock will be a focal point of a new development to create a downtown area in Clarksville. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Drivers headed into Clarksville from Interstate 65 will see a different look coming in from Veterans Parkway.

A development called Veterans Crossing is creating new restaurants, a fitness center and 12 new businesses in all.

Community leaders believe the project will draw in residents and visitors alike, instead of driving them to similar new developments in neighboring New Albany and Jeffersonville.

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At Mission BBQ on Wednesday, workers put the final touches on the exterior of the restaurant.

"The finishing touches from the construction side, it's always a challenge," Greg Lynn, Mission BBQ's director of operations, explained. "But everything's coming together full force."

The restaurant is set to open Monday. It's the latest in the Veterans Crossing development, sitting just in front of Clarksville City Hall.

"Along with the Veterans Parkway here, it's so exciting about what's going on with everything being built -- with all the restaurants and businesses and we're just happy and proud to be a part of it," Lynn said.

Along with Mission BBQ -- Blaze Pizza, Starbucks, First Watch and 9Round Kickboxing are among the businesses now inhabiting the Veteran's Crossing development. The land parcel once owned by the city is spurring growth for the popular shopping region.

"About $15 to $20 million worth of private investment into the site," Dylan Fisher, Clarksville's Redevelopment Director, said.

But it's not the only new look Clarksville will see. The city is working to turn Woerner Avenue into a downtown corridor, driving new business and interest to Clarksville's riverfront.

"At one end, you'll have the Colgate clock and the other end, you'll have iconic views of the Louisville skyline," Fisher said. "The whole thing is reconstructed, all new utilities underneath the road and a brand new streetscape."

The presence of a downtown is something Clarksville has missed out on, he said.

"It's a shame for our current restaurants to say when they have out of town guests, they don't have somewhere to take them to like that where in a lot of places they do," Fisher said. "So it's definitely something where everybody's enthusiastic from the council, to redevelopment commission staff and residents. It's something we've been asking for and talking about for a number of years."

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Wednesday, the city announced plans for a two-mile trail project that will connect thousands to bike trails between Jeffersonville, Clarksville and New Albany. That deal is a project years in the making, Fisher said, but it will help drive new visitors and residents to explore their community and other parts of southern Indiana.

"The connectivity opportunities that we see here stand to be a game changer here in Clarksville," Fisher said.

That positive energy is filling new businesses and restaurants in the area.

"Oh, we're so excited to be here," Lynn said.

The sale of land that created Veterans Crossing, Fisher said, is helping pay for city improvement projects like the new trails and downtown for Clarksville.

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