Downtown Clarksville Serving as a Learning Tool for University of Louisville Students

University of Louisville Students

CLARKSVILLE, IN (February 5, 2024) – Although the new downtown area in south Clarksville is still in the early stages of development, the project has been more than a decade in the making.  Residents are just beginning to see the start of what has taken years of planning, property acquisition, applications for grant funding, and several master plans.

The Bolt + Tie building has been completed and in operation for a few years, the Current812 building is nearly completed, and the town is right on schedule for the building of a the new street grid.  All of these projects will benefit the town in the form of a liveable and walkable community with restaurants, retail, entertainment, and luxury living within a stone throw of the Ohio Riverfront.  The developments will transform the area, create a new bustling downtown core, and bring in additional tax revenue to the town for future projects.  So far,the Town of Clarksville and Redevelopment Commission have invested more than $40 million into the area.

Downtown Clarksville Street Grid
Downtown Clarksville Street Grid

The full buildout of Clarksville’s new downtown may still be years away, but the project is already serving as a learning tool for students at the University of Louisville.  Friday night, UofL’s Urban and Public Affairs Student Association hosted a special meeting at the new TEN20 Craft Brewery on Main Street.  The students were provided with a tour of the area and had the chance to hear from Clarksville Planning Director Neal Turpin and Associate Planner Elijah Beliles.  They discussed the history of the South Clarksville Mixed-Use District and answered a variety of questions regarding affordability, sustainability, design, proximity to grocery stores, and connectivity.

“As an alum of the program, it was great to welcome students from UL who are interested in planning to come see what we are doing in Clarksville,” said Neal Turpin.  “It was clear to all of them what sorts of opportunities this gives to the Town.”

Turpin says the students loved the incubator space model that Bolt and Tie has created on the bottom floor of the building, and they liked how close the area is to Ashland Park, the Ohio River Greenway, and the river.  Students were also very excited about the plans regarding Origin Park and the possibility of adding a new Amtrak station.  Associate Planner Elijah Beliles says visits like these are a rewarding experience for young students.

Downtown Clarksville
Downtown Clarksville

“As someone who is just over a year out of college, I know how valuable it is for students to have discussions with real planners and developers,” said Beliles.  “Events like this will only better prepare them to study and emulate Clarksville’s groundbreaking plans.”

Among the latest projects in south Clarksville is the opening of the flood wall on Main Street.  The new flood wall will be expanded to provide better views of the Ohio River from Main Street, along with adding new sidewalks, bike lanes, and two lanes of traffic to Riverside Drive. Town officials are also working with a local ironworks designer to create a decorative steel top for the floodwall.

The reconstruction of Riverside Drive is another major project which just kicked off last month.  The roadway is commonly used to access Ashland Park and Falls of the Ohio State Park, but it also serves as a connection for the Ohio River Greenway from Jeffersonville to Clarksville. Pedestrians and bicyclists are currently forced to walk or ride in the street due to lack of sidewalks from Market Street to Ashland Park. That issue will be corrected with this project which will include new sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, on-street parking, lighting, and other beautification efforts.

Riverside Drive Reconstruction
Rendering of planned improvements to Riverside Drive in Clarksville.