Harbor Freight Lease Termination Agreement Approved by Clarksville Town Council

Harbor Freight

CLARKSVILLE, IN (June 20, 2023) – The Clarksville Town Council has signed off on a tentative lease termination agreement with Harbor Freight Tools. Councilmembers voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the agreement which calls for the retailer to vacate its current location on Lewis and Clark Parkway by the end of the year. The agreement still needs approval from the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission at it’s June 27th meeting in order to be finalized.

The situation started nearly five years ago when the Town of Clarksville purchased the nearly vacant shopping center which formerly served as home to several retailers including Hobby Lobby. Those businesses chose to relocate to newer facilities when their leases expired leaving Harbor Freight as the only remaining business in the shopping complex. The Town’s 3C Master Plan, which was developed to help revitalize central Clarksville, called for the building to be demolished and redeveloped into something new such as residential housing or multi-use developments. The 30-year plan gives the Town a guide for revitalizing central Clarksville with new developments, trails, parks, public spaces, and increased walkability.

With the goals of the 3C Master Plan in mind, Town officials began working with Harbor Freight Tools to find a suitable new home in another area of Town. When an agreement couldn’t be reached to help Harbor Freight relocate, the Town Council voted in July 2022 to move forward with using eminent domain to purchase Harbor Freight’s leasehold rights and remove them from the location. Town Council members say they always prefer not to use eminent domain; but, with negotiations stalled, they believed an eminent domain resolution would likely bring all parties back to the negotiating table. Councilman A.D. Stonecipher, who served as President of the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission at the time, noted that maintaining the property is currently costing local taxpayers $116,000 each year in insurance, utility, and maintenance fees without producing any tax revenue.

As part of the tentative agreement with Harbor Freight, the Town Council will rescind the resolutions approving the use of eminent domain and drop all legal action regarding the property. In exchange, the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission will pay Harbor Freight Tools the sum of $1.7 million. The compensation will assist Harbor Freight in covering the costs associated with moving the business to a new location in the Town of Clarksville and renovating the new location to meet Harbor Freight’s needs.

If the agreement is approved by the RDC, Harbor Freight will have until December 31, 2023 to vacate the property. Town officials says there are no immediate plans for the property once Harbor Freight moves its operations, but they say the RDC will be working diligently to find a use that best benefits the residents of Clarksville.