Fort Ben Rebirth Moves Forward

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The $3 million project expands Otis Avenue, which is one of the main routes within Fort Benjamin Harrison. The $3 million project expands Otis Avenue, which is one of the main routes within Fort Benjamin Harrison.

The president of the group tasked with sparking redevelopment of Fort Benjamin Harrison in Lawrence says the completion of a $3 million road project is a major step forward for the "last and most valuable piece" of the former base. Fort Harrison Reuse Authority President Marci Reddick says the site will ultimately house a public library, market-rate apartments, a grocery store and dining options.

Reddick tells Inside INdiana Business she hopes the development shows current and potential residents that they don't need to leave the community for work or entertainment. The area is known as Lawrence Village at the Fort.

The $3 million project expands Otis Avenue, which is one of the main routes within Fort Benjamin Harrison. The extension runs across the fort and includes large sidewalks and new parking areas. FHRA says the project provides quicker access to Pendleton Pike and I-465, improving the site's potential for commercial development.

The U.S. military decommissioned Fort Harrison in 1996. Since then, Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier says the city has been working on redeveloping the site to become the city's center. He says the effort will also help Lawrence market itself, which he admits the city has not done a good enough job of in the past.

"We really haven't done much to tell people what was here in Lawrence," says Collier. "How many other cities have a state park that they completely surround? Nobody does that."

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