River Ridge, Charlestown partner to streamline development
The River Ridge Development Authority has approved a resolution it says will simplify efforts to redevelop the portion of the former Indiana Army Ammunition Plant in Charlestown that makes up part of the River Ridge Commerce Center.
The Reuse Plan Confirmatory outlines development requirements agreed upon by the RRDA and the city of Charlestown. RRDA Executive Director Jerry Acy says the partnership streamlines the approval process for future development projects on the “north end” of River Ridge in the city.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Acy said the RRDA has its own covenants, codes and restrictions, or CCRs, on new development projects.
“That governs what type of development could come in, the type of buildings, the setbacks, the landscaping, the multitude of things that’s included, the height restrictions,” Acy said. “But they were not exactly paired up with the Charlestown zoning ordinances.”
As part of the partnership, the RRDA assisted the city with updating its zoning requirements and updating its own CCRs to bring both sides in alignment.
“What this partnership boils down to is if we approve a development plan in the Charlestown area that totally complies with the zoning ordinances that they have in place, it makes for permitting and getting projects off the shelf a lot smoother, and it goes a lot faster,” Acy said. “And that helps a lot when we’re dealing with projects that want to get to the market really fast.”
The River Ridge Commerce Center encompasses about 6,000 acres of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, which was shuttered in 1998. The site includes property in both Jeffersonville and Charlestown, and Acy said the RRDA is focusing heavily on infrastructure work in the Charlestown portion.
“We’ve got about $14 million in projects, construction and demolition type projects underway,” he said. “About $11 million of that is roads and utilities, and $3 million is major demolition projects that are underway. We’ve sold two sites [and] we have four pending purchase agreements on the north end that would be served by these new road and infrastructure that we’re putting in.”
Earlier this month, the RRDA released a study showing the business park generated more than $2.7 billion in economic impact for southern Indiana last year and $43.6 million in total tax revenue for state and local entities.
Acy said the authority still has a long way to go until the redevelopment of the entire property is complete.
“We’re not quite 50% of total build out for the entire 6000 acres,” he said. “And we’re spending a lot of money on infrastructure and engineering and all that. We still have another estimated $200 million remaining to finish out the north end and get all the clearing and demolition done and the new infrastructure in place to serve that area.”
River Ridge says that $200 million will be invested over the next decade.