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River Ridge Development Authority Finalizes Donation of 106 Acres to City of Charlestown

JEFFERSONVILLE (Sept. 16, 2019) – The River Ridge Development Authority gave final approval on Monday to the transfer of 106 acres at the commerce center to the city of Charlestown.

“We are happy to finally make this gift of land to the city of Charlestown official, and fulfill our promise to the community,” said Jerry Acy, Executive Director of the River Ridge Development Authority. “Contributing to the communities that surround River Ridge Commerce Center fits with our mission of making this area a great place to work and live. We know the community will benefit from this land for years to come.”

River Ridge has also donated land to the city of Jeffersonville and the town of Utica. With the donation to Charlestown, River Ridge has now committed more than 300 acres for public benefit, including sites in Jeffersonville for a new fire station, a new city park and a wastewater treatment facility.  The Authority recently conveyed approximately 100 acres to the town of Utica for an emergency response center and maintenance and storage facility.

The board approved a resolution on May 17, 2010, authorizing the River Ridge executive director to execute a lease with Charlestown on 60 acres. Later River Ridge agreed to lease an adjoining 46 acres that was still owned by the Army. At that time, River Ridge committed to convey the total of 106 acres to Charlestown upon acquiring ownership of the entire site.

“Now that ownership of all of the land has been transferred to River Ridge from the Army and it has been environmentally remediated, we are ready to convey it to Charlestown and its citizens,” Acy said.

Earlier this year, Charlestown city leaders contacted River Ridge asking for the official transfer of the property. While the board had committed to the donation in the past, the resolution today was necessary to authorize execution of the deed.

The Ridge Development Authority has been working with the Mayor, his staff and a consultant to survey the land and define the exact boundaries. Two sides bordering the 106 acres are already owned by Charlestown, and Charlestown State Park borders most of the other two sides.

“While this land wasn’t useful for industrial development, it is definitely useful for the community,” said Acy.

The resolution to transfer the land stipulates that the property cannot be used for residential, commercial, office or industrial purposes.

The River Ridge Commerce Center is committed to being a partner with the communities that surround it, helping create or sustain more than 16,000 regional jobs and generating an estimated $2.3 billion in annual economic impact. River Ridge businesses generated $39.4 million in tax revenue in 2018 for state and local governments.

In other action on Monday, the board approved resolutions:

* Authorizing the executive director to enter into purchase and sale agreements with Gray Industrial Realty for 42 acres off Lewman Way for $1.6 million to develop and build a 250,000-square-foot building. Gray will begin demolition on the old Army structures on the land by May 31, 2020.

* Authorizing the executive director to negotiate an agreement to sell approximately 13.3 acres off Lentz Avenue on the Charlestown side of the River Ridge Commerce Center to an unnamed prospect for $1.1 million.