JEFFERSONVILLE — A development firm behind several recent Southern Indiana projects plans to build a six-story apartment complex overlooking the Ohio River in downtown Jeffersonville.
Denton Floyd Real Estate Group has bought the grassy lot on Market Street that once held the old Gorsuch Foundry, according to Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.
River View Apartments will hold up to 250 upscale apartment units. So that every unit can have a view of the river, the first two floors otherwise blocked by the floodwall will constitute a parking garage, according to developer Brandon Denton. The project is a $40 million investment.
The complex will offer several amenities, including a clubhouse, swimming pool and "generous views from all the units" of the Ohio River.
Units will have quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and wood grain plank flooring, Floyd said. Rental prices have yet been identified, he said.
"We've had our eye on this piece of property. It's been vacant for many years ..." he said.
Developers expect to break ground in early 2019, first remediating the property from ground contamination (the reason Floyd believes the property has been vacant for so long).
Construction is expected to take two years. Units will be available to rent in 2021.
"The vicinity to obviously the river and the walkability that Jeffersonville has downtown — we just feel like this is going to be a great addition," Floyd said.
Louisville-based Denton Floyd is the development group also behind restaurants Parlour and Portage House, New Albany's M. Fine senior housing project and Reisz furniture store rehabilitation and more.
"As Jeffersonville grows, we've got all these new restaurants, amenities, beautiful parks, a beautiful marina," the mayor said. "Guess what — it makes it more attractive to live down here now. Obviously, seven or eight years ago, the housing market in downtown was pretty weak."
The project helps the city meet its goal of bringing 705 new housing units to downtown Jeffersonville by 2022. An internal study by the Jeffersonville Planning and Zoning Department predicted those 705 units are just some of the 4,700 needed in order to meet the demands of a growing job market.
To spur new downtown development, the Jeffersonville City Council last November approved new zoning rules that raised the maximum height of residential buildings to 100 feet.
Denton Floyd has also identified a "housing shortage" in Southern Indiana, Floyd said.
"So we feel that this will help fill that need," he said of the River View Apartments.
Other apartment complex projects have been announced for downtown Jeffersonville in recent years. Jeffersonville-based developer Arc announced in August its plans to build a 20-unit, three-story brownstone-style apartment complex at the front of Colston Park on Mulberry Street.
And in June, the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission approved a plan by a Texas development firm to build a 200-unit apartment complex at the former American Legion property, between Big Four Station and Court Avenue.
Both projects came after the redevelopment department marketed its properties for residential use, while the foundry property was privately owned and sold.
Moore also hopes that with more people living downtown, a full-size grocery store will come to the area.
"We've been trying for three or four years now to get a grocer down here," the mayor said. "They won't come unless we get more households."
The mayor acknowledges Olde Towne Grocery, a small discount store on Maple Street, will "always fill a niche, but when you're attracting young families and professionals, they're looking for something more."
"I get criticized because I want to draw people with money into our community. I don't think that's a cold statement," Moore said. " ... If you want the businesses around here to succeed, you want your property values to increase, the more affluent an area becomes, the more everybody prospers from it."