Clarksville’s new downtown taking shape
Clarksville has been known for decades for its bustling shopping corridors, but it’s only recently that its first true downtown in nearly a century has started to take shape.
Town leaders celebrated the opening last year of Main Street, formerly called Woerner Avenue, which runs from the iconic former Colgate building and will eventually connect to Riverside Drive.
Construction is now underway at Current812, the second flagship development for the new downtown thoroughfare, after the mixed-use space Bolt + Tie opened in May 2021. Ten20 Craft Brewery recently announced plans to open a taproom in Bolt + Tie by late 2023.
Several other major parts of the new downtown area — part of the South Clarksville Redevelopment Plan approved in 2016 — are expected to be finished within a year and a half.
“It's incredibly exciting,” Clarksville Town Council President Ryan Ramsey said. “You know, we're all going to witness the creation of a new and modern and unique downtown, right before our very eyes.”
MAC Construction was recently awarded the contract for improvements to connect Main Street to Riverside Drive. Clarksville Town Manager Kevin Baity said it’s expected to be finished by late 2023 or early 2024.
It will include widening of the area near the flood gate by 20 feet and constructing a new gate off-site that will be able to be closed more quickly in case of a flood threat.
“The old gates used to stack in there much like a garage door is stacked,” Baity said. “The new gate will actually be a rolling gate and roll on a track across the opening, and then be basically bolted down on each end. And instead of taking three and a half [or] four hours to install, [it] will probably take as little as an hour to close it.”
The Main Street connection will coincide with improvements on Riverside Drive from the Second Street Bridge to the area just past the Ashland Park restrooms.
The town is also moving forward with a new street grid surrounding Main Street, named after people who helped with the Lewis and Clark expedition. Baity said the surface infrastructure is about 80% complete, with the first sections of new roads expected to be finished by summer.
Baity said the exterior of the five-story Current812 building should be finished around the same time, with another year to finish the interior.
“Clarksville is making huge steps,” Ramsey, the council president, said. “And I think ultimately, we'll become a leader and a popular destination in our region over the course of the next decade.”
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