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Clarksville community invited this week to learn about plans for former America’s Best hotel site

A vacant area at the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and Interstate 65 in Clarksville, Indiana.
Aprile Rickert
The town of Clarksville is finalizing plans for Form G Companies to develop a multi-use residential and retail project along and near Eastern Boulevard near Interstate 65.

A local developer is hosting a community meeting this week to share information on a proposed mixed-use project at the former site of America’s Best Inns and Suites in Clarksville.

The town recently selected Form G Companies to redevelop roughly eight acres along Eastern Boulevard and Kopp Lane, after several unsuccessful attempts to get a developer for the area in recent years.

Clarksville currently owns about five acres of the property, according to a document shared by town communications director Ken Conklin. The remaining three acres are owned by other entities. Form G is seeking to purchase all eight acres.

Form G’s plans include around 200 apartment units, townhomes and retail space, according to the company’s website. They’ve also proposed a pool, clubhouse and dog park for the site.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Anthony of Padua Parish Gymnasium at 316 N. Sherwood Ave. in Clarksville.

The property has sat empty since 2019, when the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission purchased the plot and demolished the hotel.

Media outlets reported in June of that year that the hotel had been sold to an Indianapolis-based developer for $3.5 million and that the more than 100 long-term residents had been given 30 days to find new lodging.

The town later announced plans to buy the property for $4.8 million, which the redevelopment commission approved in early July.

Community groups who work to address homelessness in the area formed a task force to help rehouse the families and individuals who lived at the 140-room hotel. In just under a month, they raised around $70,000 from the community and local municipalities, including $30,000 from the Clarksville town government.

Conklin said soon after the purchase, several entities approached town officials about bringing a sports complex to the site, however no one submitted plans after the town issued a Request for Proposals or RFP in October 2019.

The town received inquiries over the next three years, but no offers. Conklin said they’d considered several ideas — hotels, assisted living facilities and restaurants — but “no realistic options were available which made financial sense for the town and the developer,” according to the town of Clarksville website. Officials issued a second RFP on a mixed-use development in November 2022, which Form G bid successfully on. No other companies submitted proposals that round.

“So really, we've been working a long time trying to find someone that wanted to purchase the property and develop it into something useful for the town,” Conklin said. “And it eventually came down to Form G, who came up with an interesting option.

“It's really actually going to be a nice facility and a nice facility to have as the entrance to our town there at Eastern Boulevard.”

The land is near the Interstate 65 interchange, the road many visitors use to access the town.

“We really wanted to have something there that represented our community,” he said. “A hotel that was kind of falling apart and had a lot of transient residents in it is not exactly what we want to welcome people to the town of Clarksville.”

Conklin said that by selling the property, the town will recoup its initial investment. They also expect to see an additional $2.2 million inTax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars. This is a financial tool which allows local governments to capture future tax dollars created by the development, and be used to fund other projects. New residents to the area would also contribute to the tax base.

The plans are not yet finalized, and will require approval from the Clarksville Redevelopment Commission.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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