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Clarksville awaiting response to $6 million offer for former Colgate site

The large Colgate clock sits atop a red brick building in Clarksville, Ind.
Michael J. Collins
Clarksville officials are awaiting a response to a recent $6 million purchase offer for the former Colgate-Palmolive property on South Clark Boulevard.

Clarksville officials are still awaiting a response to an offer to buy the 47-acre former Colgate-Palmolive property, before moving forward to acquire it through the eminent domain process.

The town council approved a resolution last week to offer Clark’s Landing Enterprise Investments, LLC $6 million for the property on South Clark Boulevard, according to a news release on the town’s website. The sum is determined by appraisal.

The owner has 30 days to reject or accept the offer; if they reject it or do not respond, the town plans to file a complaint in court and move forward with taking the property. A judge would make the final decision.

“The Clarksville Town Council has made it clear that their prime objective is to protect a facility which holds a priceless place in Clarksville’s history,” Clarksville Communications Director Ken Conklin said in the release.

The move is the latest in town efforts for preservation and redevelopment of the site, which is centered in Clarksville’s new downtown area, still under construction.

The Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission passed a resolution in 2021 asking for help to ensure sure the historic structures were preserved.

Following months of conversation between the town and property owner, the council voted last June to start the condemnation process, citing concerns about the condition of the historic property and failure by the owner to redevelop it despite several years of planning.

In 2019, the town approved a master plan for the site, which included a hotel, multi-family residential space, commercial space and a civic center. Those plans have yet to be realized.

Built in 1847, the property originally served as the state prison — Indiana Reformatory South — and was sold to the Colgate company in the early 1920s.

The town reports the building has been mostly unused since Colgate relocated in 2008. Boston Development, LLC bought the property in 2011 and in 2014, transferred it to Clark’s Landing Enterprise Investments, LLC, a company under the Boston Development umbrella.

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.