Rehab planned at closed S. Ind. toothpaste plant

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Associated Press

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 2:01 PM

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The owner of a closed Colgate toothpaste factory along the Ohio River has planned major renovations for next year in hopes of attracting more businesses to the site where several hundred people once worked.

Only one business occupies a small part of the 54-acre site in Clarksville as warehouse space since the investor group Midwest Center for Foreign Investment bought the property two years ago.

The long-term goal is to rehab about 85 percent of the about 1 million square feet of space available in the plant, managing partner Jayesh Sheth told The Courier-Journal for a story Wednesday (http://cjky.it/Xq8D7x ).

"Now is when we get to start spending money," Sheth said.

Colgate, which once employed about 1,500 people in Clarksville, closed the factory known for its landmark 40-foot-diameter clock facing Louisville, Ky., in 2007.

Potential plans for the property have included a distribution center, a health care technology park built, a museum dedicated to area history, a boutique hotel and a shopping area.

Clarksville redevelopment director Rick Dickman said he's frustrated that more tenants haven't moved to the site and believes it has "astronomical" potential.

Dickman said town officials have talked about making improvements between the site and the river.

"I think it's time to revisit a master plan," Dickman said. "We need a road map to tell us where we're going."

Sheth said a health care company has made a verbal commitment to use 40,000 square feet of the plant starting next year. Some businesses from the neighboring city of Jeffersonville have made inquiries because they're in the path of the new Interstate 65 bridge that Indiana and Kentucky officials plan to build over the Ohio River, he said.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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