New riverfront district could be created to help River Centre development
The Jasper Redevelopment Commission heard they or the mayor’s office could oversee a riverfront district in the future.
The information was provided by the city attorney at the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday morning.
A Riverfront District is an economic development tool provided by the state to allow a city to issue special liquor licenses outside of the quota established by the state. The city is considering creating such a district in conjunction with the River Centre development at the former Jasper Cabinet factory next to the Jasper Train Depot.
River Centre LLC, the entity managing construction of River Centre, asked the city to consider establishing the district. The $30 million development includes plans for commercial space in the multi-use building.
Although the application for a riverfront district liquor license is the same as those for the rest of the community, these special liquor licenses are attached to the riverfront district and cannot be transferred or sold. They are also up for an annual renewal process, but there is no limit on how many can be issued for the district.
Because they can’t be sold or transferred, the three-way and two-way licenses will be sold at the state designated purchase rate as opposed to the private market rate.
According to Attorney Renee Kabrick, this will allow the city broader opportunities to increase the number of attractions in the designated area.
According to statute, the common council, the redevelopment commission or the mayor’s office can vet applications. The council will be asked to determine which group or office will administer the applications. Mayor Terry Seitz is proposing that his office administer the applications. The Jasper Redevelopment Commission would then vet them in a public meeting before recommending them for final approval by the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
“It doesn’t have to be a public process, but it was my desire to make it a public process,” Seitz told the commission.
The district is limited to within 1,500 feet of the river’s edge or three blocks whichever is greater. However, concessions are made for flood areas. According to Kabrick, in this case, the district could come close to the Courthouse Square.
“We haven’t established the precise area,” Kabrick said. “We are working with the planning department to try to determine what that area will look like.”
Also at the Jasper Redevelopment Commission meeting:
They heard demolition would begin on the Jasper Cabinet building this Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Also concering the River Centre, the commission heard the city has been talking with the Indiana Railway Museum about the railroad improvements that are part of the River Centre project. The Indiana Railway Museum owns the track that runs through the development.