VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A southern Indiana city takes a fresh approach to tackling a problem piece of property in its downtown.
Last spring the Vincennes Urban Enterprise Association purchased a rundown building with plans to bring it down and replace it with a community building.
Those plans have now been replaced with a new idea, a pocket park.
A 3-front building in downtown Vincennes has been a problem for a long time.
The building is rundown and falling in on itself.
Merchants say they've seen enough.
"I've been aggravated for several years," said Dan Osborne, who owns Something Special across the street. "Every customer that come out of my front door unfortunately has to look at these 3 buildings so I feel anything we do to these 3 buildings will be an improvement to our whole downtown."
The Urban Enterprise Association bought the building earlier this year with the idea of putting in a downtown community center.
"Plan-A was to try and save the front of the buildings and we wanted to put a roof over the entire property," said Shirley Rose with the Urban Enterprise Association. "We applied for a grant. It did not go through."
Now the U.E.A. has a plan B.
Demolishing everything behind the façade and creating a pocket park, complete with badly needed public rest rooms.
"We're going to do what's necessary right now and that's tearing this down and working on the bathrooms," said Rose, "and landscaping and things like that comes later."
The Urban Enterprise Association has some big plans beyond the building's façade and they hope then can get the community involved to make it happen.
"We're hoping we'll get community support," said Rose. "Maybe there is somebody that is retired and can come and lay some bricks for us and that's what we're working for and looking to get some help from the community."
Officials say that support will be the key to how quickly they will be able to convert an old problem property into a new pocket park.
Anyone willing to donate time or materials to the project should contact U.E.A. Executive Director Dan Ravellette at the Vincennes Mayor's office.
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