Located just north of Downtown Evansville, the Jacobsville neighborhood faced years of economic and social challenges. As the population continued to dwindle, and the amount of vacant buildings and homes increased, residents and business owners knew something had to be done. REA worked with City leaders to prepare a conceptual plan that would help steer the future of the community. The stakeholders came up with a quality of place plan that featured eight big ideas.
Completed in 1994, the focus of the redevelopment plan was centered around preserving opportunities and expanding existing community-based business and commercial activities and strengthening the residential framework of the neighborhood. The plan included recommendations for building setbacks, landscape buffers, street tree plantings, architectural character, public open space, and infill development. A new neighborhood park became the central focus for the residential area. Existing homes of historic value were moved to vacant lots and new infill homes, designed in character with the existing structures, reestablished the fabric of this near downtown neighborhood.
One of the first large projects to be implemented was the North Main Streetscape, which included: new paving and gutters, handicapped accessible ramps and sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, and improved landscaping and signage.
The Jacobsville Redevelopment area has generated roughly $1.9 million dollars annually in TIF revenue. TIF proceeds are able to cover the cost of the North Main Streetscape bond without acquiring additional money from the City’s budget. Predictions estimate that the project will result in $11 million in new commercial investments and economic activity in the next seven years. Less than a year after completion, the North Main Streetscape is already bringing significant new vitality to the area.