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Lafayette officials hope riverfront development replaces "blight"

Lafayette officials are taking steps to help develop vacant property downtown.

The site near the South Street bridge is officially a “blight spot” thanks to a city council resolution. Now, the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation is partnering with the city to pledge $50,000 for cleanup.

Council president Steve Meyer says that’s an important step in the development process.

"It would encourage a developer to come in and take a look at that property and perhaps develop it into some mixed-use, maybe, some trail or park area."

He says the site also could include spaces for commercial and residential use.

"I think that it's open to several different concepts, but the immediate issue is to go in and clean it up and make it environmentally safe."

Since it has been designated a blight, it could receive grant money from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Meyer says the pending funds will determine when the project moves forward.

The five parcels that make up the property are situated south of State Road 26 between the river and railroad tracks.