Plan may improve Old Town

Greenwood city engineers recently concluded that a building dating back to 1860 in the Old Town district might need to come down to ease congestion and allow growth in the historic region of the city south of Indianapolis.

The Van Valer Law Firm building and other structures on the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and Main Street stand in the way of a road expansion project, including a left-hand turn lane onto Madison that city officials said is long overdue.

Attorney Joe Van Valer, whose firm has been in the building since 1996, said he’d consider selling the property to the city.

“Something bold needs to be done to revitalize Old Town,” he said.

Van Valer’s building is home to his firm, another law firm, and the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference office. Additional buildings that house a guitar shop, taxi service and a mixture of other retail businesses might also be torn down if the project goes forward.

The road improvements are part of a larger project, which includes building new city offices and upgrading Old Town park to include a fishing area and paddle boating. City officials expect to decide on a course of action this summer.

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