Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Baseball Complex Gets Warm Welcome ; Neighbors Feared Housing

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Baseball Complex Gets Warm Welcome ; Neighbors Feared Housing

Article excerpt

Some residents living near the vacant 96 acres the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau is attempting to purchase for a softball and baseball complex say they're glad it's being developed for recreation rather than housing. Steve and Marilyn Weigand have lived at their home on Heckel Road for nearly 40 years. They own an acre, and were there before the Keystone Subdivision was built across the street.

If purchased and developed, the recreational complex would start where their backyard ends.

Marilyn Weigand said she and her husband were hoping the bureau would choose the lot behind their house, near the southwest corner of Goebel Soccer Complex.

"We were excited. Anything that's good for the community I'm for," Steve Weigand said.

The couple has many grandchildren who are active in baseball and softball, they said.

"I'm glad because I can look out my kitchen window and I'll see baseball fields and not buildings," she said.

The CVB hasn't officially purchased the property. It has only approved a purchasing agreement with the seller, James and Jacqueline Johnston, and J J Brodi, LLC.

The CVB is offering $1.35 million for the 96-acre site, with hopes of building a $10.6 million to $13.5 million complex that would feature eight baseball and softball fields, concession stands, playground and a walkway.

The news was welcomed by the Weigands, who feared Johnston's original intentions of developing condominiums, housing and possibly a senior housing complex on the land.

In 2008, the Area Plan Commission approved a request by the Johnstons to rezone 80 acres of their land to accommodate condos or housing, but not apartment complexes.

According to minutes from a January 2008 Area Plan Commission meeting, Maria Worthington, speaking on behalf of the Johnstons, said the couple were going to wait until road improvements on Green River Road were finished before attempting to develop the land.

Paul Jensen lives in the Keystone Subdivision, which borders the south side of Heckel Road. …

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