Businesses see opportunity in move to River Centre

Construction continues on the Jasper River Centre, located along the Patoka riverfront


JASPER — At least four Dubois County businesses will move into the Jasper River Centre when parts of the mixed-use space open in the not-too-distant future: a gym, a bar, a women’s clothing store and a pickup point for a meal delivery service. The businesses were announced late last week during the ribbon-cutting for the nearby Fairfield Inn & Suites, and will open in late 2019 and early 2020.

Five more businesses and a restaurant space — which will cover 9,000 square feet alone and could be broken up — will be selected to fill the remaining storefronts in the coming months. The River Centre will also host 76 apartments with 20 different floor plans. Those are currently being framed and drywalled, and will be available to lease beginning in January 2020.

“Our goal, is to make it where you can come and work out, get a coffee, ice cream, clothes, get your hair done,” said Leslie Tegmeyer, property manager at Boxer Girl LLC, the River Centre’s developer. “Kind of just a central hub.”

St. Benedict’s Brew Works

Based on the Monastery Immaculate Conception grounds in Ferdinand, the craft brewery will expand and house a taproom that serves beer and food in the River Centre development. Co-owner Vince Luecke said his company’s corner slice of the building is about 2,700 square feet.

Luecke remembered being recruited by Jane Hendrickson, who works with Boxer Girl, and later visited the site with her. The location certainly has its advantages — Brew Works’ space will be positioned close to the hotel, beneath the loft apartments and a stone’s throw away from the Jasper Train Depot.

“We just see that as a neat kind of gathering spot,” Luecke said.

Though a menu hasn’t been set, he hopes the taproom will become the “go-to spot” for people searching for a late-night dining option.

A Brew Works location is also coming to Rockport, and leadership is hunting for a larger production space. Still, Luecke noted that the company’s headquarters will always be in Ferdinand.

“So, as of right now, we open in Jasper a year down the road. I’m hoping that we’ll have a production brewery somewhere else that’s producing more beer,” Luecke said, later stressing that “nothing we’re doing in Jasper is gonna affect what we’re doing in Ferdinand.”

Beer connoisseurs could be in for a treat: Luecke said he’d like to start brewing Jasper-inspired beers when the expansion is complete.

FitFuel and Fueled Strength Meals

Already based in Jasper, FitFuel Nutrition + Fitness + Cryotherapy will move from its home on Third Avenue to the River Centre in December. Ashley Downes, FitFuel’s owner, said its new location will be bigger than its current space, and will allow the company to expand its offerings to include a full gym outfitted with cardio equipment, weight racks and other machines.

“I’m a Jasper native, I grew up here,” she said. “It’s great to see my hometown growing and supporting local businesses.”

Tegmeyer explained that the public membership gym will be open 24 hours a day, and will also house a new pickup refrigerator for Fueled Strength Meals. That business is run by local chef Tim Flick. It offers catering and “convenient, delicious and healthy meals available for pick-up at various locations throughout Dubois County,” according to its website. The company is also in talks of potentially expanding the Fueled Strength brand into one of the available River Centre store spaces.

“It continues to expand our presence,” Flick said of the new location. “Kind of our reach, as well.”

Joelle + Co

When Hendrickson first dropped by Sara Durcholz’s Huntingburg business, Joelle + Co, about a year and a half ago, Durcholz wasn’t in a rush to move. After hearing Hendrickson’s vision, however, she is now eager to be part of the new Jasper development.

“The one thing that really drew me to the River Centre is Jane’s vision for it isn’t just Jasper, it’s a regional vision of creating this opportunity of bringing the community together,” Durcholz said.

Currently located in Huntingburg and downtown Newburgh, Joelle + Co sells “easy to style, effortless women’s clothing and accessories,” Durcholz said, adding that those items are of a high quality.

“We all have different definitions for everyday life, and my goal is to provide pieces and clothing accessories that not only help women feel good, but will transition with them through life when they go from work, or date night, or picking up the kids and having a family night,” she said. “Whatever it is, they know they can come to us and find those pieces.”

The new space will be a little smaller than her current spot in Huntingburg, but she plans to sell the same kind of products. Her Huntingburg location will close for the last time on May 25 as she prepares for the move to Jasper.

“Everything will stay the same, this is purely just kind of a move of location for us,” she said.

Her new shop will open in the first quarter of 2020.

More on