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Louisville Lofts and Condos » 2007 » November
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Archive for November, 2007

8664 has public forum

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The results of the 8664 study with retired traffic engineer, Walter Kulash, were presented to an eager audience of over 200 of the public at Kentucky Center for the Arts.   

 
According to Mr. Kulash, the removal of I-64 through downtown would greatly simplify the current mess known as Spaghetti Junction where three interstates intersect.   This simplification would then allow the free flow of traffic through the interstate interchange making the need for a second downtown bridge next to the Kennedy bridge superfluous.  The plan would still require an East End Bridge and the re-routing of I-64 over that bridge, removing the through traffic that now flows through downtown Louisville. The removal of I-64 through downtown and replacement with a parkway would open a large swath of downtown and the west end for development, reconnecting Louisville with its rightful parent–the Ohio River.   

Finally, in addition to the livability and community benefits, the 8664 plan would also present a much more cost-effective plan, approximately half of the cost the current Bridges Project. Overall, the 8664 project is much more friendly to the downtown area and can only reinforce the booming downtown area, extending it west of the current 9th Street exit of I-64, which forms a wall between the central business district (CBD) and the west end.   Moreover, the $2 billion lower price tag would obviously free up money to be used on other greatly needed transportation projects throughout the Louisville metro area.

U of L Health Sciences TIF approved

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The University of Louisville has outlined an investment in its new Health Sciences Campus totaling about $2.2 billion and expected to result in about 8,700 new jobs in the life and health sciences.  The new taxing district will cover about 30 blocks including the University of Louisville downtown medical facilities and surrounding areas that are to be developed into a life sciences research park. With the approval of the taxing district now finalized, the first investments in the area will begin with the former Haymarket site.   The plans have long called for a research campus to be developed on the now empty site.   Ground is now expected to be broken next summer in June or July on a 10-story tower on Preston Street between Jefferson and Market that will include about 210,000 sf costing about $35 million. 

O’Malley’s Corner is now City Block

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

The longtime nightclub known as O’Malley’s Corner is being rebranded as City Block along with a $5 million investment.   The owners will be rebranding two of the six nightclubs on site.   One of the new clubs will include a small theater. Although the nightclubs suffered immediately following the opening of 4th Street Live!, now the business at the nightclubs is “better than ever” according to the owners.   The rebranding and investment is in anticipation of the new stadium planned at Second and Main to open in 2010, only two blocks from the nightclubs. 

Museum Plaza needs $45 million jump start

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Last week, a surprised metro council discovered that $45 million in bonds issued by the city of Louisville would be required for the privately financed Museum Plaza project.

According to reports, the $45 million bond issue would cover part of the $139 million in public improvements, such as floodwalls, lighting and a public plaza.    This is in addition to the earlier announced $130 million bond issue for the project to be supported by the TIF (tax increment financing) district created to support the project.

The reason for the additional bond issue is that not all of the $130 million will be available for improvements, since the bonds and expenses associated with the bonds will need to be paid in the intervening years before the TIF begins to generate revenue, expected to occur upon completion of the project in 2010.  Therefore, only about $75 million of the $130 million will be available for the public improvements at Museum Plaza.  The $130 million bond issue will only be covered by tax revenue from the TIF and the city’s credit rating will not be impacted nor will the city be liable for the debt.

The $45 million bond issue, to be paid by the city, along with $25 million from the developers will cover the remaining costs for public improvements.

Several members of the council and community at large were surprised, not by the cost, but by the timing and seemingly secretive way in which this extra money was secured.   Until this report, most of the community believed the only support the Museum Plaza project would receive was to be generated by the TIF.  Moreover, the need for an additional bond issue was only floated after the ground-breaking ceremony.

Stay tuned for more….