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

Louisville City Center Project Plans Grow

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

The Louisville City Center Project, a development of the Cordish Group, owner of 4th Street Live!, has grown in size and cost as the plans have become more concrete.  The latest estimates now expect the entire project to top $442 million, as more features have been added.

According to officials, this increase in the project scope will not result in more support from the city.   The original plan called for a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district along Muhammed Ali Blvd between Second and Sixth Streets.   The TIF district will allow the expected $130 million in newly generated taxes be used for public improvements, such as sidewalks, utilities, and parking.

Major features of the project include the development of the “Water Company” block featuring a movie theater, hotel, offices, retail, and restaurants.  The block is also expected to include a 20+ story tower primarily for condominiums.  At the other end of the City Center development area, the Cordish company will renovate the aging Louisville Gardens (expected to cost about $20 million) in anticipation of a minor league hockey team.

All of the land in the development area is under contract or already owned by either the city or Cordish company.  Therefore, construction could begin as early as next year (2008), to be developed in phases as market demand deems necessary.   Before any construction begins agreements for the TIF district must be approved by Frankfort and the City Council.

Real Estate Prices steady, but inventory still high

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

The October NAR report shows that the Louisville area real estate market remains relatively healthy when compared with the rest of the country.  Home sales for 2007 are less than 1% behind last year’s pace.   Moreover, median prices for both homes (3Q: -0.4%) and condos (3Q: +4.2%) are not in free-fall as is the case in some markets, such as Florida and California.

The big issue lurking in the Louisville real estate marketplace, however, is inventory.  Louisville has 9.7 months of real estate inventory listed, while the picture across the river in Southern Indiana is even worse at 11.1 months of inventory outstanding.   With the credit markets in turmoil and inventory high, the real estate market in the Louisville area will continue to be constrained.   At the same time, no one is predicting an all-out crash since housing prices are still affordable for most households in the region.

Museum Plaza Bond Issue Approved

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Museum Plaza, the $490 million downtown mixed-use mega-project with a hotel, condos, lofts and office space among restaurants and  art exhibition areas, last week received unanimous approval from the Louisville metro council committee for a $130 million bond issue to pay for public improvements.   This is a key step in the process to ensure that project receives all of the financing necessary for its completion.

The bond issue that was approved will be paid through the new TIF (Tax Increment Finance) district created for Museum Plaza and will not require any Louisville Metro funding, nor will it be on the Louisville city government’s balance sheet.

The developers of Museum Plaza, however, have requested an additional $45 million bond issue from the city’s coffers to cover the extensive costs of the public improvements on site, including a new floodwall and a landscaped public plaza.   The costs of the 62-story skyscraper will be privately funded.