November 03, 2008

An Enthusiastic "Yes!" For Center City

An enthusiastic “Yes”! for Center City We believe that Center City is a critical element in the overall downtown development strategy, and more significantly, to the future economic health of the larger Louisville region.

Louisville can point to a record of accomplishment in its downtown development achievements. From the revitalization of West Main Street, building the Marriott, the success of Glassworks, and the development of the Henry Clay, Museum Plaza, Fleur de Lis condominiums, and plans for Iron Quarter and Whiskey Row. All of these are public/private partnerships in which the City and private sector worked together as true partners in crafting projects that had the best chance of success.  Fourth Street Live fits into this category as well, filling a major void in our downtown retail/entertainment sector.

The economic impact of these projects on the community has been enormous. Hotel tax receipts and occupational and property taxes have increased. Convention business - one of the community’s economic engines - is increasing, in part due to the added and improved hotel and entertainment facilities. One of the reasons that the arena project was financeable was the comfort that bond purchasers and insurers had with the state tax, or TIF (tax increment financing), revenues.

Perhaps most troubling to us has been the harshness of some of the comments that have been made regardingthis project. The Cordish Company as an outside competitor; rather we view it as a well-respected entity. The existence and success of Fourth Street Live helped make our development efforts more financeable and ultimately successful, and our projects likewise helped Fourth Street Live be more successful. We should embrace their commitment to continue to make significant investment in downtown Louisville, particularly given their record of success.