Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Waterfront Arena

With the arena moving forward, I would like to strike a conversation in regards to the design. As a 21st century city, we need to ensure this arena looks at all the mistakes of past designs to make this the best facility in the country, and possibly eventually attract an NBA or other professional sports team. But it also is going to have a huge impact on downtown. Here are some suggestions/starters:

  • There needs to be a pedestrian gate/entrance/exit under the Second Street Bridge at Washington Street. With all the parking garages located adjacently in the Waterfront district, this will encourage people to walk throughout the district, as well as spur nightlife in the Whiskey Row block of Washington, adjacent to the arena. The only other entrance/exit that is really necessary would be on Main Street.

  • With some developable land between the Courtyard by Marriott and LG&E Building, across Main from the arena site, it might be neat to create an alley way of shops. This would obviously tie into the public plaza in front of the arena that has space for some shops. As well, the southeast corner at Second and Main could some how be tied in to create a shopping district.

  • If a hotel is built adjacent to the arena, it has to have a rooftop bar and pool, outdoors. Those have become so popular in big cities and it surely would be popular in Louisville, especially during the summer. The hotel should try to be a brand that the city doesn't already have, like a Westin, W Hotel, or Le Meridian.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Long Overdue Update

A few stories have recently come about in regards to downtown. One is the idea of Wal-Mart possibly being in close proximity to the Central Business District. A Wal-Mart would help make downtown very livable, in that it would allow residents to have access to more goods, cheaply, close by, instead of having to drive out to the suburbs or across the river to Indiana. Although there's much controversy over Wal-Mart, there's definately room in the market for all sorts of retailers, including more high-end ones such as Market on Market and other corner delis.

As well, this past week a building collapsed, part of the Mercantile Gallery Lofts development. It's sad to see a building fall, especially a historic, appealing looking building, but hopefully this will lead to innovative thinking as to what to do to the site. Maybe a park, or another hip new addition might be cool. I am curious to see what will be in the one-storey retail space just east of the project's OEM Building.

According to a WHAS story, RiverPark Place has already sold $20 million in units. 621 units total are being built at this point, so it's very exciting to see a project taking off. It seems very well priced compared to other projects. But I do worry about so many units entering the market this late in the real estate cycle, with interest rates rising. It'll be interesting to see with Poe Development's other project, Museum Plaza supposed to be built soon just down river, if the market will hold long-term for downtown, waterfront housing. With this influx of housing, maybe downtown will finally be able to sustain services and retail for the local population. And the project will make for a great entry into downtown along River Road.

To the south of the waterfront, near 4th Street Live, things seem to be popping. The Starks Building has been bought by a California firm, and the old Stewart's Department Store Building (now Hillard Lyons headquarters) has also been bought, to both be redeveloped by seperate. Cordish though decided not to buy the J.C. Penney Building. I am most intrigued by U of L's graduate business program moving into the top two floors of Stewart's.

Debate over I-64 is also raging, with a new gallery having all of the pictures of I-64. I think that is a very innovative way to have people thinking, is to have it as an art exhibition. I wonder if anything will really come about from this. There doesn't seem to be much interest, besides placing some bumper stickers on cars.

A botanical garden had originally planned to move across from RiverPark Place along Frankfort Avenue, but now can't locate there, as the land will likely sink, due to it being a recent dump. I wish Botanica could find a site near downtown. Maybe where the proposed West Waterfront Park would be located, just to the west of the 9th Street I-64 interchange? Or could it be of use, elsewhere in Butchertown, or lower Lexington Road?

Another interesting story today emerging is a new brew-pub on Main Street, according to Business First. Hopefully it will be in close walking distance of the other attractions currently on the Street that make it such a tourist destination. I think the only thing missing now is many real retailers. I know that the Galleria failed miserably and that's why it's now an "entertainment" destination, but why not make Main Street have some sort of center, in the storefronts that will be used at Museum Plaza? Or what about the power station at the corner of 4th & Main. Certainly with an arena, traffic will increase and retail will spread.

The arena seems to be well on its way, that I believe will be a great project for Louisville. Both sites had their merit, but I do think this arena will not only be more visible. Overall, it's a great time for downtown Louisville. I just hope we see more retail coming on board soon, with all this residential growth.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Downtown Louisville Update

Well things downtown keep rolling on. The arena debate keeps raging and hopefully be resolved soon. It's time for a multi-purpose downtown arena and I am pretty split on the location of the arena. I loved the waterfront site, but if it ends up next to 4th Street, I think it'll be great for the nightlife and the waterfront site can be redeveloped into housing or commercial space.

I think Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson's commitment to downtown is astonishing and will prove fruitful in the years to come. A good example is Pitch Magazine, which is encouraging the arts scene which ultimately affects the downtown area, and retaining the "creative class" that Richard Florida has been revered for. I hope it sparks other entreprenuers in the area to step up to the plate and do more to encourage a diverse and interesting downtown.

Proof (LouisvilleHotBytes Review)

"Pitch Aims At Louisville's Art Scene" (C-J, March 7, 2006)

Pitch Magazine (Official Site)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

21C Hotel & Proof On Main

The 21C Hotel, as well as its' restaurant Proof on Main, will be opening in April and March respectively, thus bringing to West Main a bit of hipness. I am especially excited about the restaurant, as I think downtown Louisville has desperately needed a great place to eat, that's both fun and hip. That can often be lacking.

21C Hotel (Official Site)

Proof on Main (Official Site)

A Modern Spin (C-J, Monday January 3)

Museum Plaza Design Revealed

The Museum Plaza project has been revealed to the public. Now it will be a huge disappointment if it doesn't get built. With it's $380 million price tag, that could be possible. I was stricken by its' similarity to the former World Trade Center in New York, in it twin towers and metal facade. But, I think it's a wonderfully inovative design that could really transform downtown Louisville. It won't be just a building, it will be a center, with an estimated 10,500 daily visitors. I think the Plaza could be as transformative as Waterfront Park was to downtown Louisville.

The contemporary art museum in the middle of the building on the 21st floors seems like such a wonderful idea. I also really like the diagonal elevator taking vistors up to the space, as I am sure it will be a beautiful ride. As well, the idea of everyone mixing in the center of the building is a very fun idea. Plus I think it's wonderful to have a mix of housing. I am worried a bit about the size, but I think it could be a great catalyst in the neighborhood for further redevelopment, especially the desolate parking lots along Market and Jefferson.

Plans are to extend a park along the back side of the Main Street buildings between 7th & 8th. I hope the city will also consider building the planned Western Waterfront Park. That would open up Western Louisville to economic growth, tourism and improvement of the overall quality of life in the downtown region. It would also give great vistas of the skyline, with Museum Plaza being integral of course. Especially the area around 15th and Rowan has the potential to become another great neighborhood and area for development.

If you're interested in seeing the design you should go downtown to 609 West Main to view some of the models. I can't wait to buy a loft in the building!

Skyscraper to Transform Louisville Skyline (C-J, Thursday February 9)

Louisville Can Fill Space Plaza Offers (C-J, Friday February 10)

Louisville Trio Works To Turn A Big Plan Into A Reality (C-J, Sunday Feb 12)

Museum Plaza Video (Official Site, Windows Media Player Required)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Raw: New Sushi Restaurant on South Fourth

I am glad to see a new restaurant on Fourth Street, south of 4th Street Live. Especially since there is a dearth of great sushi restaurants downtown. I do wish that the area could develop into a locale for bluegrass music, or at least some place downtown. I know that usually requires cheap space, and Fourth Street currently has pretty low rents, of usually less than $10 a square foot.

I certainly am disappointed Louisville does not encourage more bluegrass music, in its colleges and music conservatories. Why not recruit musicians from around Kentucky to move or at least tour in Louisville? To have the annual Bluegrass awards ceremony move to Nashville I think is a good idea, to get more publicity. But in general, Louisville really ought to have at least one great bluegrass bar downtown. But I guess that's the disconnect between Louisville and the rest of the state. Hopefully, that will be bridged, and a unique part of our culture will make downtown a unique destination for tourists and residents alike.

"Sushi lounge will be serving Fourth Street" (C-J, December 20, 2005)

Opinions On Downtown Louisville

It was nice to see opinions on downtown development in the Courier-Journal. I wish the Courier would cover more downtown news, like it did under the Armstrong administration. I would have to agree with Ted Fleischaker about the need for real retail downtown. With the redevelopment of Clarksdale into Liberty Green, and even more market-rate housing in the area, there could definately be room for mainstream retailers downtown. Louisville has not yet made an emphasis on that, though it's the common story of which comes first, the chicken or the egg.

There are a lot of retailers just across the river in Indiana if you have a car, and many commute easily by interstate to shops. I think that the retailers will come on-line eventually, but the city could certainly give a bigger push, from big-box retailers to smaller local businesses. Hopefully, with the development of the arena, more retail complexes, as well as sidewalk retail will spring up. It will come eventually organically, as more people move downtown.

I also am seriously disappointed with the lack of promotion by Louisville Central Area. There's the monthly newsletter to members "Upside Downtown," but no general downtown newspaper on news, events and developments widely available, that could excited and inform the general public. I hope that Louisville Central Area will eventually look into a more mainstream newsletter distributed through downtown businesses. I do think too the organization needs a stronger push in the community and more power to get projects facilitated and completed. With Armstrong out of office, there's is no longer a great cheerleader or leader in downtown development. I don't blame Abramson, as I think he's doing a great job with the city and outlying neighborhoods. But we do need great leaders once again for a bold vision of downtown.

"Views on what downtown Louisville needs" (C-J, December 12, 2005)

From The Wall Street Journal, December 21, 2005: "Louisville's Revitalization Uses Art As A Draw"

Downtown renovations have been built around housing, retail and entertainment. Now Louisville, Ky., is hoping to extend its attempts at urban renaissance with a project that features a contemporary-art museum embedded in a new boutique hotel.

The backers of Louisville's new 21c Museum Hotel think the time is right for a 90-room hotel combined with a free public museum that will showcase work from prominent names in the contemporary-art scene. The 21c is meant to boost the downtown rebirth of a city best known for the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger baseball bat.

For years, cities have readapted worn-down industrial and commercial zones and made them hot tourist and local destinations with high-end retail, dining, residential and hotel options. Lately, art has come into the picture.

Such cities as Seattle; Buffalo, N.Y.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Ventura, Calif., have turned to art as component of revitalization, says Wendy Holmes, vice president of resource development at Artspace, a nonprofit real-estate development company based in Minneapolis. Artist colonies have sprouted in Seattle's Pioneer Square and in Ventura, a coastal city about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles. In St. Paul, one developer is looking to build a hotel with a performance space designed for the city's chamber orchestra.

But hotels that combine functioning art galleries and museums with guest rooms remain a rarity in the U.S., says Ms. Holmes. In 1998 Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn integrated fine-art galleries into the Bellagio hotel and casino and followed suit with his Wynn Las Vegas, which opened in April. Both galleries charge visitors a fee to view the art. Mr. Wynn, however, said last week that the art gallery at his newest hotel would be replaced by a luxury watch retailer.

The hotel is one piece in Louisville's puzzle, says Mayor Jerry Abramson, combined with the renovation of downtown hotels and about $800 million that already has been spent in the past few years on redevelopment of this northern Kentucky city's downtown. The most recent effort: the opening last month of the $80 million Muhammad Ali Center, a museum and cultural center devoted to the boxer's history and life's work.

Mr. Abramson says the city and its residents are ready to embrace a high-concept hotel with a focus on modern art. "If you'd been here in 1985, when I was elected, and asked me about Louisville, I'd have said the same thing," Mr. Abramson says. He has declared rebirth before. "The difference is I'm truthful this time. You can really see the change, and kick the tires to see it's for real."

The 21c links four former warehouses and a bank on Main Street, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and which form the hotel and museum. The project was championed by local residents and philanthropists Steve Wilson and his wife Laura Lee Brown (a member of the family that founded the Brown-Forman Corp. liquor conglomerate that includes the Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort brands).

The property, set to open in late January, will be managed by Sage Hospitality Resources LLC of Denver, with rates from $185 to $250 a night. The roughly $25 million project has been financed through a combination of private equity from Mr. Wilson and Ms. Brown and a slew of grants, tax credits and other incentives from the local and federal governments.

Mr. Wilson, president of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, says a thriving art scene is a critical ingredient for cities like Louisville, which are trying to draw residents back downtown to live and to experience culture.

"I've seen how art can be the catalyst for growth in places like Bilbao," in Spain, he said, referring to a Guggenheim Museum there. "We figured one way we could help achieve the same thing here is to bring art downtown and try to form some sort of museum row."

The nonprofit foundation set up by Mr. Wilson and Ms. Brown that will run the museum portion of the hotel has collected nearly 80 pieces of modern art and will rotate the gallery exhibits at least three times each year, Mr. Wilson says. Featured art will include photographs by Andres Serrano, video installations from Bill Viola, and sculpture by Judy Fox.

The new hotel could be helped by the dearth of trendy boutique hotels in Louisville and the success of other small hotels that have embraced art. At three of Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC's 39 properties, art is a priority. The Alexis Hotel in Seattle features works by local artists; a curator rotates the collection quarterly. The Hotel Palomar in San Francisco hosts exhibitions of individual artists in the property's business center, and the Fifth Avenue Suites in Portland, Ore., features the work of two local artists each month and displays 20 works by local artists in the hotel's "living room."

Ms. Holmes of Artspace says the 21c hotel project is an encouraging sign for Louisville, but wonders how well a hotel-art concept will work in the long term. "The hotel could be very successful as a tourist attraction, because it's a novel concept," she says. "Often we see more successes when people are moving back downtown to live, as artists are often pioneers who return to the core because they are desperate for affordable space."


Link To Article (Need WSJ Membership)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fourth Street Live

Fourth Street Live continues to evolve and has been a major success for downtown. But the center lacks a non-chain atmosphere, too many high-priced options, with too few lower-priced places and is full of only entertainment options. There needs to be more retail options within the center, for both downtown residents and workers alike. I think a logical extension of the center would be at the big parking lot next to the center at 5th and Liberty, as well as on the opposite side of the street, where the Wendy's used to be. It could be a great outdoor atmosphere. As well, a lot could be done on the site where the arena had been planned, between 2nd and 3rd on Muhummad Ali.

Plans are underway to renovate the 66,000 square foot, old J.C. Penney store a block to the south of the complex. I hope that plans for that facility include movie theaters, which have been sorely lacking downtown. As well, I hope more local flavor is added. I love the Maker's Mark Lounge, as well as The Louisville Store. Both bring a great local flavor and original atmosphere to the district. I'm glad that 4th Street Live has rejuvenated Louisville's old shopping street. I just wish there was more originality in the development, rather than copying of similar developments in other cities.

Alive & Kicking: Fourth Street Live (Velocity Weekly, October 19, 2005)

Cordish Buying Former J.C. Penney Site, Plans Renovation (Business First, October 25, 2005)

Maker's Mark Lounge (Official Site)

The Louisville Store (Official Site)

Fourth Street Live (Official Site)

Main Street Association

One of the greatest organizations to get involved in to help promote downtown Louisville is the Louisville Main Street Association. The organization has brought together many stakeholders over the years to help in the evolution of the street's rejuvination. But the main priority of the organization has been running a visitor's center at 627 West Main. If you'd like, call ahead to arrange a tour of the street, which spans the entire history of the area. But if you don't call ahead, the guides can still help point you in the right direction or answer any question. They also have a great walking tour brochure if you want to take a tour by yourself.

Their website also has some great pictures of downtown, a wonderful directory of local businesses, a quarterly newsletter, and a map to help you get around. Check out when their next quarterly meeting is, and support the organization with your own $40 individual membership.

Main Street Association (Official Site)

Waterfront Park's Economic Impact

One of the coolest documents I came across recently was a economic report on the effect of Waterfront Park on downtown development. Anyone knows that Waterfront Park has changed the face of downtown Louisville and made it all the more appealing to new residents, and visitors alike. The addition of Witherspoon, as a new great street downtown, the liveliness of Slugger Field and Humana's investment in the area have all been huge boosts to downtown's growth.

Within the immediate waterfront district, there has been over 360 million dollars in investment of development, and jobs have risen from 400 to nearly 5,300. Those numbers are staggering, but I hope that is only the beginning. The eMain district was largely created due to Waterfront Park, and yet the area did not become the technology center that former Mayor Armstrong desired. But the area continues to blossom and evolve with the market needs for the area, the city and the economy. And thanks to Bravura's great design of many of the buildings in the area, as well as within the park, downtown Louisville has quickly become a place of high design and great architecture. I'm glad that more architects such as Henry Potter have stepped up to the plate and added to the dynamic features of the eastern portion of downtown.

Exploration of the Economic Impact of Louisville's Waterfront Park (louisvillewaterfront.com)

eMain USA (Official Site)

Bravura (Official Site)

Potter & Associates Architects (Official Site)

George Gavin Brown Garden

Although I felt this site could have used a more intensive use, such as a building to further the great corridor of shops and entertainment around Fourth Street and Muhummad Ali, I'm really glad to see such a great design in downtown Louisville for a pocket park. I am glad it is not fenced in, and glad that it will now be a great place for office workers and local residents to relax in.

Now, if Founder's Square could be re-done, with some surrounding housing development to add to the visual effect and users for the spaces, this portion of downtown will become a vital and dynamic part of the city's core. I especially think this area could be very family-friendly if developed correctly. And with Louisville's aging population, why not have more nursing homes in the area? Many of them I'm sure would love to attend church at the Cathedral.

"Urban Oasis Promotes Getting Along" (Courier-Journal, December 11, 2005)

Cathedral Commons

One of the projects in downtown that has excited me the most is Christ Church Cathedral's new affordable housing development, Cathedral Commons. The project will also feature retail space and professional office space in the adjacent Howard-Hardy House, one of the few row-houses remaining in downtown Louisville. Preserving that building should be commended, as it is an essential part of our collective history and is absolutely gorgeous from the street.

All together, the project has a high-design quality and fulfills a need downtown is severly lacking in: affordable housing. This kind of development needs to be further encouraged downtown and built. The building itself is inviting, with a courtyard in the middle that will certainly become a respite for pedestrians passing-by as well as residents. And the housing will continue to allow downtown to become a more dynamic and interesting environment to live, work and play in. And with this affordable housing, residents will be able to walk to work, which I think will really make downtown more of a village-atmosphere, while also helping to prevent crime, as there will be more eyes on the street.

Cathedral Commons (From Christ Church Cathedral's Website)

The Shops at Main Street Crossing & Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse

As part of the Schneider's renovation of the Waterfront Plaza, a new collection of shops and restaurants will be added to the base of the building, called The Shops at Main Street Crossing. The arcade will be located between 4th and 3rd on Main, extending back towards the eastern portion of the Galt House. The first tenant was recently announced as a a steakhouse with room for more than 130 patrons. Other tenants targeted for the arcade include a coffee shop, gift shops and apparel retailers.

I do think they need to renovate the exterior and make it more visible for the project to be a success. That includes street paving, but maybe even a new facade, and one that goes all the way to the sidewalk. Currently, the exterior is not pedestrian friendly and not inviting enough for patrons to linger. It would be nice too if their could be seating outside during the nice weather.

From the description of the restaurant, I hope the interior is less grandiose and more elegant than written. I do think though that this will bring in a new cliente to downtown, and the sushi bar will be a nice touch. It will be interesting to see though how it competes against an already crowded, upscale and expensive steakhouse market, with such contenders as Morton's & Pat's. I wish Jeff Ruby's all the best, and I do think the corner location will be a boon for the restaurant.

"Jeff Ruby Plans Downtown Louisville Restaurant" (Courier-Journal, December 1, 2005)

"Upscale Steakhouse Planned At Waterfront Plaza" (Business First, December 1, 2005)

Jeff Ruby's Culinary Entertainment Inc. (Official Site)

Galt House Renovation

The Galt House has been undergoing a renovation over the past couple of years and I believe it has been a big improvement. Still, the design is very much functional, with little emphasis on the uniqueness of the site. I must say though that the new rooftop fitness center, Club 360, on top of the Galt House East, is a site to behold. Each piece of cardio equipment has its own personal flat-screen TV and their are panoramic views all around of the great city unfolding. The river is especially stunning, as well as the views up Fourth Street, and Waterfront Park as well. I only wish it was larger and open on a more membership basis for local citizens. I recommend a visit if you're in the downtown area.

Eventually, I do hope management will renovate the exterior of the building, as it's nothing but an eyesore. I commend the Schneider family though for willing to renovate the entire hotel, as it had never been a great facility beforehand. I think the Galt House could also extend restaurants onto the newly renovated Belvedere Plaza, with outside seating in good weather. As well, I hope the hotel will consider allowing some of the apartments in the east side of the tower to be renovated and used as full-time residences, to further bring an interesting dynamic to the hotel.

Galt House - Renovations (Official Site)

"Timing Right for Upgrades at Galt House" (Courier-Journal, February 20, 2005)

Museum Plaza

One of the more exciting projects to be announced in the past six months has been the prospect of Museum Plaza. As a mixed-use development consisting of condos, apartments, a contemporary art museum and space of U of L's art program, it could further West Main's reputation as an arts district, while adding residents to the city's core. Being located next to the new Muhummad Ali Center, as well as other concentration of museums along West Main, it will continue the area's reputation as a top destination for tourists. Downtown Louisville blog can't wait to hear what next will be revealed about this exciting development.

Museum Plaza (Official Site)

Museum Plaza Architect Offers Peek Inside Firm's Unique Designs (Courier-Journal, November 16, 2005)

Downtown Arena

In September, news came that the downtown arena would be located between 2nd and 3rd Street on Main. I found the site to be a very good choice in general, compared to the Louisville Water Company site. Granted, the facility will take up a lot of space, and is a little further from Fourth Street Live, but I feel it will renergize the waterfront area, while bookending the other side of Main opposite Slugger Field, to make East Main all about sports.

There's already plenty of space for new nightclubs in the old buildings around the arena site. And I feel it will further prompt new residences along the waterfront so Louisville fans can walk to games. Louisville sorely needs a new arena, so that it can attract world-class events and concerts, and filling downtown restaurants and shops at night. I think the project also would prompt more general retail downtown, that's sorely missing currently. Let's hope with the coming general assembly, that money is appropriated to this worthwhile project to further prompt downtown development.

Louisville Arena Task Force (Official Site)

University of Louisville Business School Branch for Downtown

The University of Louisville is considering placing a new MBA building in the eastern half of downtown. The possibilities for this new facility are endless. With all the housing coming on board downtown, students and professors could live and work downtown. Visiting students, getting their executive MBAs, will take up rooms in downtown hotels. Nighttime lectures will be drawn to the meeting space at the facility and conferences can be held in the daytime. And the facility will further the education of future business leaders, while racheting up the stature of the University of Louisville.

Word on the street is that the facility might be combined with the new development by the Louisville Medical Center on the old Haymarket site on Market Street. The Downtown Louisville blog would like to thank Business School Dean Charles Moyer for his stewardship of the project, and we look forward to further announcements on this exciting new facility for downtown.

"College Studies Potential for Downtown MBA Building" (louisville.edu)

New Residence Inn on Market

The new Residence Inn on Market is sure to become a popular hit downtown. It already has 70% nightly average occupancy. The nightly room rates start at $89, though for extended stays the rate can be lower. And for those who want room-service, they can get it from Park Place on Main & Browning's, in Slugger Field, only a block away. There's an indoor pool and fitness center for those who want to work out, as well as valet service for those who don't want to park their own car in the two-story adjacent garage.

As for the one and two-bedroom suites, their kitchens will be able to be put to use with goods from Market on Market, only a block away (see post below). Lastly, the first floor lobby will have University of Louisville students' artwork, thus becoming yet another stop on the popular First Friday Gallery Hop. This new hotel is certainly a welcome addition to downtown Louisville, and will bring an interesting mix of new temporary residents to enliven its' surroundings.

Extended-Stay Hotel to Open Downtown (Courier-Journal, Dec. 13, 2005)

Market on Market: Downtown's New Grocery Store

One of the most exciting developments for Downtown Louisville is the impending opening of a new grocery store. Market on Market (at Jackson & Market, in the Cobalt Marketplace, next to new restaurant Primo) will be a 2,100 square foot market that will carry "staple items, gourmet ingredients, gourmet-to-go meals, a limited wine & beer selection and full deli offerings." It's being opened by Dustin & Page von Wheeler, set to open on March 1st. With all the new residences downtown coming online this business will surely be a welcome new business in downtown! Let's hope more local entrepreneurs and chains will take the plunge to serve downtown residents!

"Grocery Store To Open In Cobalt Marketplace Downtown" (Business First, Nov. 29, 2005)

Market on Market (Official Site)

New Development Team for Downtown Projects

According to the December 9th edition of Business First, Jonathan Blue is teaming up with Gant Hill and Austin Musselman to form Blue Venterra LLC. The three plan to pursue real estate investment and development, especially in the downtown area. After the first of the year, the group will close on the Republic Building (Fifth & Muhummad Ali Boulevard) from one of Venterra's affiliates. We wish them well in all their new downtown developments!

"After Split, Jonathan Blue Joins Forces With New Investors for Real Estate Ventures"

Business First on Downtown Development

In The December 9th Edition of Business First, the In Depth Section profiles "Downtown Development" in several articles. Amongst some of the tidbits revealed:

  • The Hub Development (at Floyd & Main) by Cobalt Ventures LLC will feature condos between $500,000 and $600,000, on 4 to 5 levels, expected to have about 85,000 square feet. Construction is targeted to be begin at the end of '06, with completion towards the end of '07.
  • Fleur-de-lis Condos (300 block of East Main) by Henry Potter will be 200,000 square feet with 84 condos and space for three retailers on 5 stories. Prices for the condos will be from $200,000 to $360,000. Construction has already begun, and is slated to be completed by October of '06.
  • The Mercantile Gallery Lofts (301 East Market) by CobaltBravura City Lofts LLC will have 47 condos ranging from 700 to 1,500 square feet. Condos will be between $179,000 and $397,000.
  • The new Residence Inn Marriott (333 East Market) has 140 rooms priced between $89 and $169 per night. The project has just opened.
  • Park Place Lofts (400 East Main) by LHD East Main LLC is 50,000 square feet, with 22 condos and 10 retail spaces. The project opened this fall.
  • Lofts of Broadway will host an open house on Sunday, December 11 from 1 to 4 PM. Prices are between $595 and $900 a month.
  • The Off-Broadway Lofts (formerly the YMCA building, at Third & Chestnut) will be ready for move in on July 1. The project includes 14 two-story penthouse condos and 51 apartments.

"Building Blocks, Developers Make East Main & Market Streets A Hotbed of Activity"

"On the Job In The City"

Guest Comment, "Choosing to Live Downtown Added Vibrancy to Life"

Trend Notes, "Downtown Business Group Takes First Steps in Strategic Plan"

Louisville's Downtown

This blog is dedicated to news, buzz, advice and input on the ever-evolving downtown Louisville. It's just a starting point for discussion on issues of the on-going development and change in the downtown Louisville area. Feel free to send ideas and comments to continue to shape downtown Louisville development.