The Louisville Metro Council will vote on the final phase of land purchases for the Center City project this week.
A proposal to issue millions of dollars in bonds to buy land for the 4th Street Live expansion cleared the council’s budget committee last week.
All eleven Republicans on the council say they will vote against the measure, but they’re outnumbered by council Democrats, who generally support the purchase. GOP Councilman Hal Heiner says the developer of the property, Cordish Company, should agree to a large minimum investment if it’s going to lease the land from the city.
“If the developer came back and said ‘Sure, we’ll drop in $300 million in guaranteed equity in downtown Louisville,’ sure, that’d be more palatable and worth some discussion,” he says.
At a budget committee meeting last week, mayor’s office liaison Jim McGovern said the investment is a necessary risk that would improve downtown.
“The people who look at this city and determine where this city goes have to say, ‘Are we willing to take this chance to get this kind of investment in our downtown?’” says McGovern.
The mayor’s office says Cordish will need to invest between 200 and 450 million dollars to make the project a success.