Council Workgroup Looks At Center City

by Gabe Bullard on October 14, 2008

A Louisville Metro Council workgroup met Tuesday to come up with revisions to the Center City development agreement.

Last week the council postponed purchasing land downtown for the entertainment district. Some members said they wanted a written guarantee from the Baltimore-based Cordish Company that the developer would invest at least $200 million in the project, create new jobs and hire local workers. On Friday Cordish sent a letter to Mayor Abramson threatening to pull out of the project if the city doesn’t buy the land soon.

Councilman Hal Heiner opposes the purchase as it stands now. He says if Cordish is promising to invest that much money in the project, it should be submitted in writing.

“As a city we should never be in a position of approving a bad deal after getting a threat from a developer,” he says.

Council President Jim King says he thinks the deal is safe, and expects Cordish to make more concessions.

“If we don’t have an agreement we shouldn’t be trying to acquire the land, right? And we shouldn’t be asking for permission to acquire the land. So I’m confident we have agreement.”

The bipartisan workgroup will report its ideas to the Metro Council Budget Committee.

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