Center City Wait Continues

by Gabe Bullard on October 15, 2008

Louiville Mayor Jerry Abramson says he’s not sure what the future holds for the proposed Center City entertainment district.

Last week the Metro Council postponed purchasing land for the project. Some council members wanted more guarantees on financial investment and job creation from the project’s Baltimore-based developer, Cordish. The council is currently working on a list of the guarantees they would like Cordish to make.

After the postponement, Cordish sent a letter to Abramson threatening to back out of the deal if the land isn’t purchased soon. Abramson says the city has until December to make the purchase, and he will wait for the council to agree on what they want from the developer.

“Once there is a consensus and the council brings a consensus that these are the things that ultimately bring the votes to the table then I think it’s worth taking it to Cordish and seeing if they really meant what they said in their letter,” says Abramson.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant-Hamilton says the council isn’t deterred by the threat.

“It takes 14 votes,” she says. “And we’ll just have to re-look at what they say or how far they’re willing to meet us in the middle on some of these issues and see if we have the votes.”

Cordish has made concessions on job creation, but the council would like a guaranteed minimum investment of at least $200 million put in writing. The council’s budget committee will discuss the deal next week. A vote on the purchase is expected at the full council’s October 23rd meeting.

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