Center City Vote Faces Further Delays

by Gabe Bullard on October 23, 2008

A Louisville Metro Council vote to purchase land for the Center City project will likely be postponed again.

The Council first postponed the vote two weeks ago so a work group could come up with revisions to the city’s development deal with the Baltimore-based Cordish Company. Under the current deal, the city will buy the so-called water company block downtown and lease it to the developer, who will then turn it into an entertainment district. The council aims to update the agreement to include a minimum investment from Cordish and a way for the city to reclaim unused land.

Council President Jim King says the council will give the mayor a list of the requests to take to Cordish, and discussions will likely begin next week. Cordish has threatened to back out of the deal if the land isn’t acquired soon, but King says the council has until December to authorize the purchase.

“I think they’re probably tough negotiators, they’re going to try to strike the best deal they can for themselves,” he says. “We’ve got to strike the best deal for the taxpayers.”

King says a new agreement should be ready for the next council meeting on November 6th. At that point, he expects the council to vote on the land purchase.

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