Iron Quarter Battle Hampers Nearby Businesses

by Stephanie Crosby

Two business owners who have poured millions of dollars into new developments near the new arena say the ongoing battle over the Iron Quarter is hampering their business. Tom O’Shea and Bill Whelen spoke today at the Louisville Forum.

Tom O’Shea is the owner of several bars and restaurants in Louisville, including the new Patrick O’Shea’s on Main Street. He says barriers have recently gone up near his property to keep people away from the area known as Iron Quarter – in the 100 block of West Main. The developer there, Todd Blue, is seeking to demolish the buildings, but preservationists are trying to block the effort.

In the meantime, O’Shea says his business is being affected.

“The fence that’s out there has really kind of hampered out beginning process, the lack of pedestrian, sidewalk usage and parking on that has been really tough on us,” says O’Shea. “So the sooner the better on whatever does happen.”

Bill Whelan, developer of Whiskey Row, says it’s affected their business too.

Blue’s request to demolish the buildings would have to be approved by the Waterfront Development Corporation and the Landmark Commission.