by Gabe Bullard
A public hearing was held Wednesday on a potential loan for the $465 million Museum Plaza project in downtown Louisville.
Museum Plaza’s developers are working with the state on an application for a $100 million Housing and Urban Development loan. The loan is arranged by HUD in Washington, but the money would come from private investors and would be guaranteed and repaid by the developers.
Department of Local Government commissioner Tony Wilder says approval for the loan is largely dependent on potential job creation, but the developers’ guarantee will likely help.
“Normally these projects don’t require this kind of security guarantee,” he says. “Some states have actually taken a chance with those circumstances. We did not do it.”
The public input gathered Wednesday was the final step in the application process, and the request will be submitted to the Louisville HUD office on Friday.
“It takes about 30 days or so, or 40 days at HUD Louisville, and then another 60 or more at Washington,” says Wilder. “I suspect, given the high-profile nature of this project, it will probably be expedited a little bit.”
Wilder says three people spoke at the hearing, all of them in favor of the loan.
Due to financing problems, Museum Plaza has been stalled since 2008.