Key Players in Whiskey Row/Iron Quarter Project to Appear on WFPL at 1:00

by Gabe Bullard on February 28, 2011

Three parties involved in the dispute over a strip of buildings at First and Main streets will discuss the issue on State of Affairs Monday.

The buildings’ owner, Todd Blue, has less than three months before he can demolish the strip, which he owns. Blue plans to build a new development called the Iron Quarter on the site. However, he can also use the land as a parking lot for up to five years while the development is planned.

Blue was granted permission to destroy the buildings by Metro Government. The city has also agreed to try to allocate $450,000 from the next city budget to help Blue preserve or recreate the facades. The buildings have been declared local landmarks, though the city’s agreement with Blue was made in federal court and apparently trumps the Landmarks Commission.

Preservationists want the facades or the entire buildings preserved, and that may be the opinion of the Metro Council, which has to approve the allocation to Blue. Blue says if preservationists want to save the buildings, they’re welcome to buy the strip from him.

Blue, Attorney Steve Porter and Tommy Clark from Metro Government will all appear on State of Affairs Monday at 1:00. You can post your questions below, or call in during the show to (502) 814-8255. You can also tweet commetns to @wfplnews and @soatalk.

Comments Closed


John February 28, 2011 at 1:24 pm

1) Mr. Blue had years to attempt to stabilize these buildings. What steps did he take in that time to do so?
2) If the buildings have been in as bad a shape as he states for such a long time, why did it constitute an emergency (during Derby season, no less)?
3) Most people I talk with wonder why Mr. Blue didn’t get criminally prosecuted like the man who owns Genny’s Diner. Please distinguish.

Curtis Morrison February 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

What is it that specifically causes Todd Blue to believe he’s entitled to a 300% return on his misguided real estate investment? He’s held the property during a 3 year crash of values, and now he thinks preservationist should come forward and pay him a handsome profit?
He can suck it.

Kam Urai February 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Folks, I can’t imagine contentious questions will get us anywhere.

Perhaps we could take a lesson from a recent transplant to Louisville (from Los Angeles), Jennifer Charles, as she ends a recent letter to the LEO, here:

Charles asks “As a citizen of this city and as a professional architect, what can I do to ensure these facades are saved and restored?”

Todd, you’re a good businessman and you and your family have been an asset to this city. Reinvestment in this area is a good idea. Shoring up or even dismantling the facades and building fresh would be a laudable accomplishment. Maintaining the presence and character of that streetscape would be valuable to businesses (tenants) moving in.

Todd, what would it take to help you make this a reality? What would defray the costs? If we found enough architects/engineers/contractors who felt similarly and were willing to pitch in? If a few folks knew a few more folks they were willing to convince to be anchor tenants? If architecture students were willing to volunteer for dismantling duties?

How can we get this done *and* put you up on our shoulders as an amazing promoter of this community (and collaboration)?



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