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Museum Plaza Failure Highlights Council’s Taxpayer Protections

Early Monday morning, the developers behind the Museum Plaza project in downtown Louisville called it quits. Craig Greenberg, Steve Wilson, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Poe sent a letter to Governor Steve Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer saying they couldn’t build the tower. Several years, millions of dollars and hundreds of headlines had been dedicated to the project.

The Museum Plaza groundbreaking in 2007 was a big deal. Then-Mayor Jerry Abramson and other civic and business leaders were on hand to watch a giant shovel drop onto the ground at 6th and Main streets. The 62-story tower was supposed to bring in jobs and businesses and send a message that Louisville was a city on the rise.

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“By combining the arts, commerce and residential purpose in this one, spectacular venue, Museum Plaza, and by extension Louisville will become a model for other cities across the country,” said Senator Mitch McConnell in a video played at the ceremony.

But others were skeptical the building could be paid for.

“I didn’t think it was ever going to get started,” says┬áMetro Councilman Kelly Downard, who wasn’t surprised to hear that the $450 million tower couldn’t be financed.