Our Request for ARP Funding to Enhance and Revitalize Downtown

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Our Request for ARP Funding to Enhance and Revitalize Downtown

Publication Date: 11-10-2021

Downtown Louisville is the economic engine of the region. As Louisville begins to return to normalcy, Downtown strives to come back stronger than before. The economic stability of our urban core and surrounding counties is directly impacted by the commercial, residential, and cultural success of our Downtown. We listened to the people of Louisville, prioritizing their primary areas of concern of economic development, houselessness and affordable housing, health, and public safety–all of which directly impact Downtown.

At LDP, our goal is the enhancement of an inclusive business and tourist-friendly and vibrant Downtown, where people feel safe and welcome, with a myriad of residential, retail, dining, and entertainment opportunities, including a mix of small and large businesses.

The city of Louisville received $388 million through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) earlier this year. In June, approximately $45 million was budgeted for health and safety programs. In the most recent announcement Metro is requesting approximately $240 million of the remaining ARP dollars for housing, houseless services, and safety initiatives, which LDP fully supports. If the entire Metro proposal is approved by Council, there will be roughly $81 million ARF dollars available for workforce development and healthy neighborhoods. As soon as Metro allows for proposals in those categories, LDP will be requesting ARP funding for the following initiatives needed to help the revitalization efforts for our Downtown:

1. Retail and Restaurant Recruitment and Build-Out Support 
Our goal is to create a forgivable loan program to help identify locally owned businesses that meet the criteria of being successful tenants in Downtown, ground-level retail spaces and provide capital for construction and improvement costs.

2. Residential and Business Adaptation of Underutilized Spaces  
Incentivizing to return to pre-COVID occupancy, we aim to provide financial incentives in various forms from tax abatement to forgivable loans to Downtown businesses to transform excess areas into productive spaces such as workforce housing and other types of creative uses such as day care, co-working areas, etc.

3. Downtown Business Emergency Relief Fund 
Through this fund we would provide financial support and relief to Downtown restaurants and retailers through a grant program. This financial support would be used to offset standard operations costs to ensure business retention through this challenging time.

4. Downtown Events and Activation Coordination 
This would support the curation and marketing of varied events in Downtown, thus improving the master calendar for both public and private events. This would also help develop updated maps for Downtown and create a webpage to encourage visitors, employees, and residents to return Downtown.

5. Downtown Dollars
This funding would help generate a promotion and marketing program to increase spending in Downtown Louisville using “Downtown Dollars” at participating restaurants, retailers, and entertainment locations in the Central Business District (CBD).

6. Graffiti Abatement 
These funds would be allocated to offset expenses resulting from mitigation efforts by property owners to remove large tags from their buildings. Property owners would provide a “co-pay,” with the remaining cost of removing the graffiti reimbursed through the funding

Through our ARP funding proposal, LDP goal is to put our community’s needs first, keeping Downtown Louisville the economic heartbeat of our great City