LOUISVILLE DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP UNVEILS NEW TEN-YEAR VISION FOR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AT STATE OF THE DOWNTOWN MEETING

Press Release: Louisville Downtown Partnership Unveils New Ten-Year Vision for Downtown Development at State of the Downtown Meeting

Publication Date: 03-22-2024


For Immediate Release
MEDIA CONTACT: Bryn Alston,
balston@louisvilledowntown.org,
Louisville Downtown Partnership
(502) 614-4122 (Office)

LOUISVILLE DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP UNVEILS NEW TEN-YEAR VISION FOR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AT STATE OF THE DOWNTOWN MEETING

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 21, 2024) – Downtown Louisville’s economic landscape continues to show resilience and growth, according to the latest economic impact report released today at the 2024 State of the Downtown meeting hosted by Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP).

The State of the Downtown event, presented by Republic Bank Foundation, featured Downtown’s highlights and accomplishments in 2023, in addition to the official unveiling of the 2024 Ten-Year Louisville Downtown Development Strategy and the 2023 Economic Impact Report.

The 2024 Louisville Downtown Development Strategy: A New Paradigm for Downtown Louisville sets forth a list of guiding principles and strategic initiatives intended to activate Downtown and create places where people want to be, want to live, and want to invest in.

Throughout the year of 2023, LDP welcomed Louisville residents, business owners and leaders, and stakeholders to participate actively in shaping the future of our city center. Attendees of the public meetings had the opportunity to engage in discussions, ask questions, and contribute to the dialogue surrounding the revitalization and economic development of Downtown Louisville.

“The ten-year Downtown Strategy is an economic development roadmap designed to chart the course for the future prosperity of the center of our city and region,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of LDP. “By prioritizing these critical strategic initiatives, the strategy aims to build and reinforce a vibrant and resilient environment that results in an active Downtown, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

Over the course of 70+ meetings, three key strategic initiatives were identified:

  • Activate Downtown – Reinforce, recognize, and support Downtown’s districts and district anchors, expand Downtown’s attractions, and showcase Louisville’s creativity to cultivate a thriving and active Downtown.
  • Reinforce Downtown as a Residential Neighborhood – Develop a series of residential neighborhoods in and at the edges of Downtown, incentivize conversion of Class B and Class C office buildings into residential use, and encourage residential infill of vacant parcels to strengthen our Downtown residential scene.
  • Enhance the Public Realm – Create strategic placemaking initiatives, prioritize pedestrian-friendly streets, and activate and connect underutilized spaces to establish inviting public spaces that serve as hubs for social interaction and community engagement.

“Downtown is the economic driver for our city, and its success benefits the people of Louisville and our commonwealth,” said Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg. “As we look toward the future of downtown, there’s so much opportunity to make it a destination where people want to come live, work and enjoy restaurants, shopping, shows, ballgames and bourbon – and more!”

LDP hired CityVisions Associates, based in Louisville, as the Strategy Consultant for this effort.

“Cities across the nation – including here in Louisville – are working to reposition their downtowns in the aftermath of the pandemic and the trends that have emerged as a result,” said Barry Alberts, managing partner of CityVisions Associates. “Those downtowns that can adjust to these changes, and invest strategically, will flourish. That is what the Louisville Downtown Development Strategy outlines.”

Also released today, the 2023 economic impact report reaffirmed Downtown Louisville’s position as a dynamic economic, cultural, and social hub. The report analyzes several key areas including tax revenue, business and hospitality growth, employment density, Downtown workers, key industries, and upcoming housing, commercial, and attraction investments focused in the Downtown area.

“The Louisville Downtown Development Strategy positions us to lead Kentucky as a vibrant area that serves as the region’s center for the arts, dining, retail, business and urban life. Our measurement of success will be our ability to offer residents, visitors and employees a welcoming and vibrant environment,” said Ja Hillebrand, Chairman and CEO of Stock Yards Bank & Trust and Downtown Development Corporation (DDC) Board Chair. “A successful Downtown is essential to attracting businesses and talent, while supporting existing businesses.”

Using census data, and data collected by Louisville Tourism and LDP, the report indicates that Downtown Louisville serves as a premier destination for tourists and visitors. There was a total attendance of 7.5 million in 2023 to Downtown attractions, a 32% increase over 2022. This included visits to the KFC Yum! Center, Slugger Field, The Kentucky Center, Waterfront Park, museums, and distillery experiences. More than 1 million individuals attended a convention in Downtown during 2023 with an estimated economic impact of $200.5 million.

At just 0.54% of Jefferson County’s land area, Downtown contains the largest workforce in the city, accounting for more than 53,125 – or 12.4% – of all jobs. With 2,828 business establishments in Downtown, there is an estimated $13.2 billion in gross domestic product.

The report underscores a continued influx of development projects in Downtown Louisville, showcasing the 61 projects that are underway and announced. In total, the projects have a combined investment of over $1.5 billion, demonstrating strong confidence in Downtown as a place to invest, develop, and do business.

The State of the Downtown luncheon also was sponsored by Angel’s Envy, Churchill Downs, Fifth Third Bank, and Stock Yards Bank. The 2024 Downtown Strategy and full economic impact report can be found here.

About LDP
LDP’s mission is to improve the economy of Downtown Louisville by promoting the redevelopment, vitality and economic growth of the Central Business District and surrounding areas and to improve Downtown’s quality of life by creating a safe, clean and enjoyable environment.

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