Built environment investments in west Louisville

Choice Neighborhoods/Vision Russell – Louisville was awarded a $29.5 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant in October 2016, complementing the previously awarded $1 million Choice Neighborhood Action Grant in June 2016 and the $425,000 Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant announced in January 2015. These grants will provide funding for the redevelopment of the Russell neighborhood and Beecher Terrace public housing development and will leverage
more than $200 million in direct new investment in the Russell neighborhood. Construction of Phase 1, a 120-unit Lifelong Wellness residence building, is expected tobegin in Summer 2018.
 
West of Ninth Vision – LCCC is working as codeveloper in concert with Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Louisville Metro and the master developers of the Beecher Terrace site, McCormack Baron Salazar, to develop an Arts and Cultural District along the Muhammad Ali Boulevard corridor, between 6th and 32nd streets.
 
Bridging the Divide – To reimagine 9th Street as a welcoming gateway to west Louisville, Louisville Metro is initiating two projects: enhancing pedestrian connectivity at 9th and Main Streets to support businesses and investments west of the intersection; and developing a 9th Street corridor master plan focused on connectivity and safety. The first project will focus on the area under the I-64 ramps between Market and Main streets, where the city seeks to activate the underutilized space and enhance mobility and connectivity; work is slated to begin in late 2017. The corridor master plan is expected to be
complete in late 2017.
 
Waterfront Phase IV – This next phase of Waterfront Park will encompass 22 acres between 9th and 13th streets, reconnecting west Louisville neighborhoods to the waterfront and downtown. A master plan for Phase IV was finalized in late 2015, and Metro invested $740,000 for property acquisition and park development plans. Phase IV will include, among other elements, a picnic grove, plazas, gardens and promenade.
 
River Road West – To support the Waterfront Park Phase IV project and enhance connectivity to western neighborhoods, the city has started planning the westward extension of River Road. Planning and design for the western extension of River Road is underway; a preferred route and preliminary design are expected to be announced in early 2018.
 
Dixie Highway – In October 2015, a $16.9 million TIGER Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation was awarded to improve safety and mobility on the Dixie Highway Corridor between the Gene Snyder Freeway and W. Market Street in downtown. The project includes new sidewalks in targeted areas, landscaping, technology upgrades and Louisville’s first Bus Rapid Transit line. The project also will make bus stop improvements along Broadway, 9th Street, Market Street and Jefferson Street. Together with other state and local funding, the project will make more than $50 million worth of improvements that will directly impact the California and Russell neighborhoods and support the Choice Neighborhood Grant for Russell and redevelopment at 18th and Broadway. Construction began August 2017 to reconfigure the I-264/ Dixie Highway Ramp. Construction on the remainder of the project will begin in late 2017.

Parkland Neighborhood Plan – A formal plan was adopted by Metro Council in August 2017, with a focus on the 28th Street commercial corridor, between Virginia and Dumesnil, addressing the stabilization of residential areas, renewing vacant and abandoned properties, enhancing mobility and connectivity and forging partnerships with local industries. The first implementable action is the attraction of a new use for the former Parkland grocery site acquired by Metro in 2017.
 
Vacant and Abandoned Properties – Since June 2015, the Office of Vacant & Public Property Administration has overseen 229 demolitions, 211 foreclosure initiations, 87 properties sold and acquisition of 158 properties. During FY18, a pilot program is being launched, using clear boards instead of plywood to secure properties. Clearboarding can help with neighborhood aesthetics as well as improved security. When possible, this work is targeted within smaller sections of neighborhoods in order to make the highest visible impact.
 
California Neighborhood Plan and Public Art – The update to the California neighborhood plan will begin in late 2017. This process, led by a planning team and California residents, will include a review of current demographic, economic and physical conditions in the neighborhood, as well as identifying strategies to improve the neighborhood and build upon its existing assets. The plan is being funded through Councilman David James’ office and Develop Louisville. In addition, Louisville Metro has commissioned an artist to create a piece of public art in the California community with neighborhood input.

Produce Park – Showing how communities can reuse and revitalize vacant properties, Louisville Metro opened in July 2016 a new pocket park located at 30th and Muhammad Ali Blvd, which features fruit trees that residents can freely harvest. Nearly 40 volunteers have helped maintain the grove, including weeding and harvesting. New fruit bearing trees will be planted in 2018.

Cedar Street/Quinn Gardens – Louisville Metro began development of 26 new market-rate homes, called Cedar Street/Quinn Gardens, in the Russell neighborhood in August 2015. Streetscape improvements were completed
in March 2017 and new market-rate housing units are under construction. The first family moved into one of these homes in February 2017.

Affordable Housing – In order to assure that Louisville’s residents have access to affordable housing options, Louisville Metro provided additional funding, the largest single-year investment in affordable housing in Louisville Metro’s history, to two programs in FY18. Louisville CARES, launched in 2015 with an initial investment of $12 million, received an additional $4.5 million to help finance the development of affordable multi-family housing units. Secondly, the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund received approximately $10 million to help finance the development of affordable single- and multi-family housing units.

Clean and Bright – Since the launch of the Community-wide Cleanliness Index in 2014, Brightside has completed 256 neighborhood cleanups in west Louisville, leading to the removal of more than seven tons of litter and debris. Brightside increased its volunteer engagement by 2,500 in FY17, receiving assistance from 10,176 volunteers in west Louisville.
Trees – Since concerted tree-planting efforts began in 2011, Brightside’s One Bright City initiative and the Division of Community Forestry have partnered to plant 4,435 trees in west Louisville as of April 2017.

Victory Park – Olmsted Parks and Metro Parks approved a master plan for this Olmsted-designed park at 22nd and Kentucky Streets in the California neighborhood. Construction is underway and is expected to be complete in late 2017. Project includes new basketball courts, a ¼-mile walking path, and new lighting, benches and trees, amounting to a $600,000 investment.

Shawnee Park – Improvements at Shawnee Park include new Dirt Bowl basketball courts, scoreboard and bleachers. In addition, as part of MSD’s basin project in the park, there are improvements being made to the lily pond, the ball house and Paul Horning Field, which will be complete in the next two years, representing a $3 million investment.

Louisville Loop – West Louisville includes approximately 10 miles of the Louisville Loop, a 100+ mile multi-use path that encircles the entire community, including the RiverWalk and the Southwestern and Algonquin Parkways connections to the Levee Trail in southwest Louisville. An approximate 2-mile section of the Loop is under design, with construction expected to begin in 2018. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently is working on a Riverbank Stabilization project, between Portland Wharf Park and Shawnee Golf Course. Final design is underway on a new 3.5-mile, shared-use path on the Campground Road section of the Loop which currently only has on-street bike facilities. There also will be roadway reconfigurations to three miles of Algonquin, from Winkler to I-264, which will include the addition of bicycle lanes and a service road, with construction to begin in Summer 2018.

Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Areas Program after Down Payment Assistance – Portland, Shawnee and Russell neighborhoods are designated NRSAs by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. During FY17, NRSA housing rehab investments consisted of $500,000 in housing rehabilitation in Russell and $100,000 in Homeownership Incentive Program in the three neighborhoods, helping keep six existing homeowners in place. The Down Payment Assistance Program helped 16 home buyers get into homes, with a total of $206,000 in assistance.