Economic development in west Louisville

Growing/expanding west Louisville businesses – Since 2014, Louisville Forward has supported the creation of nearly 1,200 projected new jobs in west Louisville, representing $325 million in investment. New announcements in FY17 include: Passport Health Plan – $130 million investment, 500 new jobs
Reynolds Manufacturing – $4 million investment, 50 new jobs
Heine Brothers’ Coffee headquarters – $1 million investment
Interapt – $3.7 million investment, 250 new jobs
 
18th Street revitalization – West Louisville is experiencing a rebirth at the intersection of 18th Street and Broadway, with the additions of $130 million Passport Health Plan’s headquarters and 500 new jobs, a new $28 million, 62,000 square foot West Louisville YMCA including tenants such as a Norton Healthcare clinical care center and Family and Children’s Place, and $1.5 million in major roadway and sidewalk improvements to begin in Fall 2017.
 
METCO/Micro Loan programs – Louisville Metro has assisted start-up businesses, entrepreneurs and existing businesses with business loans out of the MicroEnterprise and METCO loan programs. More than 150 west Louisville businesses have received loans, leveraging more than $27 million in private investment and creating approximately
450 jobs in the last 15 years.
 
PNC Gigabit Experience Center – Louisville Metro was one of three winning cities for the inaugural Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Awards, for its plan to develop a Gigabit Experience Center with sponsorship from PNC at the Louisville Central Community Center at 13th Street and Muhammad Ali Blvd. The Center provides speeds up to 1,000 megabytes per second to the public, for free, during normal business operating hours and has free laptops available for use at the center. Since its opening in May 2017, the PNC Gigabit Experience Center hosted six technology events including a 3D printing camp for girls and a day-long civic hackathon hosted by the Civic Data Alliance.
 
Nia Center – This financial empowerment center, at 2900 W. Broadway, is home to several offices offering assistance to individuals and business owners who want to increase educational and job opportunities. KentuckianaWorks’ Career Center assists with job training and placement, and Louisville Forward’s business clinic connects clients seeking to start
or grow a business with resources to build a business or financial plan, receive business mentoring and counseling,
or seek financial assistance. The Department of Resilience and Community Services’ Financial Empowerment division moved into the Nia Center in September 2016, including Bank On Louisville and micro-business support. Sweet Peaches 2 Roll, a new café, opened in September 2017 providing west Louisville with another neighborhood-serving amenity and gathering space.
 
Heritage West – With input from the community, Louisville Metro issued a Solicitation of Interest in March 2017 for development of the former National Tobacco/Foodport site located at 30th and Muhammad Ali. Louisville Forward is currently in partnership with the Louisville Urban League to develop a $30 million state-of-the-art multi-sports facility anchored by an indoor track and field facility. The facility will be designed to host a variety of sporting events potentially sponsored by local and regional public and private schools, colleges and universities, the National College Athletics Association and USA Track and Field, and similar events, and also will feature retail space and related amenities. The project is expected to be completed and open for events in 2020.
 
National Baptist Convention of America International – NBCA announced in October 2016 that it is moving its national headquarters from Dallas, TX to Louisville and is co-locating their offices, with ten employees, at Simmons College of Kentucky.
 
Cash Saver Market – Louisville Forward worked with the developer and former operator of the Park DuValle grocery and Cash Saver operator to ensure continuous service and quality groceries for the neighborhood. Cash Saver Market opened in September 2016, at 3044 Wilson Avenue.
 
Chef Space – Developed by Community Ventures in the Russell neighborhood, this kitchen incubator opened in the former Jay’s Cafeteria space in June 2015 with equipment and business advisors, and is home to more than a dozen food entrepreneurs. Eight “graduates” have opened bricks and mortar locations, including DelectaBites, Yunique Soul, Bite Meals and VGrits. Texas Roadhouse located its test kitchen at ChefSpace in Summer 2017 and will work with its tenants.
 
Wi-fi and Middle Mile Fiber – Louisville Metro’s public wifi network has engaged more than 2,300 residents in the Shawnee and Russell neighborhoods since 2015 and has allowed citizens to download almost 1,000 gigabits worth of data. Additionally, middle mile fiber is being installed in west Louisville to lay the foundation for future investments in smart city technologies and increase access to high speed connections.

Louisville Independent Business Alliance – LIBA and Louisville Forward continue their partnership to grow locally-owned, independent businesses in west Louisville. Events and programs such as west Louisville bus tours, mentor matching and various networking events are helping to raise awareness of resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Retail Development – Louisville Metro purchased the former Parkland grocery site in Summer 2017 and is working with community stakeholders regarding redevelopment of the site. In addition, Louisville Metro and Louisville Metro Housing Authority (LMHA) purchased property at 3052 Wilson Avenue to keep it from being converted into a liquor store. The property is being marketed through Louisville Forward’s Small Business Development staff and LMHA, in an effort to expand the retail node.

Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities – Louisville joined this esteemed global cohort in 2017 to build urban, environmental and economic resilience in Louisville, by addressing environmental sustainability and the economic challenges that disproportionately impact disadvantaged populations. Mayor Fischer created the city’s first Chief Resilience Officer in 2017.
 
Rose Fellowship for Equitable Economic Development – Louisville was invited to participate in a joint project of the National League of Cities, the Urban Land Institute and PolicyLink, which gives LMG access to national experts who can help develop place-based and people-based strategies to build a culture of entrepreneurship. This program is focused on the Parkland and Russell neighborhoods, with the goals of supporting the creation of a cluster of small businesses and entrepreneurs, to connect those entrepreneurs to the broader regional economy, and to foster and expand social, professional and economic networks that make new and existing businesses successful.

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