City and Louisville Urban League sign development agreement for $30 million redevelopment of Heritage West site
Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of Louisville Urban League, and community leaders to announce that Louisville Metro Government (LMG) has entered into a development agreement with the Louisville Urban League (LUL) for the redevelopment of the Heritage West site, a 24-acre acre property in the Russell neighborhood. LUL’s master plan is centered on a 4,000-seat indoor and outdoor track and field facility and will feature community green space and outdoor event space.
“It’s an exciting time to be in west Louisville as it is experiencing nearly $1 billion in investment right now, and we are thrilled to add this sports and education complex to the list,” said the Mayor. “This project will activate a vacant lot, bring investment and jobs to the Russell neighborhood and serve as a healthy outlet for youth and adults from across our country. I applaud Sadiqa and her team at Louisville Urban League for their vision to bring a state-of-the-art sports facility to west Louisville.”
The development agreement states that, pending Metro Council approval, LMG will provide $10 million toward construction costs of the track. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019.
“There is no silver bullet in community revitalization and while sports may be part of an answer, track is not now, nor has it ever been the entire answer. While we can’t ignore the cries of our local track teams to ‘build this facility,’ this project is about more than sports. It is about economic opportunity, families traveling into our community with disposable income and the jobs and organic growth that will happen as a result of this catalytic project. It is truly about the need for a facility like this in our community and since it is to be built, why not right here in Russell,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of Louisville Urban League. “I am thrilled about the work we are about to do and the support this project has garnered, not just from the local community but from partners like the National Development Council (NDC), a national not-for-profit economic development agency that has been working to increase the flow of private capital into underserved areas for almost fifty years.”
The complex will be designed to host a variety of sporting events supported by organizations such as USA Track and Field, and the NCAA, our local and regional public and private schools and local track teams. The facility also will feature retail space and related amenities and will be owned and operated by the LUL. Browne Engineering & Construction has been selected as the Project Manager and Moody Nolan has been selected as the architect.
“NDC is delighted to have the opportunity to be working with the Louisville Urban League and its first rate committee on this mixed-use recreation facility that will be a catalyst for future development opportunities and lead to a substantial community impact in the Russell neighborhood for years to come,” said Kevin Gremse, Senior Director of National Development Council.
Heritage West is located on the western border of the Russell neighborhood, which is currently seeing an influx of investment, including the $29.5 million mixed-income, mixed-use redevelopment of Beecher Terrace, a project expected to leverage at least $200 million in new investment; Waterfront Park Phase Four expansion; relocation of Passport Health Plan’s headquarters; construction of a new YMCA at 18th and Broadway; and the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit Line.
“I am excited that this project is continuing to move forward with a $10 million commitment, pending Metro Council approval, from Louisville Metro Government to help make this dream a reality. The west Louisville community participated in discussions and sessions to make this sports complex project a priority for our community, and it will certainly be a destination spot for Louisvillians and visitors to the city alike,” said Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5. “This project will help change a 24-acre vacant lot into a positive vision of hope and a productive use which will generate other positive effects for our neighborhood. Thank you to Sadiqa Reynolds and everyone at the Louisville Urban Louisville for their belief and dedication to this project, and let’s do all we can to help make this dream a reality.”
The selection of the Louisville Urban League’s development plan was announced in late 2017 after an extensive community engagement process that included multiple public meetings to hear the concerns and values of people from the Russell neighborhood. More than 125 public comments were received on the four development proposals that were submitted after the SOI was released.
An evaluation panel of both LMG staff and members of the community was formed to review all four proposals submitted and to make a recommendation to Louisville Forward. The evaluation panel used scoresheets to review each proposal.
In the evaluations panel Bonnie Cole, Bill Gatewood, Vanessa Lackey and Gary Watrous represented the community and Jeana Dunlap (Director of Redevelopment Strategies), Laura Grabowski (Director of Vacant and Public Property Administration), Scott Herrmann (Director of Economic Development), Aaron Jackson (Director of Finance) and Allison Smith (Brownsfields Program Manager) represented LMG.
LUL will now, like all development projects, formalize their plans and submit them to Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services for review by staff, the Planning Commission and, if a rezoning or street closure is needed, Metro Council.
For the latest updates on the development, follow @LouisvilleUL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit www.lul.org.
To view the development agreement, evaluation panel scoresheets and more please visit