Louisville Metro issues Solicitation of Interest for redevelopment of former Urban Government Center

June 4, 2020

Louisville Metro Government today issued a Solicitation of Interest for Urban Government Center, providing an opportunity for developers to submit proposed plans to redevelop the large property along Barret Avenue. The city is seeking proposals that include mixed-use, mixed income development that incorporates high-quality design, housing, retail, office and/or hotel space along with integrated green spaces and multi-modal connectivity.

“Louisville Metro is committed to redeveloping the Urban Government Center site,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The site should be transformed into something that complements the renaissance taking place in Paristown Pointe and other surrounding neighborhoods.”

The 9.68-acre property consists of four buildings that for the last several decades served as government offices. The most prominent building, 810 Barret Ave., is the seven-story former Kentucky Baptist Hospital built in 1924. The remaining structures include a four-story building dating back to 1940 that served as housing for nursing students, a three-story building built in the mid- to late-1990s that housed offices for Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District, and a small steam plant and smokestack.

In 2016, Louisville Metro began efforts to redevelop the Urban Government Center site. The process included extensive community engagement with the residents of Paristown Pointe and bordering neighborhoods. Five proposals were ultimately submitted, and each development team presented their respective proposals at a public meeting where residents provided feedback. Those proposals were then reviewed by a committee of residents and Louisville Metro staff. The Marian Group was selected to develop the Urban Government Center in 2017, but in December 2019, The Marian Group notified the city of its decision to terminate the development agreement with Louisville Metro.

On Jan. 28, 2020, Louisville Forward hosted a public meeting to update residents on the current status of the Urban Government Center property and gather additional input to guide future redevelopment of the site in advance of issuing this Solicitation of Interest. Throughout the first public Solicitation of Interest and during the January meeting, residents express a desire for a mixed-use development at the site.

“I’m very excited for our Paristown Pointe neighborhood and for our entire community. As we move forward on this critical economic development effort, it is important that prospective developers work with the neighborhood to identify community needs and benefits,” said Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, D-4.

Responses to the Solicitation of Interest are due by 3 p.m. EST on July 8 and must include:

  • A unique development plan that will enhance the surrounding area;
  • A detailed proposed site plan that includes a conceptual drawing of the development proposal for the Site, including placement and size of any new buildings, access and circulation, parking, open and green spaces, landscaping, and a brief summary to convey the nature of the proposed use(s) and occupancy of the Site;
  • A plan that specifically addresses how the respondent will work with residents, property owners, and neighboring businesses to ensure the proposed development is compatible with surrounding conditions during the pre-development. construction, and operation phases;
  • An explanation of the development team’s qualifications and experience undertaking all aspects of the development process, including planning, design, structuring of financial resources, environmental remediation, construction, and historic rehabilitation;
  • A detailed financial plan demonstrating the ability to finance the project through equity or debt, including a detailed financial plan for the financing of the proposed project, including expected sources and uses of funds;
  • An operating pro forma that should, at minimum, cover a five-year forecast of projected income and expenses;
  • Proof that the proposal reflects that it considered the community feedback gathered during the solicitation of interest process in 2017 and the Neighborhood Meeting on Jan. 28, 2020;
  • A commitment to hire and train workers from surrounding neighborhoods, as well as expected permanent jobs to be created, including assumptions used to arrive at that calculation, as well as estimated payrolls;
  • LMG will not consider any proposal that proposes a heavy manufacturing-type development of the Site. Other prohibited uses include extensive surface parking, rehab/drug treatment facilities, half-way houses, car lots, massage parlors, and tobacco/vaping shops. A binding element and/or deed restriction will be added that restricts these prohibited uses.

All submissions will be posted on www.louisvilleky.gov/urbangovernmentcenter for public review on July 13, and the public comment period will run through Aug. 10. LMG will then host a virtual open house where each development team will be present, give short presentations, and respond to questions. LMG will provide a location for viewing, provided appropriate social distancing, if applicable, can be observed.

Each submission will be evaluated by the Louisville Metro. Interviews for potential developers will be held Aug. 17 and run through Aug. 28 with a selection occurring soon thereafter

The selected developer will be required to meet regularly with a Project Advisory Group, comprised of no fewer than five residents. The residents will reflect equal representation from the Paristown Pointe, Original Highlands, German-Paristown, Smoketown, and Phoenix Hill neighborhoods.

All Project Advisory Group meetings will be posted and open to the public. This group will help advise Louisville Metro and represent their neighborhood’s interests to the selected developer.

For the full Solicitation of Interest and information about the previous public process, please visit www.louisvilleky.gov/urbangovernmentcenter. To submit a proposal and view additional materials, including environmental assessments and appraisal, please visit www.louisvilleky.bonfirehub.com/portal/?tab=openOpportunities.

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