Mayor Greenberg Provides Weekly Louisville Update

February 27, 2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Today at Derby City Gaming’s 4th Street location, Mayor Craig Greenberg and local leaders provided an update on efforts to revitalize downtown Louisville, recent economic investments and an upcoming street sweeping pilot program in Old Louisville. The mayor also recognized Norman Ellis, a Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) teacher and coach making a difference. 

Downtown Louisville Economic Investments 

Mayor Greenberg was joined by Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of Louisville Downtown Partnership, to celebrate the $1.5 billion in investment currently underway or announced in downtown Louisville. 

“Don’t let the headlines fool you – downtown is the heart of our city and there are a lot of exciting investments being made and work being done to ensure the future of this area remains strong,” said Mayor Greenberg. 

In addition to the large infrastructure, housing, hotel and attraction projects the $1.5 billion represents, downtown also welcomed 38 new street-level businesses and had 14 businesses either recommit to a new office space, expand or relocate to the downtown area in 2023. In total, these announcements represented approximately 450 jobs. There are 10 companies currently considering downtown locations, representing the possibility of another 1,400 jobs.     

“The amount of company locations, infrastructure projects, restaurants, hotels and attractions happening right now in downtown tells me that downtown is a good bet for a bright future,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of Louisville Downtown Partnership. “It’s clear there are businesses, developers and investors who know the importance and relevance of downtown Louisville to the entire region and they’re investing now to ensure long-term success.” 

To continue to drive investments and maintain downtown Louisville as a central business district, the Greenberg administration is offering incentives for businesses to expand their downtown presence or relocate to the area through the $3 million Downtown Revitalization Fund. Approved by Metro Council for the 2023-24 fiscal year budget, the fund is overseen by Louisville’s Cabinet for Economic Development with the goal to get more people to work and live downtown. 

“We have a bold, ambitious agenda for downtown Louisville and we’re working with city and state leaders to secure investments that will help us transform the heart of our city and drive new growth opportunities,” said the mayor. “Now is the time to make strong investments to deliver results. Stay tuned, Louisville – good things are coming!” 

Reimagine 9th Street

The mayor also provided an update on Reimagine 9th Street, a project that will bring neighborhoods together by redesigning three vital corridors: 9th street/Roy Wilkins Avenue, which runs north-south; and Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Chestnut Street/River Park Drive, which are paired one-way streets, running east-west. 

“We want to create safer streets that make it easier for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to move across 9th Street, which should be seen as a bridge rather than a barrier,” said the mayor. “By working with the Louisville Metro Council, partners in the Russell and Portland neighborhoods and more, we will reimagine 9th Street and help bring our neighborhoods together so we can all benefit from the work being done across our city.” 

In 2022, Louisville Metro applied for and received $24.6 million in federal funding to transform 9th Street from a six-lane thoroughfare into a complete street with a large pedestrian area, protected bicycle facilities, dedicated bus lanes, green infrastructure, traffic-calming measures and smart signals. The city is working with Louisville-based engineering firm HDR to reengage the public and finalize the designs and construction documents. 

“The vision of this project is to create an accessible corridor — a space where people can gather, walk, ride the TARC, bike and drive safely that ultimately becomes a place where people want to visit. Currently Ninth Street is a six-lane thoroughfare designed to bring cars quickly in and out of downtown. This project will calm the traffic pattern down to the character of a neighborhood street that promotes safety for all users,” said Ameerah Palacios, Senior Strategic Communications Lead for HDR, the engineering firm leading the redesign of the corridor. “We are very much open to what the community wants for Ninth Street and want to see you at our next meeting. On Thursday, June 6, HDR will present the seven concept designs to the public. These concepts will reflect the various configurations of the corridor based on the initial Gehl concepts and also public feedback.”

Old Louisville Street Sweeping 

Mayor Greenberg and Metro Public Works’ Solid Waste Management Services team announced the 2024 Street Sweeping season will begin on Tuesday, March 5. This year a new approach will be tested in area 6, located in Old Louisville, to reduce barriers the street sweeping team encounter such as parked cars. 

The new approach will include enhanced communication efforts through social media and flyers on vehicles, experimental sign color, recorded alerts on street sweeping equipment, road blocking barricades and full ticketing and towing operations. 

“Street sweeping is essential to keeping our city streets clean and helps remove debris that would otherwise go into storm drains and cause water pollution or potential health problems,” said Jennifer Kern, Public Works Director. “We are really encouraging everyone in Old Louisville to help us through this new process by paying close attention to when they should move their cars off the street so our teams can get the job done.” 

“In addition to our continued efforts and testing new approaches, we have partnered with Brightside to organize neighborhood litter cleanups as well as Block by Block and Community Ambassadors to conduct cleanings as well,” said Pete Flood, Solid Waste Management Services Assistant Director. “We hope residents take the opportunity to help in cleaning their neighborhood.” 

Also in attendance was District 6 Councilman Phillip Baker, who stated, “I welcome Public Works and Mayor Greenberg’s ideas to help our neighbors, especially in Old Louisville, to have a better experience with Street Sweeping. Our urban neighborhoods are magnificent, unique places and I know our neighbors look forward to the changes this Pilot project will bring."

Louisvillians can stay updated on when street sweeping will occur in their area by signing up for text alerts at LouisvilleKy.gov. Vehicles must be off the street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of sweeping. 

Louisvillians Doing Good 

Mayor Greenberg recognized Norman Ellis, a social studies teacher and the head men’s basketball coach at The Academy at Shawnee, with a Distinguished Citizen Proclamation today. Norman makes a positive impact daily inside of the school, helping empower his students by encouraging them to achieve their goals. In January of this year, Norman gained attention from across the city after posting a message on Facebook asking for the community to change the narrative” about West Louisville, emphasizing the many great things taking place in the area. 

“Norman is leading by example and showing his students – and all of Louisville – the importance of doing good things, using your voice and working to be a part of the solution,” said Mayor Greenberg. “Our city is fortunate to have leaders like Norman in our classrooms today, inspiring our kids and helping them reach their goals. It’s easy to see that his positive impact is stretching far beyond the school walls and empowering our entire city to give back.” 

“I would like to thank Mayor Greenberg, JCPS, The Academy of Shawnee and Principal Kym Rice,” said Norman Ellis. “Every day is a challenge, but if you believe in the seeds that you plant, they will come to fruition – and that’s what is happening at The Academy of Shawnee.”  

 

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