Wednesday May 26, 2004
Overlooking a new $110 million downtown Marriott hotel under construction, Mayor Jerry Abramson today said continued investment in job growth and economic development is critical to Louisville’s future.
“My budget plan continues our focus on keeping the jobs we have, expanding the businesses that call Louisville home and attracting new jobs, businesses and opportunities to our community,” Abramson said.
Abramson said the budget he will unveil Thursday contains more than $6.5 million in investments in economic development and job creation.
The new Marriott Hotel, which is expected to open next spring, is part of Louisville’s economic progress. It will add 550 jobs, thousands of people and millions of dollars annually to the local community.
Abramson helped Marriott officials and other community leaders today officially “top off” the new structure, which will have 600 deluxe rooms and suites.
As a result, downtown Louisville will have more than 2,500 hotel rooms connected to the Kentucky International Convention Center. The continued investment in tourism and hotel space is already helping Louisville attract new and bigger conventions, such as the recently announced national NRA and American Legion conventions.
“Within a year, Louisville Marriott Downtown will bring new people, new dollars and new jobs to our downtown,” Abramson said. “What’s especially exciting as we watch this structure take its place in our city skyline is knowing that it’s part of more than $600 million in investment and activity underway in our downtown.”
And, as part of the budget he will unveil to the Metro Council Thursday, Abramson said Louisville Metro Government will continue to make investments and work in partnership with the private sector to grow the economy.
Highlights of initiatives that will be contained in the budget proposal include:
· Continued funding and partnership for Greater Louisville Inc., which helps direct job recruitment and retention efforts for Metro Government.
· An expansion of funding for the Corridors Of Opportunity in Louisville (COOL) initiative, which encourages retail and other development along the major transportation into and out of the community.
· Increased funding for Metacyte, the life-sciences incubator that Abramson said is “working to turn research concepts into economic realities” near the downtown medical center.
· Additional dollars for downtown street improvements and Waterfront Park’s continuing development.
· Continued funding for the Mayor’s High Impact Program, which provides support to the fastest-growing businesses in the community. The program already has targeted 40 such businesses in Louisville.
· Foster continuing efforts to attract venture capital investment in the community, “the lifeblood of start-up companies that could be the next Humana,” Abramson said.
“Louisville will continue its economic success story because of our commitment and resolve to make this city truly one of America’s greatest.”