Wednesday April 7, 2004
Mayor Jerry Abramson today said an upcoming regional retail conference will give Louisville the chance to showcase for national businesses the promising retail opportunities available in the community.
In conjunction with the International Council of Shopping Centers, Louisville is serving as host April 14-15 for the regional retail conference, The Kentucky Alliance Program. Retailers expected to attend include Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger, YUM Brands, Winn-Dixie, Dairy Queen and others.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase our community and what it has to offer,” Abramson said. “Retail development is an area in which we must stay competitive. But the continued development of retail locations and sites – both large and small – must be done in a comprehensive and methodical manner that keeps in mind the needs of our neighborhoods.”
To that end, Abramson last year started the COOL program (Corridors Of Opportunity in Louisville). The program works with neighborhoods to target retail development opportunities along major transportation corridors into and out of the community.
Abramson pumped $500,000 last year into the program, which already has had successes with the planned Wal-Mart SuperCenter at the old Bashford Manor Mall site and the Penn Station restaurant at 3rd and Woodlawn in South Louisville.
Abramson said the retail conference will offer the opportunity to discuss with national retailers and prospective businesses the COOL program and other community innovations such as new land-use planning code, Cornerstone 2020.
Other topics to be discussed include government’s role in promoting retail development and site selection from the perspective of national and local retailers and neighborhood development. Conference attendees also will be taken on a bus tour of Louisville to examine retail sites along many of the major transportation corridors.
Abramson said many people don’t realize the huge impact that the retail sector has on the local economy. Retail, he said, represents about $1.3 billion in payroll and sales of $10.3 billion, which generates about $600 million in state sales tax and local personal income taxes of $29 million.