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Metro Newsroom

Metro Council approves purchase of Colonial Gardens by the city for future development

Thursday June 6, 2013

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact; Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622
                STephen Haag 574-1204 / 645-1752

Louisville – By a vote of 16 to 3, the Louisville Metro Council has approved an ordinance to purchase the Colonial Gardens property for $430,000. This move allows Metro Louisville to issue a RFP for development for the property.

The vote came after weeks of discussion by Council members and the Fischer Administration.

“Many of us want the Colonial Gardens property to be developed. It is an important corner across from the Iroquois Amphitheater and can complement the neighborhood with positive development" said Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15) who chairs the Council’s Budget Committee. "Moving quickly to get the RFP on the street gets developers talking and thinking about the possibilities. With the revitalization of the amphitheater, we need a place people can enjoy a meal and go across the street for entertainment."

The property has been the subject of economic development conversations and neighborhood concerns for several years. The building has landmark status and has been reviewed by some developers.

“Colonial Gardens is in my district and I am proud that a building that has been vacant since 2007 is being dealt with positively,” said Councilman Dan Johnson (D-21).

“When running for office I promised my constituents I would work to develop the property. I am appreciative of the Mayor and his economic development team for being such great partners as we continue to improve South Louisville together,” Councilman David Yates (D-25). “While it has been a bumpy road we are very excited about the commitment to this shared goal.”

The city can now exercise its option to buy the property before June 11th. Economic Innovation and Growth officials with the city hope to close by June 26th. The city will then send out Request For Proposals to gauge developer interest.

“Although I am disappointed the city must incur this cost to assist with development of Colonial Gardens, I am glad we are moving in a positive direction on this blighted property that sits across from our beautifully renovated Iroquois Amphitheater,” said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “The recently completed New Cut Road Corridor Study indicates that the development of Colonial Gardens is a key to future economic development in South Louisville. I believe this will spark future development along the New Cut/Taylor Blvd corridor.”

"Regardless of where you land on the issue of preservation, we all agree that this corner is a critical piece of the redevelopment efforts for South and Southwest Louisville. This project needs to be done and done well,” said Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12).

The tentative timeline has the proposals due back by the end of July. After reviewing and rating the proposals, the city will negotiate with the prospective developer to come to an agreement. Any development agreement will come back to the Metro Council for approval.

The Ordinance will also include a provision against unjust enrichment of the developer to the detriment of Taxpayer. There is also a provision that prior to the transfer of the property whether by gift, loan, lease or otherwise the proposed transaction will come back to the Council’s Budget Committee for approval.