Tuesday February 23, 2010
For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
Councilman David Tandy (D-4) today announced his sponsorship of legislation that will provide jobs for local workers for the redevelopment of new restaurants in the first floor of the Starks Building. Owners of the Starks Building will spend approximately $4 million on the restaurant projects that include the return of the Colonnade restaurant back to downtown Louisville.
The $300,000 forgivable loan is part of the Fourth Street Entertainment District Forgivable Loan Program established first under former mayor Dave Armstrong.
“One of the ways we can get the local economy moving again in the short term is by marketing and supporting our hospitality and tourism industry. Through efforts like this we are putting Louisville in a position to not only create jobs now but attract new jobs to our city in the future." Tandy said, "This legislation will provide for local construction jobs, and will have an immediate impact on our economy.”
The building will also house Eddie Merlot’s, a regional upscale restaurant, with locations in Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The restaurant will be part of Thomas Merton Square, one of the most important intersections in Louisville.
The agreement calls for at least 15% minority-owned businesses and 5% women-owned businesses in the renovation of the space (including the procurement of materials). 75% of the construction jobs available in connection with the renovation will be for Kentucky and Indiana residents, with 60% of available construction jobs for residents of the Metro Louisville Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Additionally, Councilman Tandy advocates establishing a loan program specifically for locally grown independent businesses that will provide similar incentives to expand downtown. Tandy believes that these businesses should have a dedicated funding pool, for expansion and redevelopment that will add more Kentucky flavor to the Fourth Street corridor and downtown Louisville. Recently, the city provided a $50,000 forgivable loan and additional low-interest loans for the Theatre Square Marketplace.
“Louisville is a city known for its restaurants and our residents should be given additional incentives to expand their operations.” Tandy said. “When someone goes anywhere in Louisville, they should experience what makes us so unique. Providing additional funds to local businesses would do just that.”
David Tandy (D) 4