Tuesday October 21, 2008
Citizens met with city planners tonight to provide input to help make choices from a number of potential approaches to attract business and create jobs in the 1,400-acre Park Hill Industrial Corridor.
While the corridor is challenged by abandoned industrial sites, a disconnected road network, and under-utilized and neglected property, recent studies have found that the area has the capacity to generate 2,700 new jobs and $336 million in near-term annual economic impact.
“We know incredible potential exists here, and tonight was about continuing the involvement of residents, businesses and other stakeholders in helping us make the best choices to help our community capitalize on that potential,” said Bruce Traughber, director of the Louisville Metro Economic Development Department. The department is leading the planning effort and coordinated tonight’s meeting at the Nia Center as part of a series of forums focused on enhancements to the Park Hill Industrial Corridor.
At tonight’s meeting, participants were asked to provide input on a number of potential programmatic changes, workforce-development strategies, land use, transportation enhancements and other public improvements.
Among the options discussed, were:
· Improvements to the road network to improve access and guide truck traffic flow;
· Focusing attention first on improvements in high-visibility areas and key “gateway” points;
· Establishing a series of districts within the corridor which identify areas most suited toward smaller business, medium-sized business, and large industrial uses;
· Expanding retail, residential and mixed use amenities as transitions between industrial and neighborhood uses;
· Improving commuting both through enhancements to bus routes and bicycle routes;
· Developing local partnerships which enhance workforce preparedness and training programs;
· Encouraging the corridor to become a center for environmentally responsible or “green” practices and “green” products/services;
· Adding streetscaping and green spaces which invite pedestrians and creatively manage stormwater;
· Creating a business association for companies in the area;
· Emphasizing industrial art in key areas of the corridor.
Public input from tonight’s meeting will guide the development of the implementation strategy for the corridor, set to be complete in spring of 2009. In addition to tonight’s meeting, the planning team is conducting additional public meetings, presentations to area neighborhood associations, and focus groups with area businesses. The city also has convened a panel of local and national developers, as well as an advisory committee of residents and business and institutional representatives from within the corridor to advise on the plan.
About the Park Hill Industrial Corridor
The Park Hill Industrial Corridor is bounded by Broadway to the north, Dixie Highway to the west, Algonquin Parkway to the south, and portions of Old Louisville and the University of Louisville campus to the east. The corridor is roughly the size of 250 downtown city blocks, or 1,200 football fields. It includes several former manufacturing plants and closed industrial facilities, including the former American Standard, Philip Morris and Rhodia SA properties.
A recent real-estate market analysis found that the has the potential to support between 550,000 and 850,000 square feet of new office and industrial space, and 52,000 to 78,000 square feet of new retail space. Also, with enhancements, the corridor could generate up to 2,700 jobs for the community and provide an economic impact of up to $336 million annually.