Update on “Save Whiskey Row”

On January 31, Mayor Greg Fischer announced a settlement with developer Todd Blue that allows for demolition of buildings along historic Whiskey Row from 105 to 119 West Main. All of these buildings are designated local Landmarks and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

This decision sets a bad precedent for the city of Louisville, bypassing the city’s own ordinances passed by Metro Council in favor of a backroom deal with a developer who has allowed these buildings to deteriorate for several years.  In fact, the agreement proposes to commit $450,000 of taxpayer money and would allow him to replace these important buildings with a surface parking lot for up to five years.

The agreement ignores the procedures established by ordinance, which requires approval of the Landmarks Commission and the Waterfront Review Overlay District in open meetings before demolition of Landmarked properties can proceed. 

We urge you to act now to let the Mayor’s office and your Metro Council representative know the public does not support the settlement between the city and Todd Blue.

Not sure what to say? Help us reinforce these message points:

* Those of us interested in the welfare of our community deplore the settlement reached between the city and Todd Blue to demolish the Whiskey Row buildings from 105 to 119 West Main, and the way in which this agreement transpired, without public input and contrary to the transparency Mayor Fischer promised during his campaign.

* This agreement allows a block of architecturally and historically significant buildings to be demolished for no reason.  No details for a project, including financing and design, have been submitted to the city and no tenants have been identified.

* This agreement ignores the tangible economic benefits that preservation can bring to communities.  Similar buildings along West Main from 6th to 9th streets have resulted in a quarter of a billion dollars reinvested in the community in the last 15 years. This deal effectively eliminates the same opportunity for a similar level of redevelopment in this block.

Voice your concern about this project and the proposed investment of $450,000 of public money during Mayor Fischer Citizen Budget Hearings:

·      7:30 p.m. February 22, Southwest Government Center

·      1 p.m. February 28, Shawnee Golf Course

·      1 p.m. March 1,  Metro Hall (Old Courthouse)

·      7 p.m. March 8, East Government Center

·      1 p.m. March 12, Central Government Center

Join the Mayor from 6 to 8 p.m. March 14 at Carter Elementary, the first in a series of neighborhood meetings for free-flowing discussion of city issues.

NOTE: “Whiskey Row” is the historic name of the buildings located along the 100 block of West Main Street. “Iron Quarter” is the name of a new development proposed by Mr. Blue, for which he has no financing. Please be sure to refer to this block of buildings as “Whiskey Row.”

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