In Louisville, Differing Views on Mixed-Use Development

Although a development near downtown Louisville, Kentucky, is moving forward, not everyone agrees it is the best use of the parcel and the right project for the city.

January 14, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink

Ohio River

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

A major new development in Louisville, Kentucky, will be the largest the city has ever seen, writes Kevin Williams. "Virtually everyone in Louisville agrees that a 3.5-acre triangle of land on the city’s east side is underused. But they do not agree on the best plan to redevelop it."

The Louisville Metro Planning Commission recently approved a $250-million development called One Park. "It would include 421 apartments and condominiums, a 250-room hotel, office complexes and more than 50,000 square feet for restaurants and retail. An interior garage would offer 1,202 parking spots," says Williams.

Supporters say the infill development is an opportunity to better use the parcel near downtown and to foster the kind of urban growth happening in other midsized cities. But critics say that the project is too large and out of scale for the area.

In addition, the new development could spur an increase in rents while only providing about 20 affordable housing units as part of a compromise between the city and the developer. A report from the Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Housing says that less than half of the city’s lowest-income families have access to affordable housing, and the housing shortage is a growing concern.

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