Drawing the Line at Fourth Street Live (03-31-09)

Last year, Louisville offered the Cordish Company 1.8 million dollars to help expand Fourth Street Live into the Starks Building. I think that was a good idea.

But the Starks Building plan fell through, and Cordish dropped the expansion. However, they have embarked on a major renovation of the existing Lucky Strike Lanes into a sports bar. Mayor Abramson decided it'd be OK to take almost a million dollars of the original Starks Building grant and apply it to that project instead. And that's an idea I'm not so sure about.

I've been a big supporter of the whole Fourth Street Live project, and I still believe it was perfectly appropriate for the city to offer big financial incentives to make it happen and grow.

But this renovation is neither creation nor growth. It's simply a change in what was already there. Not new development but merely an adjustment in marketing strategy.

At some point, shouldn't Cordish be expected to cover their own expenses in maintaining and periodically updating the facility that Louisville citizens already helped build for them in the first place?

It seems to me Fourth Street Live is doing booming business, and if Cordish wants to make a multi-million dollar renovation, they should have at it. But at this point, that should be their concern - not the taxpayers'.

But what are your thoughts? Call and let us know.