New downtown master plan in the works - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New downtown master plan in the works

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB) -- Louisville's next challenge for downtown development will be "keeping" people there.

That's the focus for a new master plan that will be a blueprint for possibly another decade to come.

And downtown planners are taking their next steps to get the public's input.  They held a first meeting on Tuesday night.

An example of their initial thinking:  Waterfront Park is one of several amenities that planners now say need to be connected... to keep you downtown -- for a few hours more -- or a lifetime.

Since they wrote their last master plan 11 years ago, Louisville's built the arena, beefed up museum row and expanded the medical district -- among other improvements.

But what's next?

Perhaps not one or two new, "big" projects -- but rather, housing, stores and other attractions to keep people downtown longer after concerts or sporting events -- or to live there.

Resident Stu Noland wanted planners to hear his ideas.

"We're not making the right decisions to have an attractive urban core..." Noland said.

Alan DeLisle is head of the Downtown Development Corporation, the entity responsible for writing a new master plan.

"We hope more and more people can work downtown and live downtown and not have to drive and spend a lot of money on gas and work in buildings that are green," DeLisle said.

Issues to be studied include studying traffic patterns, parking and public transit to make it easier to get -- or "connect" from one place to another.

Studies show people will accept a five-minute walk, once they park or get off a bus.

And studies show downtown living increasingly appeals to people born after 1980 -- and adults without children.

It's enough data already for a new men's store owner on Fourth Street.

"We believe urban living is a great ways for things to bloom, the economy, the convention center," Sharon Williams, co-owner of The Leading Man, said.

"There's no bad ideas. We need them all out there," DeLisle said.

Another issue: compatibility with the new downtown bridge.

The new downtown master plan should be ready in October.  More meetings for public input are planned in coming weeks.

Learn about future meetings and have your say through this link:  www.engagelouisville.com.

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