New development in works for Museum Plaza site - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New development in works for Museum Plaza site

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was supposed to be a gleaming addition to Louisville's skyline. But plans for Museum Plaza collapsed because of the recession.

Now there are plans for new development on the old Museum Plaza site.

If all goes well, this big hole could become one of Louisville's signature downtown developments.

Museum Plaza was unveiled in 2005 as a $400-million showcase for downtown Louisville. But when the recession hit, financing dried up, and the project never got off the ground.

The city of Louisville owns the property. Now, Mayor Greg Fischer has granted development rights to a partnership called West End Boys LLC, headed by two Louisville attorneys.

"It's a premiere site in downtown, so whatever happens there needs to be something very significant and meaningful for the community, and we expect that will come out, whether that's in the short-term or the mid-term we're not sure," said Fischer.

Museum Plaza may have been blocked, but the new developers say they want to build something to attract new, permanent residents to downtown Louisville.

The developers say it's very early in the process. They're still finalizing plans and trying to find investors.

"What we're looking for is investors to join us to create a project that would include a hotel, perhaps a signature building for a corporate client, rental units, condominiums and commercial space," said one of the partners, attorney Dennis Clare.

Bryan Scott owns a nearby computer store. He likes the idea of building something that will bring new life to this area.

"I welcome anything they're going to put in there that's going to keep it from being an empty lot where people can go in there and tear up the grass, throw trash," said Scott.

The city has given the developers the option to buy the land for $8-million. But if their project is valued at more than $200-million, the city will sell them the land for just one dollar.

The agreement requires the developers to report their progress to the city every 3 months.

"It's an option, so they've got to perform. That's what the city is concerned with," said Fischer.

Clare says the partners hope to have concrete plans and drawings of their proposed project sometime next year.

Copyright 2013 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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