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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a Louisville landmark that has been gathering nothing but dust for years. Now there's a new push to bring Louisville Gardens back to life.
The Metro Council has requested Mayor Greg Fischer to solicit interest from developers in giving the Louisville Gardens a major makeover.
It has seen everything from basketballs to balloons, and hosted everyone from the daughter of the Greatest to The King himself.
But it has been five years since anyone has entered its doors. And now the Metro Council says it's time to re-purpose the Louisville Gardens.
"It's a tremendous building. A lot of history," said 19th Dist. Metro Councilman Jerry Miller. He recently toured the old building and believes the right developer can make the Gardens bloom. "Let's see what the private sector can come up with; what innovation, what ideas, and what it would take from public money to be able to make this work," said Miller.
The Cordish company, the developer of Fourth Street Live, has first option on developing Louisville Gardens, but has not publicly expressed interest.
Mayor Fischer says he wants to give Cordish more time. "They have a national and international perspective of what's going on in downtowns. So, if there can be something done there and they can do it, we'll be happy to work with them. If not, we'll open it up to the community, to the world, to see what other kind of ideas we can get," said Fischer.
In the meantime, as a recent WDRB investigation found, the city has spent more than a quarter-million dollars over the past five years to keep the lights on in the building. "We just want something to go on here; something to happen here," said Miller.
But Fischer says this is a unique space, and it won't be easy or cheap to make it work. "It needs about $15-20 million worth of work to get into it just so we can use it again," said Fischer.
The Cordish company did not respond to our request for comment on the future of Louisville Gardens.