LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From NuLu to Louisville's Portland neighborhood, Gill Holland is on the move. On Thursday Holland took WDRB News on a tour of what will be his new offices starting in a few weeks.
It is in the old Portland Christian Academy building. Soon old classrooms will become offices for his film and music production companies and his emerging development operations.
He is moving to Portland from the Green Building in NuLu where the renovation of that building became the catalyst for the rebirth of East Market Street. He will share the building with some non-profit organizations.
Holland now turns his attention to the redevelopment of Portland. His new offices there will be at the center of the effort.
He is calling the area the Portland Stroll District. He wants to create a neighborhood of shops and restaurants, community gardens, plus oversee the renovation of about a hundred shotgun houses that could eventually be sold or rented to local artists, creating what he calls an art district.
From there the development will spread to other areas. His vision is more than just the redevelopment of Portland. "Why not figure out a way to link NuLu with the Bourbon Trail, with Portland, with Old Louisville, and with Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road, all of a sudden you have an entirely connected downtown," says Holland.
He says you can do that with walking and bicycle paths. Holland believes the time is right for development of the historic Portland, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the area.
He adds, "I think people are tired of cities like New York, or Los Angeles. People want something more real, so Louisville has that small time feel but we are a big city we have the culture and the friendliness."
Holland heads a group of investors who are proposing to spend about $22 million for the project that he predicts will take at least ten years to finish. He invites local investors to join him and support his projects.
During the past few weeks he has been making the rounds, giving speeches to community groups. On Thursday he spoke before the Louisville Rotary Club, gathered for lunch at the Galt House.
He said he is driven by the desire to help Louisville become a better place and reach its maximum potential. "I want Louisville to be so cool that my kids will want to come back and take care of their old man," he says with a smile.
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