Latest effort to develop Museum Plaza at standstill again - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Latest effort to develop Museum Plaza at standstill again

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The latest effort to turn the Museum Plaza site into a downtown showplace appears to be dead.

The city is going back to the drawing board to develop the prime property, which is just west of the Muhammad Ali Center and near the waterfront.

Museum Plaza was unveiled in 2005 as the $400 million showcase that would anchor the western edge of downtown.

But the recession hit, and the project never got off the ground.

Then in 2013, new developers announced plans to build a hotel, condos and commercial space.

Now Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer confirms that deal is also dead, at least for the time being.

"Their option lapsed on the project, so if they want to continue to work the project and make it more financially feasible, they're welcome to do that," said Fischer.

The city of Louisville owns the property, and Fischer says he wants any development to be significant.

"We want an iconic building. It's one of the few remaining key pieces of real estate down there by the river," he said.

The Kentucky Art and Craft Museum is right around the corner from the Museum Plaza site.

Communications Director Julie Gross would love to see the area developed, but she thinks the city may want to think in more practical terms; perhaps grocery and retail stores and condos, to attract more people to live downtown.

"I think if we had more of these kind of modern conveniences instead of just niche kinds of places downtown, I think it would be extremely helpful," said Gross.

Fischer says he's confident with the economy improving, the right deal will happen.

"It's a great piece of real estate so it's just a question of time for the right concept at the right funding to come along," he said.

But for now at least, this will remain one of Louisville's most valuable vacant lots.

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