The state of downtown Louisville -- in six slides - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The state of downtown Louisville -- in six slides

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Compared to 17 peer cities, Louisville has the highest percentage of county jobs located in the Central Business District. Yet, Louisville is near the bottom of that group when in the proportion of downtown jobs paying at least $3,333 per month, or about $40,000 per year.

These figures were part the mixed picture presented by three experts Tuesday morning at the annual State of the Downtown breakfast hosted by the Louisville Downtown Partnership.

Here are some of the more interesting nuggets from the analysis by Janet Kelly, director of the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville, her colleague Matthew Ruther, director of the Kentucky State Data Center, and Shawn Herbig of Louisville's IQS Research. Of course, this is far from the full picture the experts presented, and for that I encourage you to view the entire presentation.

Kelly and Ruther focused mostly on the “urban core” – an area that includes a lot of neighborhoods on the periphery of downtown, such as Old Louisville, Shawnee, the Highlands and parts of Southern Indiana. 

Louisville's urban core has a relatively high percentage of housing units, compared to peer cities…

… yet, not a very high percentage of those apartments/houses/condos actually have people living in them.

And even with the Highlands, Clifton and Germantown, Louisville's urban core still lacks the young professional demographic…

… and college-educated people (another indicator of the young professional set that cities desire)

… and people who make a lot of money

By the way, did you notice that Charlotte is at the top of all three of those lists? The most striking difference: median income in Charlotte's urban core is $64,151, compared to $27,593 in Louisville. Ruther chalked that up to the presence of “banking” in Charlotte. (According to a June article in the Charlotte Observer, Bank of America employs about 15,000 in Charlotte, its headquarters.)

After Ruther and Kelly presented the comparative data, Herbig of IQS Research shared conclusions from 750 “interviews” of Louisville residents about their perceptions of downtown.

The bottom line, he said, is that Louisvillians increasingly view downtown as family friendly, fun, exciting and full of things to do…

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