LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After years of discussion and planning, the city of Louisville has agreed to sell 23 acres of land to a group committed to developing a botanical garden.

On the site of a former landfill at the corner of Frankfort Avenue and River Road, Botanica Inc. has secured the 23 acres for $1 from the city of Louisville.

“That's a really big deal because that's the city's engagement in this important project,” said Casey Maier with Botanica.

The $1 price tag comes with condition that the group now has to raise $2 million to begin the project and finalize the deal.

“We feel like we're close,” Maier said. “We have some foundations and corporations interested but we need everybody's support.”

Late last year, Botanica finalized a master plan for the future botanical gardens, which included a visitor's center with restaurant and coffee shop, an overlook of Beargrass Creek, a conservatory and a vast array of different rental spaces.

“Now that we have the master plan and now that we have the land,” Maier said, “the only thing that's holding us back is the money.”

In total, Maier says the cost of the project will be somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million. However, her group is hopeful that phase one of the project can be completed with just $10 to $20 million.

If all goes according to plan from this point forward, phase one could be completed in two to three years.

“This land could have cost three million dollars and instead they're selling it to us for a dollar,” Maier said.

While the land is on the site of a former landfill, Maier says that the soil and runoff has been deemed safe by the state. A hopeful completion date for the project is sometime in 2019.

“Now that we are able to secure the site, we are looking for the public to jump in the game along with Metro Louisville so we can make this project happen,” Maier added.

The group is holding an event to officially announce the agreement between it and the city on Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m. at the site on the corner of Frankfort Avenue and River Road. 

You can find ticket information

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