A battle of wills is going on along East Broadway, where developer Edwards Companies is threatening to abandon plans for two new apartment complexes if they don’t get the kind of tax breaks they think they deserve from city government.
Note that I said “the kind of tax breaks they think they deserve.” That’s important, because the city has already agreed to $7.5 million in incentives – a figure I think is pretty significant for a pair of projects estimated to cost less than $80 million. But Edwards claims that’s not enough. Now that they’ve already demolished the old Mercy Academy, they say they won’t be able to deliver the kind of developments they promised without gouging the city for $2.9 million more.
In response, the city’s economic development department has held its ground, making it clear that $7.5 million is as high as it’s willing to go, and it’s now up to Edwards to decide whether to proceed or take their ball and go home.
I’d love to see the planned developments become reality. But I say if Edwards wants to bail out, let them. These are two of the most desirable pieces of real estate in Louisville, and if Edwards can’t figure out a way to make a profit from them without gouging local taxpayers, it shouldn’t be hard to find someone else who will.
Call and share your thoughts.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.