Plan in the works to transform 15-block stretch Muhammad Ali Bou - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Plan in the works to transform 15-block stretch Muhammad Ali Boulevard

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From violence and crime to a thriving business district, there is a plan in the works to transform a 15-block stretch of Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

The plan is to start at Sixth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard and go west. The goal is for the street to be as great as the man whose name it bears.

Stacey Wade, President of Nimbus Advertisement Agency, is one of dozens of business owners hoping to get in on the ground floor of a plan to transform Muhammad Ali Blvd into a Cultural Arts Commercial District.

"We have grown tremendously over the last five years with clients like Brown Foreman, Swisher International, Toyota," Wade said.

With that growing clientele, Wade is looking to expand west.

"The west end provides a unique opportunity for us."

And others who live and work in the area are excited about the potential.

"That's exactly the kind of energy and vision we need for entrepreneurs like Stacey and his company and his networks, because Stacey reaches a lot of business owners," said Kevin Fields, President of Louisville Central Community Centers, Inc. (LCCC)

Fields unveiled the plan to the community on Thursday. He says the goal is to make Muhammad Ali Boulevard a destination spot.

"We are talking eateries, we are talking boutiques, we are talking art galleries, who knows, we might get a hotel," he said.

The area has seen its share of crime over the years, but Fields believes the transformation will change that.

"There is no better crime prevention strategy than economic development," Fields said.

The plan is a recommendation from the American Institute of Architects, with the goal of making the street the greatest, like its namesake.

"Especially in his hometown, Muhammad Ali Boulevard should be a special place," Fields said.

Wade already has at least one idea of how to make that happen and motivate young people.

"The idea may be to actually do this shipping containers that are think tanks for these young people to actually come in and understand the business and understand how you are being marketed to," he said.

Right now, this is still a vision, but the city has applied for a federal grant, and officials believe there is a strong chance it will happen.

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