Churchill Downs seeks to close streets, alleys west of track for - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Churchill Downs seeks to close streets, alleys west of track for parking expansion

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Churchill Downs has spent over $13 million since December on real estate near the track, including the last two houses closest to Gate 17 on Homeview Drive. Churchill Downs has spent over $13 million since December on real estate near the track, including the last two houses closest to Gate 17 on Homeview Drive.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Churchill Downs has asked Metro government to permanently close a number of public streets and alleys on the west side of its iconic Louisville racetrack.

The street and alley closures will allow for “substantial parking and landscaping enhancements” on the west side of the track, Churchill’s lawyers said in a preliminary application filed Monday with Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services.

As WDRB reported last month, Churchill snapped up $13 million worth of houses, vacant lots and commercial buildings – mostly on the west side of the track – in a buying binge that began in December.

Churchill has scheduled a meeting with neighbors to talk about its plans at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the track.

Last month, Churchill CEO Bill Carstanjen told WDRB that the company has broader plans than expanded parking for the land it recently acquired around the track.

The application filed Monday doesn’t reveal plans beyond parking and landscaping, however.

"We're trying to decide what the best use for that property would be," said Churchill Downs Spokesperson John Asher. "We are looking at parking options, landscaping options ... we’re looking at adding trees."

Churchill and Metro government are now the sole remaining owners of property accessible by the streets and alleys Churchill wants to close, according to the application.

Metro government owns the track at 700 Central Avenue and much of the real estate surrounding it, but leases it Churchill, as part of a 2002 deal in which the city assisted the company in raising money through industrial revenue bonds.

Mayor Greg Fischer's chief of staff Ellen Hesen signed Churchill's application, indicating that the city consents to the closures assuming planning officials approve them. 

Here is a list of the proposed closures:

  • Racine Avenue from Taylor Boulevard to CDI property (its eastern end)
  • Unnamed Alley starting from Racine's southwestern right-of-way line and ending at Central Avenue's southern right-of-way line
  • Bohannon running northeast from Racine and to end of cul-de-sac (near Central Avenue)
  • Unnamed Alley, between Racine and Homeview, from Bohannon's eastern right-of-way line and running east to its terminus with S. 9th Street
  • Homeview Drive from Bohannon to S. 9th Street
  • South 9th Street from Central's southern right-of-way line to Homeview
  • Unnamed Alley, between Homeview and Thornberry, from where the unnamed alley turns east and runs to its terminus at COl's Western edge
  • Warren Avenue from Homeview to Oleanda
  • Unnamed Alleys between Queen and Oleanda from Wizard to inside CDI Longfield parking lot
  • Some Unnamed alleys located in the current area of Churchill's Longfield parking lot

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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