Just a year ago, Louisville's West End got blindsided when the highly touted West Louisville FoodPort project was abruptly abandoned. That development - slated to occupy 24 acres around 30th and Muhammad Ali - had been projected as a major boost for one of the city's most economically-depressed areas, and many hoped it would spark an even larger renaissance.
But now, disappointment has turned into a new hope with the announcement that the Louisville Urban League has been chosen to develop that same acreage into a $30 million, mixed-use project that supporters say could vie for NCAA and national events and bring in thousands of visitors each year.
This is no minor league plan. As conceived, the facility will not only contain state of the art track and field facilities, but also retail space, restaurants and even an onsite hotel. And with over 4,000 seats, it will make a great home for NCAA and national track and field events, provide much needed practice space for area high school and college track teams and is even expected to host U.S. Olympics athletes in training.
Financing sources have yet to be finalized, but it's comforting to know that local heavy hitters like Jim Host, Mayor Greg Fischer, Sadiqa Reynolds, Republic Bank's Steve Trager and many others are already on board. I'd never bet against that bunch.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.