The former Urban Government Center site

The former Urban Government Center site on Barret Avenue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A selection committee of Louisville government officials has tabbed developer Underhill Associates to lead a planned revitalization of the old Urban Government Center property.

It's the second time the city has chosen a firm to redevelop the 10-acre site in the Paristown Pointe neighborhood. Underhill's proposal calls for a grocery store, farmer's market space, restaurant and retail tenants, a gym and affordable student and senior housing, along with a community garden.

Underhill had unsuccessfully bid on the work in 2017. The company the city chose, the Marian Group, backed out of the project late last year. 

In memos posted online, Metro government said Underhill had the highest score in response to the city's request for proposals -- 84.5 points, compared with 62 points for the other bidder, Booker Design Collaborative.

City officials now will begin negotiating specific terms of the deal with Underhill. But the selection panel noted that it has "serious concerns" about a funding gap of $12.1 million the city would be asked to fill.

"If the entire development hinges on that funding, there is concern that it will not come to fruition," Stephanie Kertis, assistant director of the Louisville Forward economic development agency, wrote in the committee's recommendation.

The Barret Avenue site includes former government office buildings and the old Kentucky Baptist Hospital.

Among other requirements, city officials sought development plans with a mix of uses and that are “compatible” with surrounding neighborhoods; that addressed the old hospital building in detail; and committed to a “community benefits agreement.”

Heavy manufacturing-type uses won't be allowed, nor will “extensive” surface parking, drug treatment facilities,  car lots; massage parlors, and other uses.

Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.