Louisville, KY (August 1, 2011) – Museum Plaza will not be built.
Museum Plaza may be remembered by most as the story of a bold dream. To those of us on the development team, Museum Plaza will be remembered as a seven year journey that reinforced the power of teamwork, tenacity, and innovation. An iconic building will not be built, but we hope that we have laid a foundation for ourselves and others to realize the aspirations we pursued.
Through this process we have endured four years of the worst recession of our lifetime and the most challenging lending market ever. There are no signs of improvement in the near future. We were realistic, yet undaunted, as we pursued many financing options. A completed financing plan seemed within reach but even with all of the help from the public sector, in the end, we were not able to put together a sensible financing package. As much as our team wanted to make Museum Plaza a reality, as much as our team had already invested financially and emotionally in the project, we painfully decided that this project could not be built in this economy.
This effort showed what’s great about our city and state – the ability to work together and make a difference. We are fortunate to have elected leaders who can put partisanship aside to support progress and to have a business and labor community that can work together to make things happen. Our team owes a big thanks to the hundreds of people who worked with us on this project.
We can look back on some tangible things Museum Plaza and our team contributed to the City - the 10-story eyesore on our river front that was an electrical transmission tower was removed, four historic facades in the 600 block of West Main Street were stabilized and preserved, Whiskey Row is being saved, public contemporary art exhibits have begun to sprout up around our community, and the community’s focus on architecture is more focused than ever. But, more importantly, we are looking forward to the future. Our team remains committed to pursuing bold ideas to make our community better and we will use the lessons learned from Museum Plaza to make the next ones realities.