Four proposals unveiled for former FoodPort site

Russell neighborhood: What's next for former FoodPort site?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- An empty lot sits at the corner of 30th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard filled with mounds of rocks and trash.

"It's definitely an eyesore. I mean they use it as a dumping site," Shamaine Richardson, a West Louisville resident, said. "It needs to be something, pretty much. It really needs to be something."

This is the site of what was supposed to be the FoodPort in the Russell neighborhood. Developers announced that project would not go forth due to financial struggles last August, leaving the lot unfilled, a familiar sight for Richardson, who has worked in the area for the past ten years.

"In that timeframe, it's been like this, but it was more trash. They done pretty much cleaned it up a little more now though," he said. "Most people would come and throw trash out at some point."

A few months earlier, the city of Louisville put out a request for proposals for the site, dubbed Heritage West by the West Louisville Community Council. This week, the city unveiled the four proposals for the site: a track and field facility, a biotech research park, a food co-op and an agricultural garden center called Heritage Gardens.

The four proposals for the 24 acres of land can be found at Western and Shawnee Libraries – proposals Louisville Business First reporter Marty Finley claims represents a very diverse group of ideas.

"The cooperative could get started with $1.5 million because it's kind of a scaled-down project that would start with a grocery store," he said. "Then you've got the two research parks, it's got laboratory biotech advanced manufacturing usages and they would go anywhere from $180 million to $250 million."

"Involvement in the community in the project is also important and then local employment on that specific site are some of the factors we're taking a look at," Mayor Greg Fischer said.

"Whoever grabs it, they can do a nice amount with it," Richardson said.

Like many other West Louisville residents, Richardson said he is just excited to finally see something happen to the plot of land.

"Maybe they can put all four of them in there," he said. "Maybe that'll work."

The city will hold a public meeting on June 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Louisville Central Community Center where the four developers will pitch their proposals to the public. Following the pitches, the developers will be available to speak with members of the community.

Citizens can also give feedback about the proposals through the Louisville Forward website and city social media sites.

The mayor's office is expected to select one of these proposals and sign a developer agreement by the end of the year.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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