PROFFITT REPORT: Remember the Big 4 Bridge Shopping Center and Hotel?

Proffitt Report: Louisville's 'pipe dreams'

I remember as a little kid, I couldn’t wait for the delivery of the afternoon Louisville Times. It came after school at about 3:30 p.m. every day.  In those pages in the 1970s, reporters like Sheldon Shafer would detail the wild plans for the Big 4 Bridge.

At one point, one guy wanted to make it a hotel.  Then I’ll never forget the plan for a shopping center over the river. Yes, a series of stores crammed onto that narrow span!

I call things like that the "Louisville pipe dreams.” They go into that pipe and we never see them again.  We have shoved a lot of big ideas into that pipe.

So I’m hoping that the new track and field complex, a $30 million project for 30th and Ali, doesn’t become Food Port Part Two, or the Big 4 shopping center.

I’m worried because it already smells like one of those deals. The ones that bring a flash of excitement and news coverage and then BOOM. They are the next pipe dream.

Typical of our city, we announce it, get everyone believing, and then we hear this from the mayor, “Today is only an announcement. We’ve got a lot of work left to do.”

No financing structure for the complex was announced.  No construction schedule, no groundbreaking date. $30 million, folks!  

Let’s also put the new LouCity FC soccer stadium in the same boat.  We need that stadium just like we need 30th and Ali.  But it too was announced with too many fuzzy and vague details.

Butchertown is the perfect site for the stadium.  Let me say this, folks. If that meat packing plant ever decides to leave Louisville, overnight, Butchertown will become the hottest zip code in this city. People will line up to buy houses, and there sits that popular soccer team.

But if it’s slow going to get money and momentum behind the soccer stadium, how long is it going to take to get real money for a west Louisville sports complex that’s missing so many details?

Count me in as one of West Louisville’s biggest cheerleaders. It needs this investment.  The Mayor can’t afford to have this one collapse. Our community should not stand for it. It’s time to plug that pipeline. Let me know what you think, email:  dproffitt@whas11.com.
 

*Commentary* by Doug Proffitt


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