LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Despite facing $300,000 in cuts to its operating budget, Waterfront Park is moving forward with Phase 4.

Deborah Bilitski, Vice President of the Waterfront Development Corporation, said the cuts have a significant impact to their budget. It's challenging to maintain the large amount of land that makes up Waterfront Park, and it's West Louisville expansion.

Still, Bilitski said the cuts do not mean the growth to the west will stop. Bilitski said they are moving forward with one of the most exciting pieces around 10th Street, an experiential learning area in collaboration with the Kentucky Science Center.

The newly rolled out name for this structure is PlayWorks at Waterfront Park. It's one and a half acres and will take $12 million of the $45 million budget to build. This portion deals with a majority of the infrastructure and parking.

"It's just going to take a little bit of time just like it did when we developed the first three phases of the park," Bilitski said.

Bilitski said they are hoping to bring excitement to the west as she said the area has struggled through initiatives that have not worked.

"The area to the west of 9th street has suffered from years of disinvestment and misguided urban renewal initiatives and red lining practices," Bilitski said.

Looking to the growth other areas near the Waterfront have seen since the '80s, Bilitski said she is hopeful Waterfront Park can transform the neighborhoods it builds around.

"Nulu, we've got Whiskey Row, the Yum Center probably wouldn't be built where it was if it wasn't for the fact that we have Waterfront Park which has really transformed and industrial blighted wasteland into a beautiful, award-winning park," Bilitski said.

The Waterfront Development Corporation started actively fundraising for Phase 4, and just received a grant. 

Contact reporter Kristin Goodwillie at KGoodwillie@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook  

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