WAVE 3 Editorial – Aug. 25, 2011: Downtown Retail

By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager

The heart makes our bodies run and the heart of a city is downtown. Without that strong pulse, a city won't reach full potential.

Louisville's downtown revitalization, accelerated by the KFC Yum! Center, continues to thrive in spite of the scrapping of the Museum Plaza project. What is needed to complement the many impressive new restaurants and the cultural and entertainment attractions is retail. It's tough to shop downtown because there aren't many places to go.

Rooftops spawn retail and fewer than 200 of the 3,000 plus people living in downtown Louisville are homeowners here. But there are nearly 70,000 people who live in surrounding areas to downtown and another 70,000 who work here – and that number is growing.

The city can certainly benefit more from the convention meetings downtown if those visitors were enticed to spend money while they were here. Each year nearly a million people visit.

Under-utilized storefronts on South Fourth is a good place to start with specialty retail offerings.

We may not get to the multiple major department stores that were here more than 50 years ago prior to the suburban sprawl but one or two would be a welcome start.

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