LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There's no doubt Ford's two local plants are staples in our community. So what about growth and development near the plants? We decided to take a look at the possibilities and talked to a commercial real estate agent.
They are on opposite sides of the county - the Louisville Assembly Plant in an industrial area of Fern Valley Road in Okolona and the Kentucky Truck Plant in a more residential area off Westport Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway. People in both areas told us they would like to see more stores and restaurants nearby.
Radames Alvarado, Jr. works right across the street from the Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road and said the area needs to grow.
"Some more restaurants, some more shops, I mean, even industrial shops in the area," Alvarado said. "Something that shows that there's some economic turn that there's positive movement."
Across town, near Ford's Kentucky Truck plant on Chamberlain Lane, Monty Hornback points to several vacancies and available space. He lives near Ford's KTP.
"Well, I think the economy has a lot to do with it," Hornback said. "People just aren't taking chances and opening up new places right now."
Rhonda Karageorge is vice president of sales & leasing with Commonwealth Commercial Real Estate in Louisville and has property near both plants.
"I think that area of Wesport Road & Chamberlain Lane developed before it's time," said Karageorge. "The only catalyst in that area was Ford as well as the WalMart. For awhile, all the retail grew so quickly."
Since then, Karageorge said the Kentucky Truck Plant area has grown.
"All the real estate brokerage community is pushing to get as much development as we can going," said Krarageorge. "Obviously you have to look at the economy, too. We're just now starting to see a lot more activity in the way of retail and office in the last few years."
Karegeorge said the immediate area outside the Louisville Assembly Plant is industrial
"I don't see that changing very much other than the addition of hotels, restaurants. keep in mind , you have Jefferson Mall very close," she said.
The Louisville Assembly Plant is planning on retooling its facility for new production and the plant is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs along with it. Karageorge said that will positively influence development near the LAP.
"There's going be a demand that hasn't been here. That demand is what's going to bring all the retailers and restaurants in this area. I think most of the growth we'll see will be on the other side of 65," Karageorge said.
Alvarado said he agreed with the thought that those changes would boost area development.
"I'm a big fan of development. If things are growing and moving, that's a good sign for everybody," Alvarado said.