LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Urban League’s Norton Healthcare Sports and Learning Center is up and running, offering a game-changing project to West Louisville. But it almost wasn’t possible without a $10 million loan from nine community banks.
The Sports and Learning Center is a $53 million project. The Louisville Urban League raised $43 million, and say they had a verbal agreement with an opportunity zone investor for the rest but it fell through. $10 million stood in the way of the center bringing major opportunities to west Louisville.
Nine community banks - Republic Bank, Central Bank, Commonwealth Bank, L&N Federal Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Limestone Bank, Stock Yards Bank, WesBanco Bank and Wilson & Muir Bank - came together to fill the gap and offered a $10 million loan.
“While all of us are competitors, we are partners in making this game-changing project happen for the West End,” said Steve Trager, Republic Bank Chairman & CEO.
Although it puts them in multi-million dollar debt, Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, said she made a commitment to bring this opportunity to West Louisville.
“I was advised in March to stop the project,” Reynolds said. “An act of God, it’s a pandemic Sadiqa, you don’t need to go on. But this community has always been promised things that don’t turn into anything and I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
The center is already showing its worth in the West Louisville community. Reynolds said it’s booked through March.