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New Paristown Pointe development to transform neighborhood

Proposal would include demolition of old hospital, also known as the Urban Government Center
If the project is approved, construction could start in January of next year.
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new development has been proposed for the Paristown Pointe neighborhood, east of downtown Louisville.

The Paristown Preservation Trust has proposed a development plan worth more than $180 million. It would include the demolition of a few vacant buildings, such as the old Baptist Hospital, which was built in 1920.

”At a certain point, certain buildings don’t work,” Paristown Development Group managing partner Stephen Smith said. “Nobody wants to live there.”

Smith said the buildings in the area have outlived their usefulness, citing health concerns as well as crumbling infrastructure.

The Urban Government Center, as it was most recently known, and the surrounding blocks would be transformed into housing, child care services, offices, a hotel, and a boutique. The development plan would also allow Highlands Community Ministries to expand and provide more space for affordable housing, child care, and senior care.

Some parts would be preserved, such as the old steam plant, which will be converted into a community center.

Smith said the City of Louisville would provide assistance for improvements in certain shared use areas as part of a Tax Increment Financing agreement. A TIF is an economic development tool for financing infrastructure improvements for a project, such as streets, sewers, parking lots, etc., by allocating future tax gains from development for those improvements.

“We also have to provide public safety‚” Smith said. “The sidewalks haven’t replaced in 50 years, (and it needs) handicap accessibility. All those things, like additional lighting, will be available as part of the new project.”

Pastor Bruce Williams of nearby Bates Memorial Baptist Church said the development would positively impact Paristown Pointe, Smoketown and its neighboring communities, citing the well-paying jobs it would bring.

“Particularly Black business and minority-owned businesses will benefit from this,” Smith said. “People who work every day will not have to work here and two other jobs because they’ll be paid enough to live.”

If the project is approved, construction could start in January of next year.

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