West Louisville FoodPort project scrapped

West Louisville FoodPort project scrapped

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The plans for a food port in West Louisville have been canceled.

Councilman David James told WAVE 3 News the developer, Stephen Reilly, informed the city that the anchor tenant pulled out of the project, so they decided not to proceed.

The main tenant, FarmedHere, based out of Chicago Illinois, was set to occupy more than 50 percent of the facility.

Seed Capital KY Project Director Caroline Heine said without the tenant, this project isn't possibly.

"They we're not going to be able to commit to the project for at least 12 months," Heine said, "I'd say the reaction is one of shock, I think many people did not see this coming and just terrible disappointment."

"We're incredibly sad to cancel plans for the West Louisville FoodPort," said project developer Stephen Riley. "Without a sufficient tenant base, the project is simply no longer economically viable. As a non-profit developer we have aimed to set a new model for transparency and engagement. We have kept listening to our neighbors, and we are proud to have built a platform for leadership among so many people from Russell, Shawnee and Portland. We are grateful for their willingness to invest time and belief in this project, and hope this experience will help us all support the many responsible development projects West Louisville needs,"

The $30 million project was expected to transform several neighborhoods in west Louisville and bring at least 200 jobs.

Mayor Greg Fischer has been a big supporter of the project and sent the following statement in reaction to the news:

"Seed Capital Kentucky has been an ideal partner in promoting a unique public-private partnership.  This small non-profit has invested millions of dollars in analyzing and preparing a remediation plan for this urban brownfield, evaluating complicated MSD easement issues, modeling transparency and community engagement as a developer that listens to neighbors, designing a modern landmark for one of our most important historic neighborhoods, and attracting business to West Louisville. And the world has paid attention.  Whatever happens with the FoodPort, this work has added value to this site, to community discourse about responsible redevelopment, and to our understanding of how to grow the local food economy.  Louisville is and will be better for their work."

Heine said the project has put the right people together to work toward turning the economy around in west Louisville. While this project is "halted," there's hope another one can take its place.

"I think people are really disappointed. I hope we as a community can come together to try and address the same issues," Heine said.

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