Butchertown business owners beaming after stadium votes
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was a big move by Louisville Metro Council.
Late Thursday night, council members approved a $30 million bond that greenlights a 10,000 seat soccer stadium for Louisville City FC in Butchertown.
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Business owners that made the investment in the neighborhood years ago now believe it's primed to become much more.
The council vote was a major goal for Butchertown. The walkable, Louisville-centric neighborhood already had momentum with restaurants, shops and venues like Work the Metal, Butchertown Grocery, and Copper and Kings.
"I think what you're going to see is an explosion of development," Butchertown Market owner Andy Blieden said.
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The $200 million soccer stadium development on 40 acres off Interstate 64 is cause for celebration. "I just can't tell you how excited I am!," restaurant owner Jessica Mach said.
"This is like the biggest thing to happen to Louisville for me," Blieden said. "I grew up here and in the last half century, this is the best news I've heard!"
Bleiden, who has invested in 22 properties in Butchertown in the last two decades, says the state-of-the-art stadium will become the neighborhood's new front door, gaining visitors that may have skipped them in the past.
"In real estate, we talk about highest and best use. This is actually the highest and best use for this property," he said.
The area known as the Butcher Block includes businesses like High Five Donuts, Stag and Doe, and Mach's Pho Ba Luu. Moving from Dallas a year ago, Mach now believes it was the right move to put her mother's recipes down in Butchertown.
"When we came here, the character of the town, history of the town, the character of the building, that like spoke to me," Mach said.
Stag and Doe owner and Studio 360 designer Julie McAfee thanks Metro Council members who she says, got it.
"I love this," she said. "Because it really is all connected. Butchertown is right next to Nulu, and we're right at the end of Frankfort Avenue, and to finally fill in this gap is going to make a big difference for the whole city."
The city still needs the state to approve a TIF district to help fund the project.
Leaders are hopeful to get dirt moving on the project by the end of next summer.
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