Major development announced for empty Urban Government Center

Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 at 7:54 PM EST
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Justin Brown (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Justin Brown (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Wiltshire Pantry is across the street from the development. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Wiltshire Pantry is across the street from the development. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A prime piece of property between the Highlands, Germantown, and Smoketown is slated for a major redevelopment.

The development hopes to attract people of all ages and income levels to Paristown Point.

The Marian Group's plan was selected as the possible development for the former Urban Government Center.

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Louisville Metro Government is still in the procurement phase and says a timeline and budget has not been set. Theresa Zawacki with Louisville Forward is optimistic of the deal.

Zawacki says a board, made up of Louisville Metro Government employees and volunteer citizens, evaluated five plans and ranked the Marian Group as number one.

"Their recommendation is based on how they see the proposal lining up with the community priorities that were expressed during the public engagement period," she said.

Retail space would be built closer to Barret Avenue to catch the attention of those walking and driving by. Housing options will include shotgun style homes, town homes, and multifamily rental units.

Justin Brown, principal with the Marian Group, says the housing developments would provide options at varying price points. There are also plans for a senior housing center on the property and possibly a boutique hotel.

"We are not parachuting something onto this site that is going to be of its own," Brown said. "We are here to create something the coexists with the neighborhood."

Brown says while they plan to save the smokestacks on the property, the buildings will be knocked down.

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Tari O'bannon, the manager at Wiltshire Bakery, wants to see revival on the street she works on. For her, greenspace and mixed income housing is important.

"But to hear there is a plan for development, well anything is better than nothing," O'bannon told us.

Marian's project does include greenspace and a bike bath.

Although the project is still in the early phases, O'bannon anticipated the thought of new neighbors.

"I think it would be wonderful, and we are up to the task to feed them," she said.

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