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Old Walnut Street Development Moving Forward

Officials are moving ahead with the renovation of a three-acre complex at 13th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood. The property once occupied by the International Harvester company was purchased by the non-profit Louisville Central Community Center, which is nearing the end of a $4.5 million capital campaign to fund the work.Officials say a printing and graphic design firm is already signed up as a tenant at the complex, and several more business are close to committing.Mayor Greg Fischer praised the project as an example of tearing down the psychological wall that separates west Louisville from the rest of the community."We are so close, and we make these divides in our minds. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from. These are things that people create and are also things that we can bridge as a solution. So projects like this are so important," he said. Planners say they hope the project, known as the Old Walnut Street Development, will create some 250 jobs on-site and spin off hundreds more in an area with 22-percent unemployment.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.