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Arts, Culture Hub Proposed For Paristown Pointe

paristown pointe
Jacob Ryan

A small slice of the city is poised for a major revamp.

Preservationists and city leaders on Wednesday announced plans to turn Paristown Pointe into an arts and culture district.

The Paristown Pointe Preservation Trust will apply for state tourism tax credits to fund the estimated $28 million project, said Steve Smith,  chief executive officer of Louisville Stoneware and a representative of the trust.

The area is between Smoketown, Germantown and the Highlands along Barret Avenue and Broadway.

If the credits are awarded, Paristown Pointe will be turned into an arts and culture hub with the addition of a performance space, a brewery, public art, housing and commercial space, according to the city release.

Smith said the project depends on the approval of the tax credits. The initial investment for the project comes from private sources, he said.

He said the tax credits would allow investors to get a refund of increased sales tax revenue for up to 10 years or for 25 percent of the total cost of the project.

And it seems officials in Frankfort are already giving an approving nod to the project.

Bob Stewart, secretary of the state Arts, Tourism and Heritage Cabinet, said the project would draw an expected 250,000 visitors annually, leading to  substantial economic impact.

"The other thing about this project we like in Frankfort is that it incorporates the old historic with new in an established neighborhood in Louisville," he said.

The state tourism development finance authority, a wing of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, is expected to review the application at the end of next month to consider granting preliminary approval for the project. Stewart said he anticipates that the credits will be approved.

Under the proposal, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts would build the multi-purpose performance space. The facility will "host a wider range of artists, events and performances than can currently be supported in Louisville," according to the news release.

Also, Goodwood Brewing Co. plans to build the brewery. It's billed as a $6-million project with a tap room. In addition, a $6-million renovation is also planned for the Louisville Stoneware building, which is located in Paristown Pointe.

The plan also calls for the addition of sustainable storm water infiltration using bioswales and other landscaped features, according to the news release. About $1.6 million will be contributed from the city for streetscape and sidewalk improvements.

Just beyond the project's boundary, on Swan Street, William Jackson took a break from gutting a burned house to examine the proposed project.

"I think it would be great for the neighborhood. The neighborhood needs something like this around here, as long as it's positive, not negative," he said.

Jackson said the area is like a "dead alley" now and needs new life.

He said any noise that could come from the redeveloped area likely won't bother him or his neighbors. A train passes nearby multiple times a day. He said if residents can deal with that, they "can deal with any type of noise."

This story has been updated.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the performance space will be indoors.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.