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Councilman Wants To Leverage Costco For Economic Growth

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Ever since the Costco planned for Bardstown Road just south of the Watterson Expressway became a reality, it has been called a catalyst for economic development.

But it may also serve as leverage to finally spur action on a bigger plan to revitalize the stretch of Bardstown Road near Bashford Manor.

The project gained approval from the city's construction review department last week, clearing the final administrative hurdle before crews can break ground on the 164,000-square-foot, $11 million project.

Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill, a Democrat who represents the area, said he sees the project as "transformational" for the district, which includes Schnitzelburg, Buechel and Bashford Manor.

Now, Mulvihill said he'll look to secure funding to carry out a long-dormant streetscape improvement plan for the stretch of Bardstown Road between Gardiner Lane and Hikes Lane.

The plan was commissioned in 2010 by the late District 10 Councilman Jim King, as well as Democratic council members Brent Ackerson and Tom Owen. It was conducted by the Center for Neighborhoods and the City Solutions Center at the University of Louisville.

The plan calls on increasing the accessibility, walkability and general appearance of the stretch of roadway known as the Bashford Manor corridor. Mulvihill said this would mean bringing new medians and sidewalks, among other things.

"It would make it a place people want to come and not just zoom past, but stop and shop and, hopefully, do other things," he said.

The plan also outlines a mixed-use retail area, bike lanes and a pedestrian bridge over Bardstown Road. But that could be years away.

"We're just in the infancy stages," Mulvihill said. He expects the project would cost between $3 million and $5 million.

Earlier this year, Mulvihill and state Sen. Morgan McGarvey attempted to secure state funding for the project, but the effort failed. The councilman said he would continue working with legislators to include the project in the state budget in coming years.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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