West Louisville FoodPort site: opportunity or blight?

Aug 31, 2016 at 11:51 am
West Louisville FoodPort site:  opportunity or blight?

With the failure of West Louisville FoodPort to launch, we are left — again — with no plan for the 24-acre, vacant parcel at 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

FoodPort sought to bring jobs to the neighborhood and catalyze development. It claimed it would “unite Louisville with a state-of-the-art landmark that spurs economic activity in a historic, but under-invested section of our city,” according to its website.

Not all in the community were enthralled, and Seed Capital KY, the non-profit developer fueled by philanthropists, ultimately could not make good on its plan for a $31-million investment in the community.

FoodPort would have been built on the former industrial site at the intersection of the Russell, Shawnee and Portland neighborhoods, once home to the National Tobacco Co., which bought the property in 1905. The complex was demolished in 2012.

What should happen to this valuable piece of land?

What should be built there, or should it be left as open space? What are the possibilities, and what are the challenges?

We asked a range of people, including the councilwoman from the district, two designers and a community activist from the neighborhood.