Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I don't like to share

My fair city of Louisville is in the midst of a renaissance. The city center has been undergoing a major overhaul. Downtown living is chic again, the best eateries and hotels are now downtown, and nightlife has exploded. Well, gay nightlife has been downtown forever, we are always the first to know a good thing though. The total investment in the city center is over two billion dollars. The city is attracting new business and attention, and visitors are coming for conventions, and just to be here at times other than The Kentucky Derby. While I am all for progress, I live in Louisville for a reason, it has always been a laid back, lazy river city, and that fits me perfectly.

The Developments

Already, over the last five years, we have a new convention center, new hotels, most notably 21c and Marriott, and 4th Street Live. 4th Street Live is a huge multilevel complex full of clubs, restaurants, and shops. It is pretty, but full of commercial, touristy places like Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays. It attracts the convention tourists and rednecks from outside the city that seek a "night in the city".

The future developments get more interesting.

Museum Plaza will become the tallest building in the state, by far, and will be one of the mo
st unique and daring skyscrapers in the country. It is being developed as a mix-use facility, with a hotel, condos, apartments, offices, the MFA program for the University of Louisville, and a huge modern art museum floating half way up the building. It will have a diagonal elevator that will take visitors from the historic ironclad building on Main Street to the ultramodern sky lobby overlooking the Ohio River and city.

A new arena is being built right in the heart of the central business district. The facility will be a state of the art 23,000 seat show piece that will primarily house the University of Louisville men's and women's basketball teams. It is already being sold as a possible site for other NCAA tournaments and conventions.
I am most excited about this project, as I have season tickets to U
of L basketball, and the current situation with Freedom Hall at the fairgrounds in horrible. I have to drive in nasty traffic to get there, there are no restaurants or bars around, and to get out in less than 30 minutes requires leaving before the game ends.

Other projects include City Center, with retail, offices, hotels, movie theaters, a concert venue, and restaurants and bars. This is said to be an extension of 4th Street Live. I hope it is filled with better shit than that place though.

River Park Place is a huge housing complex being built right on the Ohio River.

The Iron Quarter is another entertainment district being planned on old Whiskey Row, right next to the new arena. It will also contain a new high rise housing complex, and places like ESPN Zone and Crate & Barrel tentatively.

In addition, there are new medical complexes being built, like a new Veterans Hospital. Housing is popping up everywhere downtown, ranging from simple studios and lofts to huge high rise condos. New, upscale restaurants like, Jeff Ruby's and Proof on Main are all the rage downtown as well.

I don't want to Share Louisville

The latest, controversial ad campaign to come out of this is from the people at ShareLouisville.org. It tells the tongue in cheek stories of various people living in bigger cities around the country. They are frustrated by high crime, lack of advancement, cost of living, and general happiness about their current city. But, it doesn't really expand on why Louisville is a better place to live, instead it bashes the other cities. I am not sure this is effective, but here are a few examples.

Los Angeles



Why should I share Louisville? I love my city for what it is. I don't want to be the next Indianapolis or Atlanta.

I am selfish, sorry.

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