A mixture of public and private dollars is expected to transform Paristown Pointe into a destination.
The city, state, Goodwood Brewing Co., Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and Louisville Stoneware will invest an estimated $28 million in a project that includes the renovation and expansion of Louisville Stoneware, the construction of a new Kentucky Center performance venue, and the construction of a new Goodwood brewery and taproom.
“It is an important piece of fabric of the geography of our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said at a news conference Wednesday. He added that it’s a project that has been kept under wraps until today.
The multi-million dollar investment will allow people to rediscover “a lost neighborhood” in Louisville, said Louisville Stoneware CEO Steve Smith. The area is nestled between the Original Highlands, Germantown and downtown.
The Paristown Pointe project includes several parts. The city plans to invest $1.6 million in streetscape and sidewalk improvements. New parking lots will be added to accommodate increased traffic.
Los Angeles-based architectural firm wHY Architecture designed the new Paristown Pointe district to include a storm water infiltration system, native plants, natural building materials and outdoor public spaces. It is the same firm that designed the new Speed Art Museum.
Goodwood Brewing will spend $6 million on the new brewery, which CEO Ted Mitzlaff said in a news release was necessary to keep up with product demand. Goodwood Brewing already has a brewery at 636 E. Main St.
Louisville Stoneware also will spend $6 million to move and expand its retail space along Brent Street, add “a food experience,” expand its museum, and cover deferred maintenance, Smith said.
About half the cost will be replacing roofs and air conditioning systems. “If you walk back in the factory,” Smith said during the news conference, “it is raining back there.”
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts’ board of directors, headed by former first lady of Louisville Madeline Abramson, recently agreed to start the planning process for an event center.
Since 2013, the Kentucky Center’s strategic vision has included the addition of a multi-use facility, Abramson said. The new venue will hold up to 2,000 people standing and host 85 to 125 events a year.
“The mission of the Kentucky Center is to provide performing arts opportunities for everyone in the commonwealth so this will help us reach a demographic that we might not have been serving,” she said.
The entire project is reliant on receiving tax credits from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority. The tax credits could cover as much as 25 percent of the total project costs.
However, that seems like a mostly done deal. Bob Stewart, secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, announced at the news conference that the authority should preliminarily approve tax credits for the project next month, with final approvals coming early next year.
This project is “exactly the type of new investment and reinvestment we envisioned” when the credit was created, Stewart said.
Louisville Stoneware also will apply for historic tax credits since it is on the National Historic Register.
Although Louisville Stoneware has been a destination for visitors for decades, the addition of the Kentucky Center venue and the brewery will help attract more people, Smith said.
“We need to create a destination, and we need more rides, if you will.”