LOUISVILLE, KY-The Cordish Co. is leading a $250 million development in the downtown that will include new offices, retail stores, a movie theatre, a boutique hotel, condominiums and restaurants to downtown while also creating a venue for minor-league hockey. The project, dubbed the Center City District, will go on property from Second to Sixth streets along Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

The Baltimore-based company was the developer of the $70 million Fourth Street Live, a restaurant and entertainment complex in downtown Louisville that opened in 2004. Jon Cordish, says this new project will quadruple the size of Fourth Street Live, and will include restoring a decaying arena. “The intent and need is to create a new city center for Louisville, one that will help complete the transformation of its downtown into a dynamic, growing area,” Cordish tells GlobeSt.com.

The project will include a new retail, entertainment, office and residential complex on the Old Louisville Water Co. block, bounded by Second, Third and Liberty streets and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. A retail corridor would be created to connect Fourth Street Live to the new complex, via an existing alley. The work would also include the renovation of the Louisville Gardens into a 6,000-seat venue that may include a minor league hockey team. “We do not have specific numbers yet for sf of the various uses, but given that this is a 23-acre redevelopment, we would expect multi-hundreds of thousands of sf of retail and multiple hundreds of housing units,” Cordish tells GlobeSt.com.

The company will foot the bill for the development with private investment, but is set to receive an 80% tax abatement from the city and state. Cordish has hired local developer Hogan Real Estate to oversee the project. Plans call for the development to begin next year, and it would be complete by 2010, the same time a new $252 million basketball arena should be finished in the area.

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