Thursday, December 16, 2010

Museum Plaza Breakthrough

In Weird Kentucky, I wrote: "By the time you hold this book in your hands, dear reader, the Museum Plaza construction will be underway." Well, so I was wrong; that does happen occasionally. Very occasionally. The idea of Museum Plaza remains just an idea, but finally, it may indeed be slouching towards Louisville to be born, its hour come round at last.

I just noticed a month-old press release on Yarmuth's website that announces "major progress" in securing make-or-break HUD funding for the project. They've received a letter from HUD officially acknowledging that the process is a go.

Governor Steve Beshear noted, “It is very exciting that HUD is formally expressing its interest in helping finance Museum Plaza. This is a project that will create thousands of jobs for low- and moderate-income Kentuckians and will stimulate the economy across the Commonwealth. My administration will continue working with the development team, HUD, and Congressman Yarmuth to make this project a reality.”

With the receipt of this letter from HUD, the Museum Plaza development team will continue its efforts to complete the financing for this $465 million project. 70 percent of the project’s financing will be secured with this commitment. $140.5 million of the project’s financing still remains to be committed; it is expected that this will be provided in the form of a traditional, first mortgage construction loan representing 30 percent of the project’s cost. However, the development team is pursuing many financing strategies given the current challenging environment for financing new construction projects. The Museum Plaza partners have already invested more than $50 million in the development of the project and are confident they can secure the remaining financing.

Whenever the Plaza does finally exist, it's my intention to have office space and gallery space there. (Who knows, though, by the time the building is ready I may have retired!)

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