In 2017, The Louisville Urban League (LUL) submitted the winning proposal for the redevelopment of a former 24-acre tobacco processing and storage facility in the West End of Louisville. LUL’s proposal centered around world-class indoor track and field space, seating for 4,000 persons and various indoor and outdoor spaces that will enable the LUL to expand its programming in health, education and economic development. LUL focuses on health and wellness because the residents of the Russell neighborhood have life expectancies that are 12 to 17 years shorter than residents of other parts of Louisville. Specifically, the project centered on track and field, because it produces students with the highest grades, lowest truancy, and highest likelihood of going to college.
HEDC New Markets, TRF NMTC Fund, and Telesis CDE used $23.8 million in NMTC financing to offset costs for brownfield remediation and to enable LUL to support new and expanded programing critical to community needs. Without the NMTC, an additional capital campaign would delay the many community outcomes of the project by years and LUL would have needed to rent additional space to meet demand for its existing financial counseling, job training, and expungement programming.
Scheduled for completion in spring 2021, the Sports & Learning Complex will enable LUL to serve an additional 1,000 individuals with test prep classes; host regional chess competitions for the West Louisville Chess Club; offer a new Environmental Justice curriculum; assist an additional 12,525 people with job fairs, job training, expungement clinics, yoga, mindfulness & mediation, mobile health fairs, Financially-In-Tune” and “Homebuyer’s Club” courses, a housing expo; and provide access to healthy foods by providing space to a farmers’ market and a concession that will accept SNAP benefits. In addition, the project is expected to generate an annual economic impact of $47 million and attract up to 30,000 annual visitors to a very low-income community.