We created The Closing Bell last spring after we figured out staffers, contributors and insiders were sitting on too many scoops that couldn’t wait for the Monday Business Briefing. Since then, we’ve scooped too many big stories to count.

For this installment of TCB, we decided to take a look back at 2014, highlighting some of the year’s biggest biz news. Turns out it’s been a busy year, making this an arduous task. We’ve narrowed it down to a manageable list of past stories that we think represent some of the highs and lows in the Louisville business community over the past 12 months: from real estate coups to health care snafus, and lots of econ-dev news in between.

So here we go, in chronological order…

310-at-NuLu

Jan. 7

310 at NuLu a step toward turning Louisville ‘from city we are now to city we aspire to be’

When we touched base with Bill Weyland in early 2014, he explained that in “real cities,” people walk places. In order for that to be a reality, there needs to be density in downtown — plenty of jobs, retail and entertainment opportunities, and of course, residential unites.

That last part is where Bill Weyland comes in with the construction of 310 at NuLu, 173 market-rate Chicago-inspired apartments on Hancock Street between Jefferson and Liberty.

Mayor Fischer at a press conference with Omni and Cordish execs
Mayor Fischer at a press conference with Omni and Cordish execs

March 7

Mayor: Proposed Omni Hotel, apartments and grocery would transform downtown, increase Louisville’s competitiveness

It was HUGE news when Mayor Greg Fischer announced that Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. (the people that brought you Fourth Street Live) plans to build an Omni Hotel on what’s now an abandoned block of Third Street. In addition, the mayor announced plans for 200 luxury apartments downtown, along with a 30,000-square-foot grocery in two buildings, restaurants, pools, cafes and retail.

The plan entails a mix of private investment, state tax incentives and a tax increment financing (TIF) district to finance the deal.

Plans for the grand hotel complex have been slow to develop since last spring, but we expect to have more to report soon.

Mayor Fischer introduced the Louisville Forward plan with Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, left, and Ellen Hesen.
Mayor Fischer introduced the Louisville Forward plan with Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, left, and Ellen Hesen.

April 30

Confirmed: Fischer Administration pulling GLI’s econ-dev function in-house under ‘Louisville Forward’

IL made the prediction, and sure enough it came to pass: Mayor Fischer & Co. folded Greater Louisville Inc.’s struggling economic development function into Metro Government. Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and chief of strategic initiatives, was put in charge of the new initiative.

‘This new strategy, called Louisville Forward, orients us to the future of economic development and recognizes the shifting job creation dynamic,” Fischer said at the time.  “The old economic model said people move to where the jobs are. Now jobs locate where talented people are — and people are moving to cities where the quality of life is high.”

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