From the 2010 U of L President’s Report, which celebrated the Nucleus building as being 60 percent leased before construction began. (Click to see full size.)

Welcome to the March 11 edition of the top-secret, always confidential Monday Business Briefing.

These are biz tips Insider Louisville staff and contributors have collected during the past few days, a few of which are NOT double-verified as with our daily reporting.

But this is the news about business and trends you’ll be reading about next week or even next month in the conventional media.

If you’re wondering why we called you all together today….

• Everyone paying attention tells us they’re concerned about the future of Louisville. We can’t count the number of conversations – most not instigated by us – we’ve had on the same theme. To paraphrase, a lot of insiders believe Louisville is at a crossroads … will we become the next Austin? Or will we become Flint, Mich., which consistently turns up on lists of America’s failed cities because it never saw the auto industry bust coming. If you’re a regular Insider Louisville reader, you know we’ve been covering issues such as corporate flight to the suburbs years before the other media noticed. And we will continue to cover KFC Yum! Center financial issues. But there are other troubling developments including the increasing amount of transactional business Louisville is losing to larger cities, such as Chicago. Sources have told us that when we broke the news JPMorgan Chase is closing their Louisville wholesale loan operation, we didn’t explain that the Wall Street financial giant sent a lot of loan syndication business to Chicago. Unreported is that PNC Bank did the same thing. That was a blow to both big local businesses in need of reasonably priced capital, and to M&A attorneys and other dealmakers. True, last year we reported JPMorgan Chase’s Government Tax Processing operation, as well as processing for charge cards the company operates for the U.S. government General Services Agency and departments, moved here from Charlotte, N.C. But those jobs didn’t go downtown, where office vacancies are creeping up. As a result, several downtown property owners are contemplating converting their downtown office buildings into residential as – ironically – more people want to live in urban areas. Just not work there, apparently.

As our sources point out, Louisville has advantages the Flints can only dream of – the UPS WorldPort freight hub and new investments here by Ford and General Electric. Which would be great if it were still 1950. But in 2013, one of our greatest failings is in intellectual capital. Insiders tell us we are about to lose another promising high profile tech start-up, this one to a Silicon Valley start-up incubator. This comes after Impulcity and Backupify left for larger cities. Once Ford sells a car, that’s it, say our sources. But intellectual-properties companies create content and technology with the Disney-like promise of yielding revenue for decades. That includes the Louisville music scene.”What GLI and economic development types don’t get is, one 20-year-old with a great idea can transform the world. And there’s no money in that model for them,” noted a source. Another private effort is the transformation of the Molee Building into a center for self-sustaining, social-impact business based on the concepts of social entrepreneurism. Yet another insider wants to push U of L to update the Speed Engineering School to reflect changing needs in the real world.

But our insiders say efforts to optimize Louisville’s potential will take decades, not years. It won’t be 25-year vision plans that save the day, either, though the city can help. “City officials need to make a company’s decision to move to the suburbs as painful as possible tax-wise,” said one. What more than one insider is proposing privately is to form a group of CEOs, investors and commercial real estate experts into an independent group that would use its influence to prod elected officials into not making the same mistakes, generation after generation.

• In a related issue, city officials tell Insider Louisville they’re increasingly “concerned” about the downtown game of musical chairs, where large firms are moving into buildings in untaxed Tax Increment Financing districts, depriving the city of needed tax revenue. Those officials point to Stites & Harbison law firm potentially moving 300 attorneys into the Nucleus Innovation Park building under construction at Market and Floyd streets, which has a TIF district, and out of the Aegon Center at Fourth and Market, which doesn’t. What those officials told us, and we didn’t know, is that University of Louisville Physicians Group administrative office is moving to Nucleus from the Landmark Building at 300 Market St. downtown. Our city gov source said U of L execs told city government officials that Nucleus was going to bring bio-med research companies to Louisville, not Hoover existing businesses from the central business district: “That’s not what Nucleus was supposed to be.” To remind us of the original mission, one econ-dev official sent us a copy of the 2010 U of L President’s Report which quoted Gov. Steve Beshear: “Nucleus epitomizes what we’re trying to do in Kentucky in terms  of attracting and incubating biotech and life science discoveries  and companies.” How did that effort go so wrong? That’s a future post.

• Speaking of U of L, the University’s new partner, KentuckyOne, may be in the first stages of plans to move Kentucky headquarters employees and most clinical services out of the downtown buildings to DuPont in East Louisville. KentuckyOne, which is wholly owned by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, inherited the downtown complex when they absorbed Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare back in January 2012. Now, sources say KentuckyOne is buying up property around the Jewish Hospital Medical Center East on Dutchmans Lane in DuPont. With the purchase of JHSMH, KentuckyOne picked up two hospital licenses, licenses they could take to DuPont or to Jewish Hospital Medical Center Northeast in far eastern Jefferson County at the Gene Snyder Freeway and Old Henry Road. Those sources say U of L already has agreed to fill the downtown spaces.

• In yet another related development, legal insiders tell us Meidinger Tower is scheduled to be auctioned in April at the Jefferson Circuit Court foreclosure auctions. Or not. Those insiders tell us there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Sources say that a short-sale is in the works, and might involve one of the building’s remaining tenants getting the 27-story, 350,000-square foot building for a very large discount. (Chicago-based Arthur Goldner & Associates bought the building for $27.6 million in 2004.) A short sale would be good news. The bad news is, Northwestern Mutual executives are planning to move their Louisville headquarters out of the Meidinger to – you guessed it – the suburbs. Will the last company out of downtown please turn off the lights.

• Some good news at last … we hear the Bourbon Classic is looking like a sell-out. The Bourbon Classic is scheduled for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts March 22 and 22. The event, sponsored by Bourbon Review magazine in Lexington, is a bourbon forum, covering everything from distilling to recipes. Our tourism sources tell us the VIP sessions are sold out.

• Some cool news … a source sent us a glowing email after a visit to Fort Knox. Ft. Knox Garrison commander, Col. Bruce Jenkins, outlined an energy technology  program currently being implemented at the post. There, the Department of Defense is installing a field of solar panels and tapping natural gas wells in an effort to make the sprawling Army base completely energy independent. Army officials are already eliminating peak energy spikes  on the way to taking all post utilities off the grid within two years. This will increase security of the on-site utilities and save taxpayers $8 million annually, Jenkins told our insider. We’ve assigned this story, so look for a detailed follow-up post. In addition to being pretty good at killing the enemies of freedom, the Army is turning out to be a Green pioneer. All we can say is, “Hoo-ah!”

• Multiple sources confirm Scott Roussell is out at Bluegrass Brewing Co. (This is the brewery/consumer distribution business at 636 E. Main St.,, which has a different investor group than Bluegrass Brewing Co. restaurants in St. Matthews and on Theater Square.) Roussell had been managing partner since 2005, when he and a group of partners bought Pipkin Brewing, then changed it to BBC. Before that, he’d been involved in tech startups including Telemics, which monitored street lights. BBC investors confirmed Roussell’s left the company, but declined to discuss the situation. Over the years, BBC has gone from limited local distribution to being on the beer lists of hundreds of restaurants and bars, and on the shelves at dozens of liquor outlets and supermarkets including Costco. The brand has prospered where so many other efforts failed including Browning’s Restaurant and Brewery. Now what?

• This is interesting: We hear state officials are getting ready to reconstruct and redefine the Kentucky Proud branding effort. The program was supposed to certify locally grown products, but had become something of a joke when – due to myriad loopholes – coffee started showing up marked “Kentucky Proud.” (Everyone knows Appalachian monkey infestations keep wiping out Kentucky’s coffee crop. Come on ….) So, now, state ag officials will unveil a new label, “100-percent Kentucky Proud,” for products actually grown in the state, and not just processed here.

 

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51 thoughts on “Monday Business Briefing: Is Louisville on the road to becoming another Austin, or Loserville?

  1. “will we become the next Austin? Or will we become Flint, Mich”….more Chicken Little the Sky is Falling…and all of this conjecture appears based on downtown Louisville challenges with Class A office vacancies. Before we back our bags and move to Flint….you might want to check Indy and Cinci’s Class A vacancies (and Nashville). Those cities are always cited as doing things better than Louisville….well their CBD vacancies are worse than Louisville (Nashville not quite as bad but close). The fact is most CBD’s around the country are having challenges because of the Great Recession and the fact that there are many more people working from home.

    City leaders should review what they can dot o make downtown attractive without giving away the store. On a related front how about leading the charge to support alternatives to JCPS. Imagine if the majority of students in Jefferon County could go to a good school in their neighborhood? It is possible if JCPS would work with the Archdiocese of Louisville to truly provide excellent education to our students via vouchers or some form of financial support (not for religious studies). Imagine how strong our economy would be if everyone had an opportnuity for the type of education provided by the Catholic schools/West. End School.

    It will not happen because our leaders will not lead. It will not happen because parents will not demand it. The result will be more money flushed down the JCPS toilet and an economy that will never be what it could be.

  2. “will we become the next Austin? Or will we become Flint, Mich”….more Chicken Little the Sky is Falling…and all of this conjecture appears based on downtown Louisville challenges with Class A office vacancies. Before we back our bags and move to Flint….you might want to check Indy and Cinci’s Class A vacancies (and Nashville). Those cities are always cited as doing things better than Louisville….well their CBD vacancies are worse than Louisville (Nashville not quite as bad but close). The fact is most CBD’s around the country are having challenges because of the Great Recession and the fact that there are many more people working from home.

    City leaders should review what they can dot o make downtown attractive without giving away the store. On a related front how about leading the charge to support alternatives to JCPS. Imagine if the majority of students in Jefferon County could go to a good school in their neighborhood? It is possible if JCPS would work with the Archdiocese of Louisville to truly provide excellent education to our students via vouchers or some form of financial support (not for religious studies). Imagine how strong our economy would be if everyone had an opportnuity for the type of education provided by the Catholic schools/West. End School.

    It will not happen because our leaders will not lead. It will not happen because parents will not demand it. The result will be more money flushed down the JCPS toilet and an economy that will never be what it could be.

  3. Well said. The comparison leaves no room for something in between what is regarded as the most economically successful city and the most economically depressed city, despite the fact that 99% of metro areas lie somewhere in between. Louisville, as the article points out, has some major advantages over many cities. But it does not have the advantages of Austin (center of government for a large state, home of an elite research university). So Louisville will forever lie in between the two extremes presented. Aspiring to be Austin is a worth goal, but the reality is that we are very unlikely to ever achieve that status. That doesn’t make Louisville a failed city or a bad place to live.

    Education should be Louisville’s no. 1 priority. Not real estate market manipulation. The downtown / suburb ebb and flow will continue for years to come.

    And another thing: you are crazy if you think Stites & Harbison is going to Nucleus. They are renegotiating a lease – plain and simple.

  4. Well said. The comparison leaves no room for something in between what is regarded as the most economically successful city and the most economically depressed city, despite the fact that 99% of metro areas lie somewhere in between. Louisville, as the article points out, has some major advantages over many cities. But it does not have the advantages of Austin (center of government for a large state, home of an elite research university). So Louisville will forever lie in between the two extremes presented. Aspiring to be Austin is a worth goal, but the reality is that we are very unlikely to ever achieve that status. That doesn’t make Louisville a failed city or a bad place to live.

    Education should be Louisville’s no. 1 priority. Not real estate market manipulation. The downtown / suburb ebb and flow will continue for years to come.

    And another thing: you are crazy if you think Stites & Harbison is going to Nucleus. They are renegotiating a lease – plain and simple.

  5. What you’re describing, here, is the results of the misplaced public relations effort of the local university to ‘brand’ the city as the nation’s best college town. You can’t compare Louisville to Austin because Austin is the capital of one of the wealthiest states in America and it’s university is ranked in the Top 25 in its academic programs and offerings. I posit the reason for the Class A vacancies in Indy, Cinci and N’ville is that they ‘overbuilt’ in the 2000s. Louisville didn’t build a Class A downtown multi-story building during that time. As a matter of fact the last Class A skyscraper built in Louisville was the Humana building — and it’s not for rent.

    This place is a charming and ‘nice’ place to live, but ‘charming’ and ‘nice’ doesn’t have an economically vibrant heartbeat. Enhanced Ford and GE factories are $15 and $20 an hour jobs and the decisions and corporate structure and corporate salaries are made, exist and earned – elsewhere in a ‘big league’ city. Nashville is NOT an overgrown Murfreesboro, nor is Indy an overgrown Muncie, nor is Cinci an overgrown Youngstown — but Louisville is increasingly economically irrelevant – ‘charming’ and ‘nice’ like Danville and Berea.

    That won’t cut it in the 21st century ‘global economy.’ We have a pitiful public education offering that simply has to be revolutionized. We have to quit ‘morphing’ into Kentucky and help lead Kentucky by having Kentucky morpf into Louisville. We need to begin acting like and demanding to be considered as an ‘economically- relevant’ major league city.

    Otherwise, Louisville’s future will be that of little more than the largest city in an increasingly irrelevant economic near 3rd world country called “Kentucky”. Time for the ‘body politic’ to wake up and demand action.

  6. What you’re describing, here, is the results of the misplaced public relations effort of the local university to ‘brand’ the city as the nation’s best college town. You can’t compare Louisville to Austin because Austin is the capital of one of the wealthiest states in America and it’s university is ranked in the Top 25 in its academic programs and offerings. I posit the reason for the Class A vacancies in Indy, Cinci and N’ville is that they ‘overbuilt’ in the 2000s. Louisville didn’t build a Class A downtown multi-story building during that time. As a matter of fact the last Class A skyscraper built in Louisville was the Humana building — and it’s not for rent.

    This place is a charming and ‘nice’ place to live, but ‘charming’ and ‘nice’ doesn’t have an economically vibrant heartbeat. Enhanced Ford and GE factories are $15 and $20 an hour jobs and the decisions and corporate structure and corporate salaries are made, exist and earned – elsewhere in a ‘big league’ city. Nashville is NOT an overgrown Murfreesboro, nor is Indy an overgrown Muncie, nor is Cinci an overgrown Youngstown — but Louisville is increasingly economically irrelevant – ‘charming’ and ‘nice’ like Danville and Berea.

    That won’t cut it in the 21st century ‘global economy.’ We have a pitiful public education offering that simply has to be revolutionized. We have to quit ‘morphing’ into Kentucky and help lead Kentucky by having Kentucky morpf into Louisville. We need to begin acting like and demanding to be considered as an ‘economically- relevant’ major league city.

    Otherwise, Louisville’s future will be that of little more than the largest city in an increasingly irrelevant economic near 3rd world country called “Kentucky”. Time for the ‘body politic’ to wake up and demand action.

  7. No.

    The last Class A building in Louisville was the Aegon Building. In the 2000s, Nashville added 1 tower of office space in the CBD. Cincy, one tower in the CBD. Indy? I can’t think of one.

    Cincy is hardly the beacon on the hill of economic growth. It is economically stable, but it is hardly growing a la Austin – or a la Nashville.

    The irony of the article is that Indy and Nashville’s rise to economic “prominence” has come in the ‘burbs – Williamson County and Carmel, respectively. Regionalism has been the reason for the growth of our peer cities. Not CBD growth.

    Also, I love how you sneak in “major league” city, as if the NBA is the answer. How is that working out for Memphis? I don’t see us holding them up to the Austin-standard.

  8. No.

    The last Class A building in Louisville was the Aegon Building. In the 2000s, Nashville added 1 tower of office space in the CBD. Cincy, one tower in the CBD. Indy? I can’t think of one.

    Cincy is hardly the beacon on the hill of economic growth. It is economically stable, but it is hardly growing a la Austin – or a la Nashville.

    The irony of the article is that Indy and Nashville’s rise to economic “prominence” has come in the ‘burbs – Williamson County and Carmel, respectively. Regionalism has been the reason for the growth of our peer cities. Not CBD growth.

    Also, I love how you sneak in “major league” city, as if the NBA is the answer. How is that working out for Memphis? I don’t see us holding them up to the Austin-standard.

  9. Well – first, I would think that (whomever you are) if you wanted to ‘criticize’ my observations — you’d have sufficient pride to ‘come out of the closet’ and provide your name.

    You’re correct about the ‘power of regionalism’ — however Louisville damages its ability to ‘regionally-succeed’ because of the continued verbal ‘battle’ with Lexington and its university. This ‘childishness’ is extremely damaging to Louisville’s ability to achieve economic hegemony in the region and should be ended, promptly. Collegiate ivalries exist in North Carolina, Indiana and Tennessee — but they don’t damage Charlotte, Indianapolis or Nashville and Memphis — because they are major-league cities with a face on the world.

    Lastly, I’ll deal with your final paragraph. Since the Grizzlies have moved to Memphis it has gained the international corporate headquarters of International Paper, ServiceMaster and Hilton Worldwide. Three remarkable additions to AutoZone and FedEx’s international corporate headquarters. For your informatin – UPS’ corporate headquarters are in Atlanta and the lions share of decision-making, financial and economic matters occur there and they have occurred there since 1991.

  10. Well – first, I would think that (whomever you are) if you wanted to ‘criticize’ my observations — you’d have sufficient pride to ‘come out of the closet’ and provide your name.

    You’re correct about the ‘power of regionalism’ — however Louisville damages its ability to ‘regionally-succeed’ because of the continued verbal ‘battle’ with Lexington and its university. This ‘childishness’ is extremely damaging to Louisville’s ability to achieve economic hegemony in the region and should be ended, promptly. Collegiate ivalries exist in North Carolina, Indiana and Tennessee — but they don’t damage Charlotte, Indianapolis or Nashville and Memphis — because they are major-league cities with a face on the world.

    Lastly, I’ll deal with your final paragraph. Since the Grizzlies have moved to Memphis it has gained the international corporate headquarters of International Paper, ServiceMaster and Hilton Worldwide. Three remarkable additions to AutoZone and FedEx’s international corporate headquarters. For your informatin – UPS’ corporate headquarters are in Atlanta and the lions share of decision-making, financial and economic matters occur there and they have occurred there since 1991.

  11. Hilton Worldwide is not headquartered in Memphis.

    ServiceMaster is a Fortune 1000. Louisville also acquired a Fortune 1000 company at the same time, Pharmerica. So, it is a bit speculative to contend that a Fortune 1000 would locate a headquarters based on professional sports.

    International Paper did move its HQ to Memphis in the mid-2000’s. As an international company, I would imagine the Memphis airport operating as a hub was a major factor. I would also presume the lack of personal income tax made the move more palatable for the executives. I find it hard to believe the NBA, or lack of collegiate squabbles, is what prompted the move.

  12. Hilton Worldwide is not headquartered in Memphis.

    ServiceMaster is a Fortune 1000. Louisville also acquired a Fortune 1000 company at the same time, Pharmerica. So, it is a bit speculative to contend that a Fortune 1000 would locate a headquarters based on professional sports.

    International Paper did move its HQ to Memphis in the mid-2000’s. As an international company, I would imagine the Memphis airport operating as a hub was a major factor. I would also presume the lack of personal income tax made the move more palatable for the executives. I find it hard to believe the NBA, or lack of collegiate squabbles, is what prompted the move.

  13. Then ask the Chamber of Commerce in Memphis or the Chamber in Oklahoma City or the Chamber in San Antonio or the Chamber in Salt Lake City or the Chamber in Indianapolis (which houses Butler who’s b’ball program has been sterling for a long time.) — all of whom (house major league collegiate sports within 80 miles of their cities) whether the existence of an NBA team has been additive to the economic progress of each city. It’s not what you ‘believe’ Mr. Unnamed, it’s what are the facts.

  14. Then ask the Chamber of Commerce in Memphis or the Chamber in Oklahoma City or the Chamber in San Antonio or the Chamber in Salt Lake City or the Chamber in Indianapolis (which houses Butler who’s b’ball program has been sterling for a long time.) — all of whom (house major league collegiate sports within 80 miles of their cities) whether the existence of an NBA team has been additive to the economic progress of each city. It’s not what you ‘believe’ Mr. Unnamed, it’s what are the facts.

  15. Can I also ask the Chamber of Commerce in Austin (the shining example in this article) how much they’ve been hurt by the absence of professional sports?

    Or, can the New Orleans Chamber explain that fact that, despite two major league teams, it has only one Fortune 500 company in its city?

    Or should we survey the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and find out when they expect to lose one of their 5 Fortune 500 companies as a result of having no pro sports, and thus, an inability to compete globally?

  16. Can I also ask the Chamber of Commerce in Austin (the shining example in this article) how much they’ve been hurt by the absence of professional sports?

    Or, can the New Orleans Chamber explain that fact that, despite two major league teams, it has only one Fortune 500 company in its city?

    Or should we survey the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and find out when they expect to lose one of their 5 Fortune 500 companies as a result of having no pro sports, and thus, an inability to compete globally?

  17. I suggest you ask the owner of the San Antonio Spurs how many patrons come from the Austin metro are – about the same distance away as Lexington is from here. I suggest you ask the NOLA Chamber and Mr. Benson who owns the Saints and the Pelicans as well as the Mayor of the city the economic impact to NOLA of these two major league teams (as well as the Superdome [which doesn’t place restrictions other teams and events from using it or bleeding revenue off it’s gross for concessions (etc. [in the same manner as does UofL’s lease with Yum]). I suggest you ask Omaha what it would do if Warren Buffett decided to move to another city and what impact his presence, there, has on the 5 companies to which you refer.

    Basically — I’ve enjoyed the discussion. But since you don’t want to reveal whom you are — it rather resembles talking to an RCA victrola (and is about that dated -= in terms of the 21st century global economy.). Dasvidaiya

  18. I suggest you ask the owner of the San Antonio Spurs how many patrons come from the Austin metro are – about the same distance away as Lexington is from here. I suggest you ask the NOLA Chamber and Mr. Benson who owns the Saints and the Pelicans as well as the Mayor of the city the economic impact to NOLA of these two major league teams (as well as the Superdome [which doesn’t place restrictions other teams and events from using it or bleeding revenue off it’s gross for concessions (etc. [in the same manner as does UofL’s lease with Yum]). I suggest you ask Omaha what it would do if Warren Buffett decided to move to another city and what impact his presence, there, has on the 5 companies to which you refer.

    Basically — I’ve enjoyed the discussion. But since you don’t want to reveal whom you are — it rather resembles talking to an RCA victrola (and is about that dated -= in terms of the 21st century global economy.). Dasvidaiya

  19. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get Service Master.

    “CEO J. Patrick Spainhour is spending three days a week in Memphis, where 2,000 ServiceMaster employees work. Spainhour also has bought a house in East Memphis.

    “We’re just in the evaluation process,” said Spainhour, a longtime resident of West Point, Miss. “We’re trying to see what are the best options to take the value we see in this company and optimize it.

    “We’ve got to position ourselves, be it location or organizational structure, to deliver the best customer service.”

    While all of the company’s divisions are based in Memphis, it has maintained its corporate headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, where it employs about 170 people.”

  20. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get Service Master.

    “CEO J. Patrick Spainhour is spending three days a week in Memphis, where 2,000 ServiceMaster employees work. Spainhour also has bought a house in East Memphis.

    “We’re just in the evaluation process,” said Spainhour, a longtime resident of West Point, Miss. “We’re trying to see what are the best options to take the value we see in this company and optimize it.

    “We’ve got to position ourselves, be it location or organizational structure, to deliver the best customer service.”

    While all of the company’s divisions are based in Memphis, it has maintained its corporate headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, where it employs about 170 people.”

  21. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get International Paper.

    The president of International Paper Company announced Thursday that Memphis had been chosen as the site for a company headquarters to employ 600 people……that was in 1986.

  22. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get International Paper.

    The president of International Paper Company announced Thursday that Memphis had been chosen as the site for a company headquarters to employ 600 people……that was in 1986.

  23. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get Hilton Worldwide.

    “When Hilton Hotels Corp. last year bought Memphis-based Promus Hotel Corp. of Memphis and moved the corporate headquarters to Beverly Hills, Calif., area business leaders cringed.,,,,in 2000”

  24. The Grizzlies did not help Memphis get Hilton Worldwide.

    “When Hilton Hotels Corp. last year bought Memphis-based Promus Hotel Corp. of Memphis and moved the corporate headquarters to Beverly Hills, Calif., area business leaders cringed.,,,,in 2000”

  25. I totally agree that education should be the number one priority. That does not mean throwing more money at JCPS. It does mean taking a really revolutionary view at what is working and then replicating it as best as possible. If Jefferson County had the best school system in the US it would attract business without incentives and without the NBA/Professional sports.

    That said I would like to see professional sports in Louisville as long as not one dime of taxpayer money is involved in getting a team(s) to locate/relocate here.

  26. I totally agree that education should be the number one priority. That does not mean throwing more money at JCPS. It does mean taking a really revolutionary view at what is working and then replicating it as best as possible. If Jefferson County had the best school system in the US it would attract business without incentives and without the NBA/Professional sports.

    That said I would like to see professional sports in Louisville as long as not one dime of taxpayer money is involved in getting a team(s) to locate/relocate here.

  27. Pro sports would be a great addition to Louisville but Louisville can continue to survive…indeed thrive without it. UL football/basketball, the Derby, PGA events, Breeders Cup and the occassional NCAA rounds are not minor league events.

    I would take a stronger educational system (primary/secondary) every day and Sunday over any pro sports franchise however.

  28. Pro sports would be a great addition to Louisville but Louisville can continue to survive…indeed thrive without it. UL football/basketball, the Derby, PGA events, Breeders Cup and the occassional NCAA rounds are not minor league events.

    I would take a stronger educational system (primary/secondary) every day and Sunday over any pro sports franchise however.

  29. One other comment…if pro sports franchises are such a panacea….then why would Cinci, Indy and Nashille have a plethora of class A office space available in their CBDs? (none of them overbuilt their CBDs) Last I checked each of them have 2 pro teams.

  30. One other comment…if pro sports franchises are such a panacea….then why would Cinci, Indy and Nashille have a plethora of class A office space available in their CBDs? (none of them overbuilt their CBDs) Last I checked each of them have 2 pro teams.

  31. One last comment about Memphis…thank God we are not Memphis.
    Aside from the Peabody Hotel, Graceland, Beale Street and the Rendesvous…the rest of the place could just float down the MS River and into the Gulf.

  32. One last comment about Memphis…thank God we are not Memphis.
    Aside from the Peabody Hotel, Graceland, Beale Street and the Rendesvous…the rest of the place could just float down the MS River and into the Gulf.

  33. Louisville is not now just coming to a crossroads. It’s been there for quite a while.
    Ten years ago, my old boss used to say the city was on its way to “becoming the next Peoria” had it not passed merged government and combined the chamber and economic development agencies (among other things).
    Holding us up to Austin is silly. Yes we have similar populations, but that’s about it. Quite frankly, cities like Omaha and OKC are much better comparisons, as our are regional competitors.
    It almost seems like the insiders are hoping Louisville plays the economic development lottery and lands the next Microsoft, Google or Facebook. Would that be nice? Sure. Realistic? Not so much.
    Yes, we need ideas and intellectual capital here. But eschewing bunts and singles for the home run is a misguided approach.

  34. Louisville is not now just coming to a crossroads. It’s been there for quite a while.
    Ten years ago, my old boss used to say the city was on its way to “becoming the next Peoria” had it not passed merged government and combined the chamber and economic development agencies (among other things).
    Holding us up to Austin is silly. Yes we have similar populations, but that’s about it. Quite frankly, cities like Omaha and OKC are much better comparisons, as our are regional competitors.
    It almost seems like the insiders are hoping Louisville plays the economic development lottery and lands the next Microsoft, Google or Facebook. Would that be nice? Sure. Realistic? Not so much.
    Yes, we need ideas and intellectual capital here. But eschewing bunts and singles for the home run is a misguided approach.

  35. I’m not so sure we should be happy about Fort Knox becoming energy independent. It may be a good thing as far as the posts expenses are concerned and it may be good for federal government expenses but I bet it won’t be good for people who use the local utilities! If those utilities lose a big user like this the expenses for everyone else will certainly rise. With a smaller user base the cost per user to cover capital costs will be divided among a small group. In addition the cost per unit of energy will also probably rise (especially for electricity) because generating capacity will be underutilized.

  36. I’m not so sure we should be happy about Fort Knox becoming energy independent. It may be a good thing as far as the posts expenses are concerned and it may be good for federal government expenses but I bet it won’t be good for people who use the local utilities! If those utilities lose a big user like this the expenses for everyone else will certainly rise. With a smaller user base the cost per user to cover capital costs will be divided among a small group. In addition the cost per unit of energy will also probably rise (especially for electricity) because generating capacity will be underutilized.

  37. Economic fundamentals matter, it’s not rocket surgery. Economic stagnation is Louisville’s fate unless this city embraces the bold and pragmatic changes necessary to overcome residing in the economically dysfunctional State of KY. No city can offer the infrastructure and amenities necessary to compete when it receives approx. 50 cents back on its State tax contribution decade after decade. Given KY’s terrible economic fundamentals and structural rural bias this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. The only realistic path toward alleviating KY’s crippling drain on Louisville’s resources is by trapping non-local dollars through maximizing the economic potential of its unique cultural heritage. To compete Louisville must extend pro-sports wagering to competitors on 2 legs. This strategy is not a panacea for all that ails this city but it is a prerequisite to building a vibrant and diverse regional economy.

  38. Economic fundamentals matter, it’s not rocket surgery. Economic stagnation is Louisville’s fate unless this city embraces the bold and pragmatic changes necessary to overcome residing in the economically dysfunctional State of KY. No city can offer the infrastructure and amenities necessary to compete when it receives approx. 50 cents back on its State tax contribution decade after decade. Given KY’s terrible economic fundamentals and structural rural bias this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. The only realistic path toward alleviating KY’s crippling drain on Louisville’s resources is by trapping non-local dollars through maximizing the economic potential of its unique cultural heritage. To compete Louisville must extend pro-sports wagering to competitors on 2 legs. This strategy is not a panacea for all that ails this city but it is a prerequisite to building a vibrant and diverse regional economy.

  39. Downtown is critical to Louisville’s economic future. Quasi Mid-western/Southeastern rust belt era City’s that lack attractive dense urban areas cannot be serious competitors for high-value added economic sectors. Downtowns require higher real estate costs, smart planning decisions, and significant infrastructure investments. Louisville has made numerous planning mistakes and the State of KY drains a greater percentage of Louisville’s wealth than probably any city in the country. Obviously Louisville should seek to maximize suburban logistics and manufacturing development but a competitive city requires a diverse economy. This city is not making the right decisions and has structural disadvantages that result in corridors of permanent underinvestment. Unless people in this city embrace bold and pragmatic changes we are headed toward a future with an economically depressed urban core and an economy that focuses on low to moderate value-added economic sectors to the exclusion of high-impact industries. Our current trajectory is not favorable.

  40. Downtown is critical to Louisville’s economic future. Quasi Mid-western/Southeastern rust belt era City’s that lack attractive dense urban areas cannot be serious competitors for high-value added economic sectors. Downtowns require higher real estate costs, smart planning decisions, and significant infrastructure investments. Louisville has made numerous planning mistakes and the State of KY drains a greater percentage of Louisville’s wealth than probably any city in the country. Obviously Louisville should seek to maximize suburban logistics and manufacturing development but a competitive city requires a diverse economy. This city is not making the right decisions and has structural disadvantages that result in corridors of permanent underinvestment. Unless people in this city embrace bold and pragmatic changes we are headed toward a future with an economically depressed urban core and an economy that focuses on low to moderate value-added economic sectors to the exclusion of high-impact industries. Our current trajectory is not favorable.

  41. I don’t live downtown, why would I want to commute downtown to go to work? Why would I want to drive downtown and deal with paid parking and traffic? I think the businesses leaving downtown are smart.

  42. I don’t live downtown, why would I want to commute downtown to go to work? Why would I want to drive downtown and deal with paid parking and traffic? I think the businesses leaving downtown are smart.

  43. If you work alone and do not have routine business to conduct with others, I agree. But your position assumes that everyone in your office lives in your neighborhood. Why do the workers from New Albany have to drive across town? A central gathering place has been instrumental in cities and communities since the beginning of civilization. It’s pretty egocentric to expect your life to the be the central gathering place, don’t you think?

  44. If you work alone and do not have routine business to conduct with others, I agree. But your position assumes that everyone in your office lives in your neighborhood. Why do the workers from New Albany have to drive across town? A central gathering place has been instrumental in cities and communities since the beginning of civilization. It’s pretty egocentric to expect your life to the be the central gathering place, don’t you think?

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