Rebecca Matheny chats with Gordon Brown of Home of the Innocents.
Rebecca Matheny chats with Gordon Brown of Home of the Innocents.

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 5 p.m. on Tues., June 10.

Insiders are telling us Rebecca Matheny will be staying on as permanent executive director of the Louisville Downtown Development Corp.

LDDC is the umbrella organization managing the Louisville Downtown Partnership, which includes the Louisville Downtown Management District. The effort is funded by downtown businesses.

Matheny had been the interim since former executive director Alan DeLisle was forced out last October.

“The two things I feel that are most crucial are (downtown) housing and retail. Those will be the focus,” Matheny said. She added that the planned Omni hotel/residential/retail complex on Third Street and the expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center will both improve connections from the Central Business District to surrounding urban neighborhoods and “enliven that whole part of downtown.”

In the meantime, LDDC officials are “doing a lot of recon on hotels and convention centers in other cities” to get ideas and inspiration for Louisville.

Matheny said she always wants to focus on what makes operational sense for the downtown management district to deliver a better street experience for visitors, pedestrians and the downtown companies that support the district with donations.

Under Matheny’s reign, the LDDC and sister organization the Louisville Downtown Management District merged into the Louisville Downtown Partnership. Matheny herself has been far more visible than her predecessor, active with the NuLu Business Association and a regular at downtown events. She’s also overseeing the city effort to market downtown office space, which has seen an increase in vacancies since 2013.

This afternoon at 1:30, this email went out to all LDDC board members from Paul Thompson, a board member and COO of LG&E.

Dear fellow LDDC Board Member,

Attached please find the press release announcing the appointment of Rebecca Matheny as Executive Director of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation. This will be made public later today.

Let me thank the Search Committee for their work on this recruitment process.

We look forward to working with you and Rebecca to continue Downtown’s growth and vibrancy.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Regards,

Paul

The release states that after a national search, it turns out Matheny was the one from the beginning. From the release:

“Rebecca has been involved in every recent major downtown project, from the KFC YUM!  Center to NuLu’s development. She has a deep passion to grow the city’s core and make it  even more vibrant, and that’s the very reason she will make a good leader,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Downtown is critically important to all 750,000 citizens of Louisville. It’s the state’s  largest business park, with 70,000 jobs, and is the center of tourism for this region. With  Rebecca as its new leader, The Partnership is poised for growth.”

Matheny will be responsible for supervision of downtown development planning and will play “a critical role in downtown business attraction, development and retention efforts … serving as a liaison between the public and private sectors,” according to the release.

In addition, she will oversee operational functions, such as a Clean and Safe team of Downtown Ambassadors, marketing and downtown events.

About the Louisville Downtown Partnership

The focus of Louisville Downtown Partnership is to strengthen the economic vitality of
Louisville’s Downtown and to facilitate growth, public private partnerships and the strength of place of the urban core.

LDP does this through direct economic development; strategic planning; project management; marketing, and clean and safe activities, in order to promote Downtown’s redevelopment, continued expansion and  quality of life by creating a safer, cleaner and more enjoyable environment.

Funding for the organization, with an annual budget of approximately $1.2 million, is based on:
A direct assignment of lease revenues from downtown’s AAA baseball park facility, Louisville Slugger  Field; grant income for specific initiatives; and private donations for operational and project-specific  support, according to city documents.

LDDC also operates two loan funds: a Downtown Housing Fund, DHA LLC; and a Downtown
Commercial Loan Fund, DCLF LLC. The Housing Fund is a $6.8 million revolving loan fund that
provides mezzanine-level debt for market rate housing downtown. LDDC staffs this fund but is not
itself an investor. DHA LLC has fourteen investors, including banks, other businesses, and grant
funds from Metro Government.

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