Leadership Louisville has purchased a two-story space at 707 W. Main St. to serve as its expanded headquarters and training facility. The organization expects to move in next summer. The new purchase doubles the space for Leadership Louisville, whose current HQ, across the street at 732 West Main, is 5,000 square feet.
Leadership Louisville bought the space for $775,000 and expects to put a total of $3 million dollars into the property, with renovations and furnishings.
In a Facebook Live video announcing the news, Aaron Miller, director of programming, called the acquisition of the space for Leadership Louisville, “the biggest news since it was founded.”
President of Leadership Louisville, Cynthia Knapek, touted the investment that the organization was making in its future. “We are now property owners,” she said. “Which is huge. But the thing about this is that we’ve already had a lot of great support, because there are people in our community who really believe in the things we believe in.”
Both floors of the new space open to the outside. The downstairs is at garden level and has views of the river, while the first floor opens up to the sidewalk on West Main. The building also borders the small Fort Nelson Park to the east.
The street level floor will house classrooms and offices. The garden level floor will offer an alumni lounge and collaboration space.
The organization’s capital campaign, Destination Louisville, is 40 percent completed, with major gifts from the James Graham Brown Foundation and chairman of the campaign, Ed Glasscock. He said on Facebook Live that he hopes that leaders from around the country will come to train with Leadership Louisville, which has been consistently recognized as one of the country’s best leadership training organizations in the country.
Holly Prather, vice president of Leadership Louisville, said in an interview that while the leaders looked at locations around the city, this central downtown site has great accessibility to hotels and restaurants.
Prather said that the demolition of the current structures in 707 W. Main St. would begin in December. K Norman Berry Associates Architects are leading the redesign, along with Ann Swope of Swope Design Group.
Prather said that Leadership Louisville has “bold goals” for the new headquarters.
Leadership Louisville has been around for almost four decades and more than 7,000 people have gone through one or more of its training programs including: Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Bingham Fellows, Ignite Louisville and Encore Louisville.
Leadership Louisville recently presented the 36 graduating members of Leadership Louisville’s 2016 Bingham Fellows class who have been working since January to engage local and national private companies, nonprofit organizations and public agencies so they could develop sustainable projects that will help make Louisville a healthier city.
Louisville is regularly rated as one of the most unhealthy cities in America. According to Leadership Louisville, “A healthy city has lower health care costs, more successful students, is attractive for economic growth, has a more productive workforce, and a better quality of place.” Here is a description of the Bingham Fellows projects:
• Smoketown Family Wellness Center: A new model for health care delivery
The Smoketown Family Wellness Center will provide pediatric care along with family wellness coaching to the residents of the Smoketown neighborhood to combat the lower life expectancies in the neighborhood.
• SaturPlay: Building healthy bodies and strong character
The YMCA, Dare to Care, Metro Parks and The Shawnee Boys & Girls Club will host SaturPlay for six weeks this fall, with a variety of active activities and healthy snacks for children in the neighborhood who statistically participate in little to no physical activity outside of school.
• Louisville Active: creating a culture of active lifestyles
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, Louisville ranks No. 48 out of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas for fitness. Louisville Active will create walking groups and partner with the Louisville Sports Authority to create fitness activities.
• Smoketown Laundry: Transforming vacant space into a place that improves the health and well-being of a community
This group is helping turn a vacant building in Smoketown into a combination laundromat and holistic wellness community center to help residents learn about the importance of making healthy decisions and be connected to various support services.
• Healthy Teen Breakup Summit: Promoting peaceful and healthy relationship skills for teenagers
This group is working with Start Strong Boston to create the first Healthy Teen Breakup Summit in February 2017. The group will invite 150 teenagers, ages 15-18, in high school grades 10-12, to participate. The goal is to teach youths how to navigate through their inevitable breakups without resorting to debilitating stress, self-harm, social shaming or violence.