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What’s up with the Urban Government Center?

The third attempt to renovate the Paristown Pointe complex is working its way through Metro Government.

An abandoned seven story brick building

The original hospital building was built in 1924, but plenty of annexes and additions have come since.

Photo via Louisville Metro.

If you’ve spent any time in Paristown Pointe or the Highlands, you’ve probably seen the massive, empty buildings between Barret Avenue and Vine Street. The property is enclosed by chain link fencing, and tall grass covers much of the exposed concrete. A huge smokestack dominates the center of the property — it’s tough to get lost in this area if you can spot it.

This is the Urban Government Center, a ~10 acre site that served as offices for Louisville Metro Government for decades until it was abandoned in 2016.

Since the government offices moved out, there have been multiple attempts to reuse the property. Here’s a breakdown of where things stand:

How we got here

  • 2017: Metro Government reached an agreement with Louisville-based developer The Marian Group to renovate the property with townhomes, shotgun-style homes, and other middle housing options.
  • 2019: That agreement fell through.
  • 2020: The city put out another solicitation of interest. It received two responses and selected Underhill Associates, which had similar plans to install housing on the abandoned property.
  • 2021: Metro Government terminated the Underhill agreement after the developer failed to identify private funding for gaps in its budget. In December, the other applicant signed a development agreement with Louisville Metro Government.

Paristown Preservation Trust is the current prospective developer for the Urban Government Center property. The site was rezoned last year, but there are still a lot of “i’s to dot” before groundbreaking can begin.

The current situation

Paristown Preservation Trust is currently seeking a tax-increment funding district — aka TIF — to help pay for the costs. The developer is working with Metro Council’s labor, economic development, and appropriations committee + a community advisory group of surrounding neighborhood associations to move the project forward. You can contact the advisory group with questions or comments here.