Louisville Gardens to become a production studio

A museum chronicling the history of the venue is in the works, too.

LOUtoday_Louisville Gardens 1

The proposal includes restoring the building’s facade to its original design from 1905.

Rendering by Gensler

The Louisville Gardens building could blossom into a production studio, thanks to a $65 million proposal from River City Entertainment Group.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced that Louisville Metro Government signed a letter of intent with the entertainment company on Friday, Dec. 9 to explore redeveloping the historic building, which closed permanently in 2008. The last concert held at the venue was in 2006 with local music legends My Morning Jacket.

River City Entertainment Group looks to transform the 6,000-seat venue at 525 W. Muhammad Ali into a film and digital production studio with sound stages for music — a much needed resource for the growing (and highly incentivized) film industry in Kentucky.

Here’s what’s in the proposal:

  • Restoring the building’s facade back to the original look as the Louisville Armory from 1905, plus other exterior features
  • Renovating the offices, black box theater, and internal structure to construct sound stages
  • A retail space and museum highlighting the building’s 100+ year-long history

Louisville Metro Government will next negotiate the terms of a development agreement with River City Entertainment Group — which will determine a timeline, total renovation costs, incentives, and assessment of community benefits.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for $700,000 tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program. If approved, River City Entertainment Group will need to meet annual targets and create 50 full-time jobs over the next 10 years.

More from LOUtoday