Five acres of opportunity in the Russell neighborhood |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A plot of land provides the foundation for a partnership that could be key to West Louisville’s economic future.
A warehouse stood for decades on the five-acre property in Madison and 30th in the Russell neighborhood.
The buildings have been demolished, and now the city is ready to work with residents and a potential partner to develop it.
“Our vision is to create black wealth through investments without displacement,” said Jackie Floyd.
The organization, Russell: A Place of Promise (RPOP), is looking to neighbors for advice on what to do with the land.
Five organizations pitched their ideas at a community meeting Thursday at the Norton Sports & Learning Center.
The first pitch came from 9:25 Sports, a traveling baseball program that hopes to build an indoor facility that its team can call home.
“Although we use sports, baseball is more than sports to us. It’s about life and life skills,” Frank Johnson said.
Former UdeL football player Jamon Brown, a ‘Russell result’, is looking to give back with a building that would provide affordable housing, a bowling alley, an ice rink and resources.
“Just create a space that can envelop our community and give us the opportunity to reach out to some of the limitless possibilities that are out there,” Brown said.
Kristen Williams with Play Cousins Collective seeks to create a sort of versatile and nurturing village.
“We want Cousins Cafe to partner with the Black Market and Good Food Lou to prepare food and sell it in the cafe,” Williams said.
Dave Christopher with Amped wants to bridge the tech gap through education and tech savvy.
“It’s really about money. When we create economic power and ownership and in order to change things,” Christopher said.
Finally, Jefferson County Public Schools has proposed a new home for Grace James Academy, which could become a secondary school in this space for more than a thousand students. It is a school more focused on science and mathematics.
“We want to make sure we have places for our young girls from Russell who go to this wonderful magnetic school and I think it can happen, I know it can happen,” JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said.
The neighbors will have one week to give their opinion on the pitches. RPOP says there will be more meetings to discuss new ideas, but they hope to innovate in 2023.