Lexington and Louisville Invigorate Their Downtowns

The Lexington community has put a specific focus on enhancing its district, while Louisville has created a downtown that is alive with museums, sports, entertainment and food options.

By
M.V. Greene
On Monday, May 7, 2012 - 05:01

C’mon downtown. The Lexington community has put a specific focus on enhancing its downtown, while Louisville has created a district that is alive with museums, sports, entertainment and food options.

“Our downtown is only a mile long, which makes it easy to buy groceries, walk to work and walk to several events,” says Brandi Berryman, Lexington Downtown Development Authority urban designer. “We recently redid our streetscape along Main Street, Vine Street and South Limestone, and debuted an ice rink that is open during the winter months at Triangle Park.”

Berryman adds that a recently opened Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in Cheapside Park has become a big draw for concerts as well as a Lexington Farmers Market on Saturdays.

“Our downtown is also bookended by the University of Kentucky to the south, and Transylvania University to the north,” she says. “And soon, Bluegrass Community and Technical College will be in the district. As a result of these three schools, we’re also looking to drive more student traffic to downtown Lexington.”

Louisville: Possibility City

As for downtown Louisville, its possibilities seem endless. The district has developed a Fourth Street Live entertainment destination as well as a Museum Row that includes the Muhammad Ali Center. There are also sports facilities such as KFC Yum! Center and Slugger Field.

“The district also houses an arts district called NuLu that has exploded with activity and creativity, plus there is an 86-acre Louisville Waterfront Park that is a scenic jewel,” says Alan DeLisle, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation. “The district also has a strong office market presence, and young professionals are starting to live downtown.”

DeLisle adds that the district is also building a national research reputation thanks to the University of Louisville School of Medicine being located there.

“Our next step is putting a major emphasis on attracting good retail, and we’re starting to see results,” he says. “There is a huge potential for retail sales in the Louisville downtown district.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.V. Greene works as an independent writer, editor and communications consultant based in Owings Mills, Md., and Washington, D.C. Mr.