(March 27, 2013) — Louisville was profiled this week in a Forbes Magazine article about America’s downtown real estate boom.
To attract more businesses, U.S. cities are competing for the most desired demographic: college-educated professionals between the ages of 25 and 34, Forbes said. One of the main factors businesses consider when choosing where to locate is the available pool of college-educated workers, and those people “tend to want to live in tight-knit urban neighborhoods that are close to work and have lots of entertainment and shopping options within an easy walk,” the magazine said.
The demographic is growing in major cities’ downtowns, twice as fast as it did in those cities’ overall metro areas. In response, city planners are pumping resources into revitalizing their business districts.
The magazine profiled Denver and Birmingham, but then discusses a more creative approach being taken by Louisville.
“Over the past decade, Louisville converted much of its subsidized housing downtown to market-rate real estate, and expanded its retail offerings,” the article reads.
In 2011, the city unveiled a public-private partnership to restore Louisville’s Whiskey Row. Renovations are under way and the buildings will be used for bourbon-themed restaurants, bars and nightlife spots. Distillers are reinvesting in downtown Louisville, and Heaven Hill is planning a tourism attraction on Whiskey Row called the Evan Williams Experience, a visitors center and craft distillery.
Forbes said Louisville has a long way to go — only 4,500 people live downtown now —but a city study found that 23 percent of residents younger than 31 would like to move downtown.
Read the full story here.