By Lorie Hailey
The long-discussed $1.1 billion University of Louisville Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park received final approval today to recover more than $700 million of public infrastructure costs through the state’s tax increment financing (TIF) program.
The 1.29 square mile development will include nine buildings dedicated to engineering and applied sciences research and development, as well as five buildings for commercialization incubators to assist moving research technology and product development to the marketplace. It is located within the university’s Belknap Campus and on the recently obtained Kentucky Trailer factory site.
The research park also will include a $40 million Cardinal Village Student Activity Center; a $3.5 million College of Business equine expansion; a $23 million Stansbury Park; a $1.5 million Visitors Center and gateway entrance; a $2 million project to enhance safety at the intersection of 3rd and Eastern Parkway; a $4 million Warnock streetscape; and a $10 million residence life center.
Nucleus, an affiliate of the University of Louisville Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, will invest $331,700,000 in private funds to develop the project. The balance will be comprised of state and local funds, according to the Kentucky Economic Development Financing Authority (KEDFA).
The state’s approval of the TIF project means Nucleus can recoup $709,414,000 of its public infrastructure costs over a 30-year period. TIF is a public financing method that allows qualified public projects to use future gains in state and local tax revenues to finance the current improvements that will create those gains.
“This is a key component of our plans to build a new research park on the Belknap Campus,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “This will provide incentive for UofL, the state, city and area businesses to increase development and bring more jobs to the area around UofL.”
This is the second TIF proposal KEDFA has approved for UofL. The first was a 210-acre region in downtown Louisville that was approved in 2007. The university activated the downtown TIF this year and is expecting $1.3 million in revenues in 2012 and increasing amounts over the next 29 years as workers’ salaries and economic activity grow.