Louisville’s Downtown Development Corporation could finalize a plan to bring more retail to south 4th Street this week. The plan was first introduced last month. It outlines how the DDC can bring in new anchor businesses to the area between Broadway and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, then fill the areas in between with smaller shops.
It’s not clear what could happen to the wig shops and other businesses that pepper the street. DDC director Alan DeLisle says it is not his organization’s goal to gentrify the area or force any existing businesses out, though current business owners may choose to move or change their wares if the area is revitalized.
“Our focus is on creating a unique shopping environment that adds to it and hopefully helps existing venues as well as new venues that locate there,” he says.
Some work on drawing more people to 4th Street has already begun. City crews are currently redeveloping the Theater Square area, which could soon host the Louisville Clock.
“Clearly we’ve got hotels, we’ve got theaters, we’ve got corporate headquarters, we’ve got 4th Street Live, the Henry Clay Building, we’ve got some really great assets there,” says DeLisle. “But we always want to add to that to bring people to that location. We think the clock will be fantastic for that.”
Among other attractions planned for the area is a small park that will pay tribute to Louisville writers of the Happy Birthday song.