Today’s Courier-Journal has a longish profile of Jonathan Blue, the chairman and director of Blue Equity and BEST, a group that owns eight companies representing famous athletes, as well as promotes some major athletic events.
It’s a feel-good story, a hometown-guy-does-the-big-stage kind of stroke piece, which has its place, to be sure.
My major disappointment: There is no mention of Blue’s involvement in Iron Quarter, the proposed entertainment complex to be built just west of the new Downtown Arena, to be built between 2nd and 3rd streets on Main. Iron Quarter’s proposed footprint is not even a block west of the arena.
Here’s the deal: As the CJ story says, “The brothers are still partners in some downtown property.” Jonathan’s brother Todd is the Blue who’s really into development, and though they are partners in Cobalt Ventures, owner of Iron Quarter, Todd drives that train. Todd also sits on the board of the Arena Authority, the appointed body that chose to locate the arena on that particularly valuable piece of riverfront real estate. It was a contentious vote, and Todd Blue voted to put the thing downtown, where clearing of the site has already begun.
I don’t really expect a story about Jonathan to dig into the suspect arrangement Todd (and Cobalt Ventures) has with the Arena Authority, but no mention at all is disappointing. It’s one of the biggest developments happening in Louisville, there seems to be a direct conflict of interest that is consistently ignored, and again, we’re left with no information from the city’s paper of record. (SG)