Updated at 12:45 p.m.
Plans for Louisville’s 62-story, Tetris-inspired skyscraper have been scrapped.
According to The Courier-Journal, the development team of Laura Lee Brown, Steve Wilson, Craig Greenberg and Steve Poe sent the news in a letter to Gov. Steve Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer this morning. Apparently (no big surprise here) they were unable to secure financing. The letter also asked that the state withdraw its application for a HUD loan.
This unravels visions of a futuristic skyline that were lauded back in 2005 when the project was announced. Three years ago, however, work on the downtown site ceased, and it was apparent that Museum Plaza was in trouble. So, what now? A downtown quarry at Seventh and Main, where excavation for Museum Plaza has left a massive void? Mayor Fischer had this to say in a statement:
“Laura Lee Brown, Steve Wilson and Craig Greenberg have proven their bold and entrepreneurial vision for the city with the internationally-acclaimed 21C and what will be an historic and stunning Whiskey Row project.
“The timing and the uproar in the financial markets have unfortunately derailed Museum Plaza and, although the building will not grace our skyline, the creativity and the willingness of the development team have inspired others in Louisville to think big and think bold.
“Laura Lee, Steve and Craig and their development partner, Steve Poe, embody the entrepreneurial attitude that is becoming the model for Louisville. I look forward to working with them on other great projects for our city.”
Later, in a conference call with reporters, Mayor Fischer said the developers will restore the site and the city will hope for another project to come along.
Fischer just learned about the Plaza-plug-being-pulled over the weekend. He said developers briefly considered scaling back the project, but the economy, along with impending tenant agreements, pushed them to finally call it off.
When asked if the failure of Museum Plaza may be indicative of the future of the Center City development (a downtown entertainment district by MayorAbramson’s development darlings, Cordish Co.), Fischer said no.