Reestablishing Louisville’s Fourth Street Corridor
The Fourth Street Corridor has been identified as Louisville’s Rose Fellowship land use challenge. Historically, Fourth Street served as Louisville’s north-south commercial spine; connecting dense retail/entertainment venues, with institutions, residences, and workplaces along a bustling streetcar corridor. This approximately four-mile stretch now traverses the following four distinct districts that pose their own unique opportunities and challenges.
The Central Business District, which includes key cultural and entertainment assets, lacks a strong retail presence, and the north end is disjointed in terms of architectural styles. Efforts are underway to reestablish the once lively shopping district between Broadway and Muhammad Ali.
SoBro is an underutilized district between downtown and Old Louisville. The district suffers from the effects of disinvestment and excess surface parking lots. A new Planned Development District is in place, providing opportunities to strengthen the ties between the educational institutions in the area and create a new dense urban neighborhood.
Old Louisville, the largest Victorian-era preservation district in the country, is a historic asset to the city. However, the 4th and Oak commercial district has experienced persistent vacancy and disinvestment.
University of Louisville/Churchill Downs Gateway includes several new University-related developments, which have enlivened the street and provide opportunities to connect with and strengthen the South Central neighborhood near the entrance to Churchill Downs.
In order to create a more cohesive corridor, the Louisville Fellows would like to focus on the following:
- Reestablish strong retail uses in the CBD
- Catalyze dense, mixed-use development in SoBro
- Promote physical ties between the educational institutions in SoBro
- Reinvigorate the Fourth and Oak commercial corridor
- Connect the South Central neighborhood to UofL development
- Strengthen the identity and connectivity of the entire corridor through urban design and consider transportation improvements, such as a streetcar route.
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