|HUD No. KY12-009
June 12, 2012
HUD, CITY AND LOCAL COMMUNITY LEADERS RECOGNIZE OPENING OF PARK DUVALLE MARKET GROCERY
Promised Fulfilled as Full-service store will serve estimated 35,000 residents
LOUISVILLE - HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr., Congressman John Yarmuth (D-3rd) and Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer joined local and community leaders to formally recognize the "fulfilling of a promise" during the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of the First Choice Market.
First Choice Market, a 20,000 square-feet, full-service grocery store located at 3044 Wilson Avenue, is now open, serving an estimated 35,000 citizens in Park DuValle and surrounding neighborhoods.
"The opening of the First Choice Market ushers in a new era of economic development for the Park DuValle community and provides the families and children there easier access to fresh and wholesome meal choices," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr.
"Access to healthy foods is a top priority for every community, and First Choice Market is a welcome addition to West Louisville," said Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3). "This full-service grocery store is a testament to the tremendous growth of Park DuValle, and it's a key investment in the future of this neighborhood."
The $4.4 million project was funded by a combination of two city loans, tax credit financing, and federal stimulus dollars. It includes a $3.2 million forgivable loan from Louisville which is funded with HUD Community Development Block Grant-Recovery funds, a $50,000 city METCO loan, and a nearly $1.2 million New Markets Tax Credit equity commitment by U.S. Bank in partnership with Louisville Development Bancorp.
"This grocery has been a long-awaited amenity for the HOPE VI revitalization of the Park DuValle neighborhood, a service that the residents have said over and over that they want," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "Economic development takes long-term planning, and patience, and after more than a decade of working on this project, a dedicated team of private and public sector leaders have brought this dream to reality."
First Choice Market will anchor the new retail center called Wilson Crossing and will feature a wide-selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, a deli counter and bakery to complement an extensive line of grocery items. The store will be managed by local, independent grocery operator ValuMarket, which has five other stores in the Louisville area.
"As developers with an emphasis on urban development, we understand the importance of having a full service grocery store for neighborhood sustainability," said Robert Holmes, developer of First Choice Market and Wilson Crossing. "It was critical that we had a store owner/operator that had the kind of experience the ValuMarket organization brings to the table."
The grocery store created more than 150 construction jobs, and 40 permanent jobs upon opening.
"Louisville Development Bancorp and Metro Bank are excited about this project and its community impact," said Pedro Bryant, President of Metro Bank. "Our relationship with the Villages of Park DuValle has been long-term and we hope that the opening of First Choice Market encourages others to take on projects that provide jobs and needed community services."
In addition to HUD funding, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $540,000 grant to the Canaan Community Development Corporation to be used for the grocery store. The grant money has gone toward the store's initial inventory and to train employees.
The Metropolitan Sewer District also contributed $147,000 to the project and worked with the developers to construct a building and site that is environmentally friendly with features like pervious pavers and bio-retention basins.
"This development furthers the goal of the New Markets Tax Credit Program and of U.S. Bank to provide financing for projects that create economic opportunities in communities across the country," said Matt Philpott, Director of New Markets, Historic and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment subsidiary of U.S. Bank. In 2011, USBCDC announced it would allocate a significant portion of its New Markets Tax Credit investments to projects that increase healthy, affordable food availability in high-need urban and rural communities.
About The Villages at Park DuValle
The HUD HOPE VI revitalization of the Park DuValle neighborhood began in 1994. The goal was to create a mixed income community of more than
1,000 new homes, townhouses and apartments. The Cotter and Lang public housing developments were razed and in their place a $200 million investment was created. Under the federal HOPE VI program, Louisville Metro Government, Louisville Metro Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as private lenders and investors worked together to develop the nationally-recognized neighborhood.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.