Incentive plan for $80 million Kevin Cogan development clears committee, heads to Metro Council vote

November 11, 2020

This article was written by Marty Finley and originally appeared in Louisville Business First on November 11, 2020.

Louisville real estate developer Kevin Cogan said Tuesday that a parking lot on East Main Street across from Slugger Field in Downtown Louisville has been “begging for something to happen” there for years.

And Cogan, who leads local development firm Jefferson Development Group, told members of Louisville Metro Council’s Labor and Economic Development Committee that the $80 million mixed-use development he has proposed there is an important part of the city’s “front door” and will offer high-quality urban housing that could attract young professionals and others interested in Downtown urban living. 

Cogan’s proposal for a tax increment financing district to help offset some of the project’s costs easily passed the committee Tuesday and moves to the full Metro Council for consideration later this month. 

Jefferson Development Group requested the TIF partnership with the city on the 422 e-Main project at 418 E. Main St. and 431 E. Market St. The TIF would provide 80% of the incremental increase in ad valorem real property taxes associated with the project to JDG for up to 25 years.

The amount of taxes generated for the developer under the TIF is capped at roughly $7.6 million, and the other 20% in increased ad valorem taxes generated by the project goes to the city.

The project includes 343 apartments, approximately 11,360 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space and a parking garage. JDG also has agreed to rent 34 of the units at no more than 80% of area median income. 

Cogan said he hopes to start work on the project by summer 2021 and said it will be designed as concrete construction. But he said Covid-19 could impact the start because lenders are looking for positive signs on the pandemic’s end when evaluating commercial projects. 

“They all want to start to see the daylight opening up,” Cogan said. 

Several members of the council committee praised the project as a way to increase quality Downtown housing. And more urban housing would help the future of Downtown in recruiting business and creating more customers for existing businesses. They also thanked Cogan for investing and developing locally. 

“If we’re not drawing in talent, we’re not drawing in strong businesses and we can’t print money,” Metro Councilman and Labor and Economic Development Committee Chairman David Yates, D-25, said.