Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Louisville Health Sciences Campus to be Transformed in $2.5 Billion Expansion and Renovation

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 06, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher – joined by University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson – today announced plans for a $2.5 billion Health Science Research Park.

The Governor called it “a giant step forward for the University of Louisville, for Louisville Metro and for the commonwealth of Kentucky.”

“The Health Science Research Park, as part of U of L’s Health Sciences Master Plan, will establish Kentucky as a major player in the growing fields of health care innovation, biological sciences, technology and medical breakthroughs,” Governor Fletcher said in a news conference.

The public-private project will utterly transform the 30 blocks that make up the Louisville health sciences campus. A current U of L parking lot, known as the Haymarket property, will be turned into 700,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory and office space – facilities indispensable to cutting edge research.

The key to the project is tax increment finance (TIF), in which a portion of the tax revenue generated by the 20-year capital investment – about $300 million and possibly more – is captured for reinvestment in the development. The TIF increment is expected to be enough to build out the Haymarket research park and many components of the U of L Health Sciences Master Plan.

“The health sciences campus is the physical, economic and intellectual center of downtown Louisville,” Ramsey said. “Today, medical research, discovery and innovation in Louisville are at an all-time high. In order to bring all potential advancements to fruition for patients, however, we must expand research and clinical areas, infrastructure and specialized commercial space that specifically support the effort.”

Governor Fletcher said TIF funding “is a wise public investment that maximizes the benefits of a public-private partnership. With the participation of the state, Louisville Metro, entities like Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare, private developers and local entrepreneurs, the entire commonwealth will reap benefits.”

According to officials, benefits will include:

  • Attracting and creating up to 8,700 high-paying, high-skilled jobs to the area
  • Enabling growth of new businesses that generate economic activity across Kentucky
  • Creating more than 3.2 million square feet of construction, including needed research facilities, technology-enabled labs and buildings
  • Providing infrastructure for researchers and entrepreneurs to take health science technology to the marketplace and for companies seeking proximity to the university’s Health Sciences Center

“This is exciting for the entire region,” Abramson said. “A $2.5 billion investment puts you on the map, whether it is in the middle of downtown Manhattan or the middle of downtown Louisville.”

Officials hope to begin initial investment and construction soon after anticipated approval of the TIF by the Louisville Metro Council and the Commonwealth’s TIF Commission.