Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that global design and consultancy firm Arcadis is donating engineering and design services to Russell: A Place of Promise, in support of its community engagement efforts around vacant warehouses at 3025 W. Madison St.
Russell: A Place of Promise is an economic justice-based initiative created through a partnership between Louisville Metro Government, Cities United and the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. It focuses on generating investments in the people and places that make Louisville’s historically African American Russell neighborhood special.
“The key to being a good steward of investment like the kind we’re seeing in Russell is to be intentional about making sure that as we regenerate, we don’t displace,” the Mayor said. “That’s what Russell: A Place of Promise is about, and we appreciate the Arcadis partnership, which should help us get even more residents involved.”
Arcadis will help document current building conditions and plan for the future redevelopment of the Madison Street warehouse property.
As part of that work, Russell: A Place of Promise is inviting Russell residents to participate in conversations that will shape the site design and the uses for the property, as well as consider a community ownership model that would allow residents to become co-owners of the project.
Russell: A Place of Promise staff will knock on doors and host multiple events to update and listen to residents. An initial open house is scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, at Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School, 1615 W. Broadway.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the Arcadis team,” said Anthony Smith, Executive Director of Cities United. “It will allow us to use technology to bring more community members into the planning and design process for the amazing Madison Street warehouses.”
The Madison Street warehouses were once the home of a cigar manufacturing operation and have housed several other industrial uses since the buildings were constructed. The warehouses are located immediately to the south of the Heritage West property where the Louisville Urban League is building its Sports and Learning Complex.
The approximately 3.6-acre property includes five buildings in various states of deterioration. Arcadis’ work will help Russell: A Place of Promise understand existing structural conditions to inform the community conversation around potential for redevelopment.
“Clearly, there is a strong sense of pride, energy and potential flowing from the Russell community,” said Joachim Ebert, CEO of Arcadis North America. “We’re thrilled that Arcadis can support Russell: A Place of Promise in taking bold moves to share a more prosperous and sustainable future for everyone who calls this neighborhood home.”
Russell was a center of black homeownership and has a history of being a vibrant and diverse hub of small, black-owned businesses that served neighborhood needs, created jobs, and contributed to neighborhood resilience. Redlining and urban renewal practices crippled Russell’s residential and business community, stifling opportunities for generational wealth building.
With nearly $1 billion in investment planned and underway, Russell is poised to experience neighborhood transformation. Russell: A Place of Promise is working to build a model for black wealth creation by connecting individuals and families to resources leading to home ownership, by building pathways and opportunities for traditional and nontraditional business retention and creation, and by developing innovative solutions for career-track job placement and growth.
25For more information about the open house and Russell: A Place of Promise’s work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.