In September, Mayor Greg Fischer announced a public-private partnership between Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government and Seed Capital Kentucky Inc. to create a West Louisville Food Hub between Market Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard at 30th Street.
This 24 acre project looks to bring together businesses that gather, process, stores and distributes food. This effort seeks to bring in $50 million of investment and 170 new jobs to West Louisville. Their stated goal is that people will work together to make locally grown food and products better available. It also provides opportunities for local farmers and small businesses to offer their products to the masses. Fabulous possibilities exist for existing small business and local farmers here to provide their goods and services. Many of these places have infrastructure-based challenges in expanding their markets, and the Food Hub should provide expanded opportunity.
According to an October 29, 2014 in Louisville Business Journal, Seed Capital Kentucky commissioned a 2012 study that found that the annual demand for locally sourced food is $258 million, when in actuality $100 million is spent by Louisville residents each year because of these infrastructure challenges. West Louisville especially bears this burden, for if residents seek locally sourced, fresh produce and meat, they usually have to travel far outside of the West End.
The Courier-Journal reported that Seed Capital Kentucky is pursuing tax credits to pay for the construction of office space, warehouse and commercial kitchen.
In the spring of 2015, phase one of the project, estimated at $30 million, will build out the commercial kitchen, storage, offices, a two-acre demonstration farm and a biodiesel facility (Nature's Methane) that converts organic waste to energy. The entire hub should be nearly completed by December 2016.
- West End Food Hub organizers want to make West Louisville an 'integral part of the city'
- West End food hub to create 170 jobs
- West Louisville Food Hub to Bring Business, Jobs Together