Dunman: “Development without preservation isn’t a risk worth taking.”


If Louisville is ranked the 11th-poorest city in the country, what does it say about a place like New Albany, which for decades has happily agreed to be the low-rent whipping boy of the Louisville metro area in exchange for reliable slumlord campaign contributions and extractive heavy industry “development” models?

(An aside: As I write, the city council is about to trumpet the “reform” of our building codes, a revision that will not include rental property registration, with both major parties evidently agreeing that it would be far too expensive to raise the bar, when a lowered bar affords so many practical campaign donations)

Back to Dunman’s essay. It’s like we said during the time of Mainland’s River View project: Who’s going to buy the pricey condos?

Couldn’t the same money be spread out between historic rehabs and selected infill, and achieve better results?

Wouldn’t the millennials be more likely to live in more affordably priced properties in neighborhoods near downtown?

Of course, they’d be more inclined to do so if we put the genuine clamp on slumlords and made our streets walkable and bikeable — but 79-year-olds like Irv Stumler, extractors like Tiger Trucking and rental property owners like mayoral candidate Kevin Zurschmiede) stand in the way of rationality … don’t they?

So, why do we tolerate them?

Joe Dunman: Development without preservation isn’t a risk worth taking, by Joe Dunman (Insider Louisville)

… Louisville is not a rich city, after all. In fact, it was recently ranked the 11th-poorest city in the country. Its young professionals are few in number and aren’t, as a group, paid very handsomely. And housing is not so limited or overpriced that quality apartments, condos, and even single-family homes can’t be found for affordable prices very close to a downtown that remains mostly a daytime destination for white-collar commuters.

New residential developments like the proposed condo building in Butchertown are risky endeavors. And without preservation restrictions, there is a danger that historic structures will be lost to new projects that end up vacant or underutilized if demand for pricey condos and studio apartments fails to fully materialize.