Saturday, April 25, 2009

City Block Closes - City Says "Too Bad"

City Block, the entertainment complex formally known as O'Malley's Corner, has closed. The place had been in business for 18 years and employed 100 people. Owner Ward Plauche says City Block was at a competitive disadvantage, having to go up against corporate-owned and city financed 4th Street Live. Plauche has been trying for 2 years to meet with city officials to discuss help for his business. The promise of city help finally came Wednesday, the day the bar closed. Louisville Metro Economic Development Director Bruce Traughber offered $200,000 in forgivable loans which has been termed by the owners as "too little, too late". City Block's owners had invested over $20 million into the property since the late 1980's.

The city has dumped millions into Cordish Co.'s Fourth Street Live project, most recently to renovate a bowling alley into a sports bar. The city has guaranteed Cordish yet another $850,000 for an unnamed renovation of the complex downtown. The CJ is covering the story HERE.

I cannot properly express to you how utterly stupid this situation has become. The city lets a local business owner fail by financially backing a competitor, then refusing to help the local guy.

Enough is enough.


  1. During the past 50 years we've seen downtown shopping and theater district destroyed by shopping malls. Today those malls are bankrupt or on the verge.

    4th street was paved over, a galleria built and then destroyed. The derby clock and falls fountain are now history. The only clear direction I see regarding retail development is to build it east of I-65.

    How do you stop a runaway train?

  2. The Derby Clock is on it's way back. It is being restored by a group of volunteers. You can see it at Bowman Field, across from the drivers license office

  3. This is no surprise. When 4th street live was initiated the purpose seemed to be "get rid of locally owned clubs" in favor of national chains. City block is not the first victim, nor will it be the last. The ultimate losers are---Let me guess-- taxpayers. Go figure. Tim Keith