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Women, minority contractors priority for new Nucleus building

by Mark Hebert, communications and marketing last modified Feb 15, 2012 02:18 PM

Nearly 30 percent of the companies contracted to build the first building on the old Haymarket site in downtown Louisville are owned by a woman or a minority.

Hiring more female- and minority-owned contractors is part of a commitment from the University of Louisville, Nucleus CEO Vickie Yates Brown told members of the Nucleus Advisory Board Feb. 14. Nucleus is the innovation and research arm of the UofL Foundation and is the developer of the new building on the old Haymarket site. The building is expected to be open in March 2013.

Brown also told the board that an agreement with OSHA will allow students from UofL’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering to learn how to inspect construction sites under the tutelage of OSHA inspectors.

Also at the meeting, Brown reported that Nucleus is planning to renovate the old Action Labor building across the street from the Haymarket site, into an “iHub” similar to what’s been done in other cities. The building will provide cheap rental space for start-up companies and entrepreneurs who can’t afford real downtown office space. It could be open as early as May 1, according to Brown.

The Nucleus board also heard a report from UofL President James Ramsey about a second possible Tax Increment Financing district in south Louisville, around Belknap Campus.

Nucleus already has preliminary state approval for the 973-acre TIF and hopes to get final approval next month.

The cornerstone to the district will be development of the 33 acres behind the Speed School which formerly housed Kentucky Trailer, Ramsey said.

UofL hopes to build a technology and research park in that area using revenues generated from its share of the additional sales, property, income and occupational taxes generated by investment and economic growth in the TIF area.

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