Loving Louisville

Sep 1, 2018 | Community

Through the growth of NuLu, Butchertown, and Portland, and thanks to passionate, Louisville-loving individuals and organizations, the city is attracting new businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, and developers while prompting native Louisvillians to stay in the city they call home. Louisville is becoming a better place to live, work, and play, and ultimately a better place to call home.
Lauren Coulter, executive director of the Louisville chapter of Lemonade Day, teaches kids about the basics of entrepreneurship in a fun way.



Lemonade Day — Investment in the Future to Bring Change

Louisville bursts at the seams with incredible nonprofit organizations. Lemonade Day, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in young kids reaches them through the old-fashioned lemonade stand.

“Most adults have a memory of doing a lemonade stand of sorts when they were kids, and it’s a really accessible and relatively cheap avenue for kids to learn practical business skills,” says Lauren Coulter, executive director of the Louisville chapter of Lemonade Day. “We take the typical lemonade stand and apply a much more business mindset to it.”

Kids have the opportunity to flex their creative muscles to create different variations of lemonade from regular to frozen to sugar free, along with lemonade-flavored and themed snacks to sell. “They’re not just grabbing some lemonade and taking it out to their yard,” Lauren says. “The kids are deciding where they will set up, where they will have the best foot traffic, and marketing and advertising their product. They work through 15 different lessons with a mentor, and then we culminate in our city-wide lemonade day.”

Lemonade Day includes children in kindergarten through sixth grade along with mentorship opportunities for high school students and adults. Louisville’s second annual Lemonade Day on April 28 featured 77 registered lemonade stands and 660 participants.  

“Part of the program is encouraging kids to be good citizens, giving back to their community through philanthropy at a young age,” Lauren says. “We encourage them to set spending, sharing, and saving goals and for them to actually decide what they want to spend their money on, who they want to share some of their profit with, and how much they want to save and what they want to save for.”

The trajectory of growth in Louisville will only continue by starting at the source — our kids. Investing in their ideas helps develop their skills and confidence and fosters a can-do attitude. Lauren is proud to work for an organization that is making an impact in our city and across the country. She says that according to Gallup, five in every 1,000 kids has what it takes to start a successful business, but one of the things that tends to fall to the wayside as kids grow is an entrepreneurial mindset. Lemonade Day is working to reverse this trend in Louisville.

“I think short-term, we’re providing an avenue for kids to do something both educational and fun,” Lauren says. “In the long-term, our hope is that we’re introducing some kids to an entrepreneurial mindset that they wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. In terms of long-term impact in our city and our economy, if even half of those people chose to stay here that could mean big things for our city from an economic development perspective. To me it’s a long-term venture to the betterment of our city. You can’t help but be ecstatic when you ride around on Lemonade Day and see all these kids making their own money. There’s something special about that.”

Stephanie Kertis helped turn the Dolfinger building — a former school — into a creative space.
Portland Investment Initiative —

Investment in Neighborhoods to Bring Change

Every neighborhood in Louisville, regardless of location, has something  special to offer — a personality all its own. Stephanie Kertis, managing director of the Portland Investment Initiative, and her team are working to shine a light on the many businesses, artists, people, and opportunities in the Portland neighborhood.

“Our work spans four different areas of focus including affordable housing development, commercial development, larger scale warehouse development, and new construction,” Stephanie says. “The Portland neighborhood is Louisville’s largest neighborhood spanning about two square miles. Since it’s such a big neighborhood, for feasibility we defined our original area of focus as Ninth to 26th streets and the river to Main Street.”

The Portland Investment Initiative uses an approach called Urban Acupuncture. Stephanie says the idea is that if they target the worst house on the worst block in the worst neighborhood, it results in a bigger ripple effect overall.

Stephanie is no stranger to Louisville or neighborhood development within the city. She grew up in Germantown in the ’80s and worked closely with the revitalization of the NuLu neighborhood that took place a few years ago. For the past five years, the Portland Investment Initiative has been working in the neighborhood. It owns and is working on 50 different properties, 20 of which are shotgun houses that have been completely renovated to become affordable housing. In addition, a number of local organizations are moving into the neighborhood, including Heine Brothers Coffee, which recently relocated its headquarters and roastery, Louisville Visual Art, and Farm to Fork Catering. The University of Louisville is also working to renovate a warehouse into a new space for its Master of Fine Art program headquarters and anthropology and archaeology labs. The Portland Investment Initiative’s goal is to quadruple the number of local businesses in the neighborhood to around 200 by 2020, a goal Stephanie says it is about a quarter of the way to reaching.

“I actually got grounded for going to Portland when I was 17,” Stephanie says. “A friend and I went there and nothing bad happened, no problems, but we both got grounded because our parents found out where we had gone. I think that really speaks to so much of what we’re up against as a city. A big part of what we’re doing is working on a shift in public perception in Louisville, something we need just as much as a shift in the built infrastructure work that is happening in Portland and in the West End as a whole. Sometimes I think that people knowing that it’s a really cool neighborhood is worth just as much as fixing up an abandoned house. I feel like at the end of the day if my career is dedicated to making this city that I grew up in and love even better, then there’s not really much more I can ask for.”

Shayne Martin works with the developers of Main & Clay, who see it as an opportunity to spur economic growth.
Main & Clay luxury apartments —

Investment in Luxury Living to Bring Change

Much like Louisville, Main & Clay luxury apartments is the perfect mix of quaint, welcoming, modern, and developed. The location and amenities offered create an atmosphere of home.

“Butchertown and NuLu have been working very hard to re-define themselves over the past few years, and I think bringing a property into that area the quality of Main & Clay is going to make them grow,” says Shayne Martin, regional property manager at Greystar, a property management company involved with Main & Clay. “I think it’s going to help economically and socially by bringing a whole new demographic to that area.”

Shayne works with several properties in Kentucky and Ohio, but, as a Louisville native, Main & Clay holds a special place in her heart.

“It’s been really exciting to watch the growth and revitalization in that area,” Shayne says. “Growing up we didn’t think of Butchertown in a particularly good light, so it’s been very rewarding and exciting to watch. I’ve been in this business for a little over 30 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about a property as I have been watching this one.”

The Bristol Development team took the time to research the city before beginning work, taking into account Louisville’s attention to historic preservation and customized amenities to fit the Louisville lifestyle. The building includes a preserved façade from the former structure, a dog park, dog spa, bike repair facility, and outstanding views of the city. In addition, Main & Clay partnered with LouVelo to install a bike station outside the building, allowing for easy commute options.

The incorporation of a facility like Main & Clay into Louisville will help the entrepreneurial and young professional demographic grow, in turn helping the city grow economically. Main & Clay shows its commitment to the arts in Louisville with the employment of its artist-in-residence, Scott Smith, a singer and musician who moved to Louisville from Hurricane, West Virginia. His partnership with Main & Clay allows him to focus on his music and music events for the apartment residents and in the city as a whole.  

“We’re bringing a different demographic into downtown,” Shayne says, “attracting entrepreneurs and people who are new to the city and want to find a trendy, great neighborhood to live in. Economically we are bringing the dollars into that market by providing such an awesome place to live. Socially, we are really entrenched in the neighborhood through our involvement with the Nulu and Butchertown neighborhood associations and helping the area continue to grow. I think having the artist-in-residence makes us a bigger part of the area as well.”


Community Foundation of Louisville —

How It Is Investing in City Change

“Through its CFL Impact Capital program, the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) and our donors facilitate investments that result in positive social change. Unlike a grant, an impact investment is a loan, meaning the capital can be redeployed to do more good once the loan has been repaid. Additionally, Impact Capital loans make it possible to participate in large community projects. These loans have helped support job creation, affordable housing, educational opportunities, community revitalization, and more — improving the community as a whole and transforming individual lives.”

Trisha Finnegan, vice president of Mission & Impact

Projects include: The Housing Partnership Inc.’s Beyond 9th Initiative for affordable housing in West Louisville, Community Ventures’ Chef Space kitchen incubator, New Directions St. Benedict Center for Early Childhood Education, Portland Investment Initiative’s building renovation for an educational facility, River City Housing’s affordable housing in Southwest Louisville, Volunteers of America’s Freedom House Addiction Recovery Center, YouthBuild Louisville’s campus expansion, Day Spring’s headquarters renovation, Passport Health Plan’s Health & Wellbeing Campus, and LHOME’s support for homeowners in West Louisville.


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