Metro Louisville

Craig Greenberg, an attorney, investor and the former CEO of 21c Hotels, announced Wednesday he is joining the race for Louisville mayor as a Democrat.

He joins a candidate field already packed with prominent Louisvillians.

Mayor Greg Fischer, who is term-limited, is currently serving the 11th of his 12 years.

Greenberg left his post as CEO of 21c Hotels last July, nearly three years after moving into that job.

“I think I’ve got a lot of relevant experience to be a successful next mayor, who can help unify this community and move us forward,” he said.

In January, Greenberg joined with Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones to purchase a majority stake in Ohio Valley Wrestling. The next month, he announced he was creating an urban revitalization firm. Greenberg was a developer with the investment group behind Whiskey Row, a project on Main Street that turned historic buildings into modern restaurants and shops. He was also previously a University of Louisville Trustee.

In announcing his mayoral bid, Greenberg highlighted a list of policy priorities, including rebuilding trust in Louisville police, supporting the creation of “good-paying” jobs and creating a Louisville Department of Education. He also called for limiting Louisville mayors to two terms.

Plus, Greenberg said he would build 15,000 new affordable housing units in his first term, though he did not specify the target rent for those units. A 2019 assessment of Louisville’s housing stock found the city needs more than 31,000 units for the lowest-income households.

In an interview with WFPL News, Greenberg said he would focus on expanding affordable housing for families with low and moderate incomes. He said he wants to develop more rental and ownership units near jobs and access to improved transportation.

Asked what goal he is setting for rental income related to Area Median Income, a measure used to determine how low income a household is based on the number of people, Greenberg said he would provide more details on his proposals in the future.

“I’m laying out today the big ideas. And I’ve mentioned I’m gonna focus on lower-income housing, but also moderate-income housing as well,” he said. “And so I’ll be unveiling some more details as we move forward.”

Greenberg also touted his experience revitalizing neighborhoods. He said he defines urban revitalization as investing in neighborhoods to improve them in the way residents want. And he said it’s “very important” to focus on not displacing current residents.

He said one area of focus will be west Louisville. That area has historically suffered disinvestment due to decades of racist policies such as redlining and urban renewal.

Greenberg praised the West End Opportunity Partnership, which was created when Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 321 into law last week. The law also creates a tax increment financing district in west Louisville.

Potential challengers Greenberg could face include Metro Council President David James, protest leader Shameka Parrish-Wright, Pastor Timothy Findley Jr. of the Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center and Walmart employee Margaret Trowe of the Socialist Workers Party.

The deadline to file for the mayoral race is in January 2022.

This story has been updated.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Editor.