Community

A downtown building will soon be renovated into a space where public and private sector techies can develop innovative approaches to address the city’s challenges.

The city-owned building will be called LouieLab and will also become the new home for the city’s Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation, according to a press release. CNET, a consumer technology review company, will also operate an “urban smart home” from the downtown space, per the release.

the renovation will cost $500,000, according to a city spokesman. The space is set to open in September.

The building, located at 745 W. Main Street, is valued at more than $2.5 million, according to city records.

A section of one floor in the building will be available for “civic hackers and other innovators” to hold scheduled meetings, per the release.

That space will be shared with the city’s innovation and performance improvement department and will also serve as a training space for city employees.

Ted Smith, the city’s chief innovation officer, said in the release the space would make way for “truly innovative and effective solutions for our city.”

The announcement comes as city officials are continuing a push to bring ultra high-speed internet to Louisville.

Earlier this month, Mayor Greg Fischer announced a “gigabit experience center” would soon open. That space will allow residents a chance to see just how fast ultra-fast is.

Excitement is stirring among some residents and city leaders about the potential for fiber connectivity to soon be more widely available to people and businesses in Louisville.

City officials are intensely courting Google Fiber, with hopes the fiber internet provider will install their highly sought-after service across the city. The speculation that Google Fiber may soon begin hooking homes has prompted other service providers to begin upping speeds, as well.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.