On January 29, 2019, construction began on a new multi-use building in west Louisville’s Russell neighborhood. On Friday, The Village at West Jefferson opened its doors to the public. Political, religious and community leaders gathered to celebrate the long-anticipated project, in a long-forgotten area of the city.

“It had been four generations since the flood of 1937, since investment had taken place in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

There is now more than a billion dollars being invested in the area. $7 million of that went to The Village, which came as a project from MOLO Village Community Development Corporation.

A MOLO office will now run out of the building, and a variety of businesses will call The Village home. 

There will be a bank, pharmacy, business incubator and restaurant, among others.

“We call it a one-stop shop,” said Rev. Jamesetta Ferguson, MOLO Village president and CEO.

According to Ferguson, Russell residents spend $85 million outside of the neighborhood; she hopes the new business will bring some of that back in.

The development is part of a larger project to revitalize the Russell area. 

While some residents are welcoming of the projects, others fear it marks the beginning of the gentrification of west Louisville.

Ferguson says while many “predatory” businesses wanted to move in, they were choosy with the ones they accepted for the space.

“We want good, healthy businesses that want to lift up people and not abuse them and oppress them,” Ferguson said. 

She hopes to see programs like MOLO Village grow and expand in Russell. 

“It’s my prayer that a project like this is replicated so that other businesses will spring up around here providing the necessary resources in our community,” she said.

The Village is located at 1219 West Jefferson Street.

 

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.