Cobalt Ventures, LLC and Todd Blue Announce 'Iron Quarter' as First Sports Anchored Development Near Arena Site in Downtown Louisville

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Retail, office and dining experience to be constructed on Main Street for projected cost of $50 million; Lifestyle-oriented shopping proposed for 12-14 story 'Modern Vintage' complex.

With almost any development in an urban center, having control of existing parking is essential for success.

Cobalt Ventures, LLC, lead by urban developer Todd L. Blue, has announced plans to build the first sports anchored development in downtown Louisville called The Iron Quarter. Joining Blue for the announcement in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, March 22, 2007, were Mayor Jerry Abramson and Governor Ernie Fletcher as well as an audience of over 100 local residents. Located next to the site selected for the new 22,000 seat arena, The Iron Quarter will incorporate two-thirds of the city's Main Street block between First and Second Streets. As Louisville's newest and most distinctive cosmopolitan experience, The Iron Quarter will serve as a major gateway into downtown and will encompass retail, office and dining options for the urban dweller.

With a projected cost of $50 million, The Iron Quarter will preserve the character of the existing time honored architectural building facades for the retail experience punctuated with a new office tower rising from a state-of-the-art parking structure. The Iron Quarter is being designed as an authentic and pedestrian-oriented, multi-use complex with a 'modern vintage' feel. More than 500 parking spaces will be incorporated into the context of the building with designated areas for commercial tenants, retail shoppers, valet service and concierge amenities.

"We are so honored and energized to unveil plans for the first sports anchored development project in downtown Louisville," said Todd L. Blue, President & CEO of Cobalt Ventures, LLC. "When residents and visitors attend games, concerts and other high-profile events at the arena, we want them to experience an entire urban, pedestrian-focused, lifestyle and activity center in the Main Street district."

Designed by the architectural firm of Bravura, the project will be "iconic and nothing like downtown Louisville has ever seen," explained Jim Walters, who designed the Kentucky Center for the Arts and worked with architect Michael Graves on the Humana Building, among many other notable projects. "We have incorporated the historic elements of the building facades into the design, as well as adding a tower with panoramic city and river views. Iron Quarter will truly be a one-of-a-kind addition to downtown Louisville's ever-expanding skyline."

The Iron Quarter name is noteworthy in a number of ways. As a reflection of the historic Main Street cast-iron facade architecture, which is second in number only to New York City's SoHo district, the architecture of The Iron Quarter will be designed with exposed steel to accentuate the authentic nature of the original buildings. The Iron Quarter's "IQ" acronym is also significant in that it represents the progressive consumer who will find the IQ experience fresh, unique and cutting-edge.

Market-Driven Retail and Dining Options
The Iron Quarter will house a 110,000 sq. ft. retail center that will be home to upscale, lifestyle-oriented shops, stores and boutiques. Retail design is partially inspired by nationally renowned developers like Georgetown Park Mall and Gallery Place in Washington, DC. Dining options within The Iron Quarter will also be different from those offered anywhere else in the City. Restaurants, cafes, bars and even an ice cream parlor will be located in The Iron Quarter for late-night socializing, casual dinners or lunchtime get-togethers.

Modern Office Complex Towers Above Development
More than 120,000 sq. ft. of commercial office space is planned in The Iron Quarter's twelve to fourteen story office tower. Engineered to accommodate additional floors, the office complex will be occupied by large office-users as well as tenants who are creative, cutting-edge and more boutique in nature. Employees working in The Iron Quarter will be offered a variety of urban amenities in close proximity to their working environment.

Splurging on a quick lunchtime purchase, grabbing an after-work cocktail, or heading from the office to a sporting event or concert at the arena will be the norm, not the unexpected.

Additional Parking to Be Incorporated Into Project
Designated on-site parking will be available for shoppers and commercial tenants. Valet and concierge service will also be provided. The approximately 500 parking spaces which are a part of The Iron Quarter are a critical amenity. "We will own and control our own parking in this project," said Blue. "With almost any development in an urban center, having control of existing parking is essential for success."

Sports Anchored Development Follows Groundbreaking for New Arena Site
For more than seven years, Todd Blue has been involved in the quest to build an arena in downtown Louisville. With the announcement in 2006 by State and Local Governments that the arena project was to be a reality, Blue knew it was the right time to build on the dream of a big-time downtown experience and announced his plans for The Iron Quarter.

"The energy, excitement and enthusiasm about downtown Louisville is here and now," said Blue. "The Iron Quarter brand will represent sophistication and authenticity; the shopping experience will be unlike any other found in the region."

About Cobalt Ventures, LLC
Lead by urban developer Todd L. Blue, Cobalt Ventures, LLC and its portfolio of businesses have worked for over 7 years to assist the effort to bring an arena to downtown Louisville. Cobalt's mission is to develop "urban inspired real estate" that positively impacts the communities in which it does business. The company embraces lifelong learning, nurturing relationships and serving its community. Cobalt is committed to creating unique value with profitability and authentic excellence.


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