Cobalt Ventures LLC plans to build the first sports-anchored development in downtown Louisville, Ky. Known as The Iron Quarter, the $50 million complex of retail, office and dining will be built adjacent to the site selected for the city's 22,000-seat sports arena.

Covering two-thirds of a block on Main Street between First and Second streets, the pedestrian-oriented project provides parking for 500 vehicles, which the developer calls a critical amenity. “With almost any development in an urban center, having control of existing parking is essential for success,” says Todd L. Blue, president and CEO of Cobalt Ventures.

The Iron Quarter name reflects the historic cast-iron facade architecture on Main Street. Designed by architectural firm Bravura, the project will incorporate historic elements of the existing building facades into the design. Features include a 110,000 sq. ft. lifestyle retail center and more than 120,000 sq. ft. of office space in a 12- to 14-story tower that is engineered to accommodate additional floors.

In 2006, state and local leaders announced plans to begin development of a new sports arena near the site. Blue, who has been involved in that effort for seven years, says the announcement of work beginning on the arena was his cue to launch The Iron Quarter.