Chamber Supports WKU Gateway to Downtown Bowling Green
Communications and Public Policy Director Nick Fuhrman
BOWLING GREEN, KY (February 4, 2008) – The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce supports the proposed downtown revitalization with the expectation that it will stimulate and enhance the vitality of downtown Bowling Green while boosting the economy. By creating $250 million of new development in the downtown area, which will result in an estimated 800 permanent jobs, the proposed WKU Gateway to Downtown Bowling Green will be the largest economic development initiative in South Central Kentucky to date.
The Chamber supports this project because of its potential for economic gain in the region and for the revitalization it will bring to the city. With attractions such as SKyPAC, a baseball park and Circus Square Park along with office, retail, restaurant, and residential space, the overall project will heighten the appeal of Bowling Green to current and future residents, business owners and visitors. The many aspects of the project will have an unprecedented impact on the quality of life Bowling Green residents already enjoy.
The Chamber recognizes the significant financial commitments required for this Gateway project and appreciates the fact that the structure represents a true public/private partnership. It involves the City of Bowling Green potentially funding normal governmental functions such as infrastructure, construction of a parking garage and land acquisition. Likewise, it involves the developers' $136 million capital investment in a blighted area, their guaranty of $41 million in bonds and the private sector's purchase of an additional $27 million in bonds. Such a partnership poses the best opportunity to maximize the potential impact of the project. Aside from creating $250 million of new development in the downtown area, the economic benefits include
The potential for $226 million in state revenues
An investment of $136 million by private developers
One hundred construction jobs, in addition to the estimated 800 permanent jobs
The Chamber encourages residents of Bowling Green to learn more about the Gateway project by viewing the video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdDCW8RJ94k.
The Chamber firmly supports the WKU Gateway to Downtown Bowling Green project. The benefits such a project will bring outweigh the risks, and the Chamber is confident in the success that will come from this project's realization.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. As one of only 336 chambers nationwide to be accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,300 partners. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.