Friday, May 13 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Inside the brick walls of 2500 West Broadway sits West Louisville’s last change vehicle.

The Music Production Education and Development Academy – better known as AMPED – is putting the finishing touches on the AMPED Innovation Center, a new multi-purpose building that will serve to expand the organization’s reach across the world. ‘west.

“So what I see here is hope,” said AMPED Executive Director Dave W. Christopher Sr..

Christopher told WAVE News that the building, which is currently vacant on West Broadway, will be split into a business incubator, state-of-the-art event space and two student resource centers through partnerships with Jefferson County Public Schools. and the University of Louisville. .

“I came here to this building [last April] to rent 10,000 square feet to put businesses in,” Christopher said. “And I was talking to the owners, and he told me that they were selling the building. I walked out and at that exact moment I decided to buy this building.

Christopher said funding for the project will likely come from a capital campaign. He said the goal was to raise $6 million.

“I believe if I listen to God’s voice, everything will be fine,” Christopher said. “And so, this is proof of that. Like, all of these things that happened, all of these people that came together to make this work, we’re talking less than a year.

As if the project itself wasn’t exciting enough, the building it will be housed in is also part of Louisville’s black history.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1923 and became Universal Car Company. In 1973, Universal Car Company became Bob Smith Chevrolet and one of the first major automobile dealerships in Louisville to be owned and operated by an African American.

Fifty years later, a historically black building returns to its roots.

“We saw the vault first,” Christopher said. “There was a vault, and then we started seeing that floor, then I started researching, and it was…it made it real to me, like that’s where we were to be.”

A vehicle for change, housed in a former car dealership, which Christopher hopes will lead a city so notorious for being a little more divided.

“If I could stand at the 9th Street Divide and it doesn’t exist anymore, I’m happy,” Christopher said. “And that’s the point of that that we want to make that non-existent.”

Christopher told WAVE News that the JCPS space – called Elev8 – is expected to open in a few weeks. He said he hopes the UofL can move in at some point in May.

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