Churchill Downs submits cost estimate, new details on downtown gambling venue

WDRB
 
Churchill Downs submits cost estimate, new details on downtown gambling venue
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Churchill Downs plans to spend about $6.4 million to transform the U.S. Bank building downtown into its newest gambling complex, according to documents filed recently with Metro government.

That cost estimate only applies to the outside of the building at Fourth and Market streets, where the Louisville-based racing and gambling company wants to open its second slots-like historical horse racing venue in the city.

It was disclosed for the first time publicly in an October 22 application to Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services. Churchill needs city approvals before moving forward because the bank property is designated as an “individual landmark” and is in a downtown district that requires a review of any proposed changes to a building’s exterior.

The plans detail other changes, including an expanded outdoor patio and a façade on the upper parking area emblazoned with a design of the Kentucky Derby's garland of roses. In all, the project envisions using about 19,000 existing square feet and adding another 2,844 square feet.

Churchill hasn’t yet purchased the property, according to online records of the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator. The city application still lists U.S. Bank as the building’s owner, with Churchill as the applicant.

Historical racing resembles slot machines, although casino games remain technically illegal in Kentucky. Churchill and other horse racing operators have used the devices for years in a legal gray area; state lawmakers voted to legalize them earlier this year in response to a Kentucky Supreme Court decision.

Churchill has three other similar facilities, including Derby City Gaming on Poplar Level Road.

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