Passport’s New HQ is a “Big Win” for Louisville

Ready for building

In the 18 years since Phillip Morris shut down its plant at 18th and Broadway, West Louisvillians were waiting for something good to happen there. As Rev. Kevin Cosby wrote in a now famous editorial in the Courier-Journal, the one that sparked what would become a $100 million investment, the area needed a few wins.

That sequence of events is now the stuff of history. How Cosby wrote the editorial, then Passport CEO Mark Carter read it, then called Mayor Greg Fischer on a Sunday with the idea. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Carter noted the remarkable speed in which the project progressed, through the late 2016 conception of the idea, through a myriad of approvals, the hiring of an architect and construction manager, and now they’re moving dirt.

Carter said the finished plans are a huge upgrade from the original 80,000 square foot single building to the final plan – three pods encompassing 337,000 square feet on 20 acres, at a cost of $100 million.

Photos by Bill Brymer