Nucleus Background

Nucleus became the organizing entity for the Nucleus Life Sciences and Innovation Center in spring of 2008. The new name and branding reflects the University of Louisville’s commitment to propel the $2.3 billion development forward as the "epicenter" of planned research-sciences growth in Louisville.

The re-structuring brought Nucleus under the oversight of the University of Louisville Foundation. It also establishes an operations organization solely dedicated to day-to-day to life sciences development at the downtown Haymarket site. Nucleus positioned to be a strategic partner and participant in Louisville’s growing healthcare sector.

Previously, the development was overseen by the Louisville Medical Center Development Corporate, an affiliate of UofL. It was formed in 1997 to coordinate common interests for downtown hospitals. In recent years, LMCDC evolved into a developer and manager of real estate properties near the downtown medical campus.

In 2007, UofL and its LMCDC partners began re-organization. UofL took the lead position to develop the life sciences research center. Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare Inc. and Norton Healthcare formally withdrew as partners.


2008: Nucleus announced and strategically positioned by UofL and its partners to drive and develop the Nucleus Life Sciences and Innovation Center. Vickie Yates Brown, CEO/president.
February 2008: Top health care attorney and key advisor in securing TIF funding, Vickie Yates Brown was named president and CEO of Nucleus.

November 2007: LMCDC’s application to create a health sciences tax-increment financing district was approved by the Kentucky Tax Increment Financing Commission. The district covers a 30-block area, and it includes LMCDC’s properties, UofL’s downtown health sciences campus, University Hospital and Jewish Hospital.

July 2007: Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare and Norton Healthcare withdrew their involvement with the LMCDC. The transition allowed the University of Louisville Foundation to assume control of the organization, which had evolved into primarily a real estate development entity.

February 2007: Stephen Spalding, who had led the organization since 1997, resigned from his post as president and CEO.

October 2004: LMCDC received a $925,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue development of the Louisville Life Sciences Research Park.

June 2003: LMCDC closed on the $4.9 million acquisition of the Haymarket property, a downtown retail center that housed small produce vendors. The Haymarket purchase makes way for future expansion of a research park.

December 2002: LMCDC completed an incubator building at 201 E. Jefferson Street.

April 2001: LMCDC and UofL received a $5 million state grant to apply toward a $10 million facility designed to house two incubators, one for life sciences and another for information technology businesses.

Late 1990s: UofL, University Hospital, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services Inc. (now, Jewish Hospital & St Mary’s Healthcare, Inc.) and Norton Healthcare, Inc. – in cooperation with Louisville government – joined forces to form the Louisville Medical Center Development Corp. The initial goal was to promote economic development in the downtown medical center and provide support for health-related businesses.

Source: Business First of Louisville


Tax Increment Financing

In November 2007, tax-increment financing, with the potential to generate $300 million or more, was approved by the state to build out the bio research park.

The tax increment financing is dedicated to infrastructure improvements on and around Nucleus development for life sciences. Criteria of the TIF implementation require Nucleus, UofL and their partner, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare, to expend $200 million in private investment by December 31, 2011.

More than $20 million is already invested in the following projects as part of the master plan:

  • University Parking Garage
  • Ambulatory Care Building addition
  • Jewish Hospital projects
  • Renovations to house the School of Public Health and Information Sciences

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