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Louisville Lofts and Condos » Condo
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Archive for the 'Condo' Category

Louisville City Center Project Plans Grow

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

The Louisville City Center Project, a development of the Cordish Group, owner of 4th Street Live!, has grown in size and cost as the plans have become more concrete.  The latest estimates now expect the entire project to top $442 million, as more features have been added.

According to officials, this increase in the project scope will not result in more support from the city.   The original plan called for a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district along Muhammed Ali Blvd between Second and Sixth Streets.   The TIF district will allow the expected $130 million in newly generated taxes be used for public improvements, such as sidewalks, utilities, and parking.

Major features of the project include the development of the “Water Company” block featuring a movie theater, hotel, offices, retail, and restaurants.  The block is also expected to include a 20+ story tower primarily for condominiums.  At the other end of the City Center development area, the Cordish company will renovate the aging Louisville Gardens (expected to cost about $20 million) in anticipation of a minor league hockey team.

All of the land in the development area is under contract or already owned by either the city or Cordish company.  Therefore, construction could begin as early as next year (2008), to be developed in phases as market demand deems necessary.   Before any construction begins agreements for the TIF district must be approved by Frankfort and the City Council.

Museum Plaza Bond Issue Approved

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Museum Plaza, the $490 million downtown mixed-use mega-project with a hotel, condos, lofts and office space among restaurants and  art exhibition areas, last week received unanimous approval from the Louisville metro council committee for a $130 million bond issue to pay for public improvements.   This is a key step in the process to ensure that project receives all of the financing necessary for its completion.

The bond issue that was approved will be paid through the new TIF (Tax Increment Finance) district created for Museum Plaza and will not require any Louisville Metro funding, nor will it be on the Louisville city government’s balance sheet.

The developers of Museum Plaza, however, have requested an additional $45 million bond issue from the city’s coffers to cover the extensive costs of the public improvements on site, including a new floodwall and a landscaped public plaza.   The costs of the 62-story skyscraper will be privately funded.

Museum Plaza needs $45 million jump start

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Last week, a surprised metro council discovered that $45 million in bonds issued by the city of Louisville would be required for the privately financed Museum Plaza project.

According to reports, the $45 million bond issue would cover part of the $139 million in public improvements, such as floodwalls, lighting and a public plaza.    This is in addition to the earlier announced $130 million bond issue for the project to be supported by the TIF (tax increment financing) district created to support the project.

The reason for the additional bond issue is that not all of the $130 million will be available for improvements, since the bonds and expenses associated with the bonds will need to be paid in the intervening years before the TIF begins to generate revenue, expected to occur upon completion of the project in 2010.  Therefore, only about $75 million of the $130 million will be available for the public improvements at Museum Plaza.  The $130 million bond issue will only be covered by tax revenue from the TIF and the city’s credit rating will not be impacted nor will the city be liable for the debt.

The $45 million bond issue, to be paid by the city, along with $25 million from the developers will cover the remaining costs for public improvements.

Several members of the council and community at large were surprised, not by the cost, but by the timing and seemingly secretive way in which this extra money was secured.   Until this report, most of the community believed the only support the Museum Plaza project would receive was to be generated by the TIF.  Moreover, the need for an additional bond issue was only floated after the ground-breaking ceremony.

Stay tuned for more….

Museum Plaza Groundbreaking

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Museum Plaza, the 62-story Louisville mega-project with condos, lofts, hotel and offices, will have its groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday of this week.

The developers plan a barbecue and commemorative hard hats for the first 500 attendees. They will be able to enjoy the views from the “top” of the skyscraper as a helicopter beams images onto large screens on the ground. At 4:00 pm the new sales design center will open, featuring views from the 25th floor and a partial kitchen and bath built to scale.

The U of L pep band will play and a 20-foot tall shovel will mark the ground-breaking at 5:40 pm. The celebration will close Seventh Street and River Road.

In other news, the state tax increment financing commission approved the Museum Plaza plan to allow new taxes associated with the project pay for the estimated $135 million in public improvements in around the building. That was the last major hurdle the project had to face before construction could begin.

Preston Pointe architects receive award

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

The Preston Pointe office and condominium building in Louisville, by Potter & Associates Architects received a Citation for Excellence from the Kentucky Society of Architects.   The architects met in Columbus, Ind., at their annual convention where the the award was presented.

Possible Condos next to Hilliard Lyons Center

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Eric Bachelor, a developer from Florida (and native of Eminence, KY), recently purchased the Hilliard Lyons Center for just over $10 million.   He plans to develop the building into an Embassy Suites hotel with three restaurants: a steakhouse, jazz bar, and sports bar.

Bachelor has recently floated the idea of building on a parcel adjacent to the Hilliard Lyons Center at Third St and Muhammad Ali, currently a surface parking lot less than a block from Fourth Street Live! in downtown Louisville.  The plans have not yet fully taken shape, but the current proposals that are being studied by Bachelor and the city of Louisville include retail at street level, a parking structure base, and condominiums on the upper floors, with the parking structure to be managed by PARC (Parking Authority of the River City) and the investment in the condos and retail to be financed and managed by Bachelor.   The total project would be “much taller” than the seven story Hilliard Lyons Center.

The timeline under discussion proposes the condo tower and parking structure be completed to coincide with the first phase of the City Center Project, a Cordish development spanning several downtown blocks that first came to light in August.   The parking, condos, and retail would complement the $250 million Cordish project and continue the strong development momentum in downtown Louisville.

The renovation of the Hilliard Lyons Center is scheduled to begin this November, with the renovation cost of the complete gutting of the interior and refurbishment of the exterior projected to be between $50-$60 million to turn the former office building into 300+ suites.

Museum Plaza Groundbreaking Set

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

A new date (October 25, 2007) has been set for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum Plaza project in the West Main district of downtown Louisville, KY.

The groundbreaking had been originally planned for Sept 27, 2007.   The developers are still working with the state to ensure that all approvals are received before construction can begin.   Some site preparation has already taken place to shore up the entryway to the project–a series of facades on West Main.

The total project cost is now expected to reach $490 million, an increase of about 5% over the previous estimate of $465 million.  Thus far, the developers have already spent $18 million on the project of their own money.

A sales center at 707 W Main St is expected to open in October, with a life-size artist’s conception of the views from the 25th floor, where the contemporary arts center is planned.  More than 370 people have already inquired about purchasing a residence within the building.   Tours for these interested persons are planned to occur before the public opening of the new sales center.

Downtown Louisville Housing Tour

Friday, September 7th, 2007

This weekend, on Saturday, September 8th, 2007, between 10 am and 3 pm, free tours of downtown housing will be offered, featuring 22 different projects, including lofts, condos and apartments.

Downtown trolleys, offered by TARC, will circulate along two different routes, to allow easy transportation between the featured projects, part of $2 billion in downtown investment that is currently planned or already under construction in the downtown Louisville area.

Louisville Downtown Management District is sponsoring the Housing tour. It begins at 4th Street Live in the Brown & Williamson tower lobby, where booths will feature downtown projects and include maps of the project locations on the tour.

Arctic Ice House Condos

Friday, September 7th, 2007

The former Artic Ice House on East Main Street has been purchased for redevelopment into 52 condominiums. The site at 217 E Main St is within a short walking distance of Slugger Field, Waterfront Park and several East Main restaurants and galleries.

The conversion will take place in phases, with the first phase (32 1-Bedroom condos) featuring the renovation of the 7-story structure, at an approximate cost of $3 million. The second phase (14 1-Bedroom and 6 2-Bedroom condos) will convert the one and two-story structures on site into condominiums and should be complete about one to two years after the first phase. The full basement with access to Washington Street will become the common lobby, fitness and entertainment area.

The redevelopment of the Ice House is being spearheaded by Dave Steinbrecher, owner of Derek Engineering, a general contracting company, and David Barhorst, head of SoFo Development and developer of Byck’s Lofts on Fourth Street.

One bedrooms are expected to cost between $189,000 to $215,000 with two bedrooms at approximately $299,000. There will be onsite parking available.

Financing is in place ($7 million from PRP Bank) and construction is expected to begin by year’s end.

Liberty Green Developers Chosen

Friday, September 7th, 2007

The city announced the development partners to build the next phase of the Liberty Green project, a redevelopment of the former Clarksdale Public Housing site into a mixed income residential area.

The Louisville Housing Authority has chosen Bill Weyland’s City Properties Group (developer of The Henry Clay and The Louisville Glassworks Lofts) and Holly Wiedemann’s AU Associates (developer of Artek Lofts in Lexington) to develop up to 380 units for sale over the next decade. Currently, about 120 rental units have been developed, with over 100 already occupied.

The first project, 18 condo units along Hancock Street between Jefferson Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, may be completed by Fall 2008, pending financing. The three-story rowhouses will be priced from $120,000 to around $300,000, according to Weyland.