Friday September 26, 2008
Mixed-use project is adjacent to downtown arena
One was built by the L&N Railroad as its headquarters and the other once housed Louisville’s famous bourbons – and now two historic buildings on Main Street are being converted into a mixed-use project that includes apartments, condominiums, restaurants and offices.
Whiskey Row Lofts is an $18 million, 100,000 square-foot project located adjacent to the new downtown arena. The complex is being developed by Bill Weyland, of CITY Properties, and Valle and Stephen Jones, siblings who own the buildings.
“Whiskey Row is proof, yet again, that our decision to build the arena downtown is spurring economic development,” Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “The location of Whiskey Row is perfect, and I suspect the condos and apartments will sell and be leased quickly.”
Whiskey Row will be a 24 hour community that includes restaurants and entertainment venues, offices and 23 rental apartments and four condominiums, Valle Jones said.
The renovation project, at 127-131 W. Main, will keep many of the buildings’ original features, including hardwood floors and huge windows overlooking downtown, the arena and the Ohio River.
“We are excited to part of the rebirth of this block,” Valle Jones said. “Our vision has always been an historic renovation that would create a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use environment with river views in the heart of downtown.”
Both buildings date from around 1875. The Jones family has owned the corner building since 1984. Valle and Stephen Jones’ father, Larry Jones, (aka “Squirrelly”) ran a magic show there for decades until his death in 2003.
Valle and Stephen Jones purchased the adjacent building last year from the Weller family, which owned and operated Burwinkle-Hendershot Company, wholesale distributors, in that location since the 1940s.
Financing has been provided by Fifth Third Bank and the Downtown Housing Assistance Fund, which committed a $200,000 low-interest loan to the project. The downtown housing fund is operated by the Downtown Development Corp. and Louisville Metro Government.
Construction on Whiskey Row will start in early 2009, Weyland said, and is expected to be completed in 2010 – in time for the opening of the new downtown arena.
“Whiskey Row will be another great addition to our growing and vibrant downtown,” Weyland said.