Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.
Large apartment development planned near Oxmoor Center
A 301-unit apartment complex is the latest development planned for Oxmoor Farms, located at 202 Oxmoor Lane.
The plans submitted this week call for multiple three-story apartment buildings, a clubhouse and pool surrounding a two-story, 507-space parking garage. The plan also calls for nearly 71,500 square feet of open space on the 16-acre plot.
Insider reached out to developer NTS Development Co. and attorney Bill Bardenwerper for more information but did not immediately hear back.
The more than 770-acre family farm has slowly been parceled out over the years for various developments.
Because of a district development plan that was approved in 2002, the property won’t need to be rezoned, but the developer has asked for a waiver for a city code requirement that demands builders buffer space between a residential and commercial development with landscaping. —Caitlin Bowling
Kindred, UofL enter a partnership to create tech that helps aging Americans
Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare and the University of Louisville have formed a partnership to create technology that helps aging Americans, including a compliance tracking app.
The partnership, called HIVE, is enabling Kindred employees to work together with faculty and students from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. The company said that “several” projects are in the pipeline, including an app that “would allow nurses to assess a patient’s eligibility for hospice care.”
HIVE is housed in 3,500 square feet of the former K-I Lumber & Building Materials office building at Floyd and Lee streets, near UofL’s Belknap Campus. The university’s foundation bought that property two years ago.
The collaborators will have access to the latest technology, the company said, as San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant Cisco Systems has donated computers, smart boards and other tools to help the teams connect.
The university said that the space had a “startup vibe, with bee-themed decor and graphic design pieces from students at the UofL Hite Art Institute.”
“HIVE represents our continued focus on creating a culture of innovation and agility,” Kindred President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin A. Breier said in a press release. “As the health care landscape continues to change, it is vital to develop technology-based solutions that create new value for our patients and the customers we serve. This is an example of the ways in which companies and universities can work together for the benefit of the community, students, patients and companies such as Kindred.”
The effort also reflects the university’s continued efforts to collaborate with the private sector, as it did in 2014 when it joined forces with GE Appliances to open the microfactory FirstBuild.
“This is all part of our plan to develop a series of partnerships between industry and academics,” UofL Interim President Greg Postel said. “The students actually contribute to the innovation that takes place here and at the same time, it enhances their education.” —Boris Ladwig
City Landbank Authority sells 50 vacant properties
The Landbank Authority approved almost as many property sales in one meeting as it did in the entire year last year after introducing new avenues to property ownership.
During its November meeting, the Landbank Authority approved the sale of 50 vacant and abandoned properties. Last year, it approved the sale of 56 properties.
In October, the city debuted three new programs aimed at making it easier for Louisville residents and others to acquire city-owned vacant and abandoned properties. One allows someone to buy a lot as long as they cut the grass and perform other maintenance. Another loosens requirements for funding and strict construction timelines.
Of the properties approved for sale, 26 will be renovated and turned into single-family or rental housing. Eleven other vacant lots were sold to the property owner next door for use as a side yard.
Louisville and Kentucky women-owned businesses lag their peers
Bad news first: Women-owned companies in Louisville and Kentucky are lagging their peers elsewhere. Good news: Their numbers have grown in the last decade or so, according to the seventh annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN and released this week.
Kentucky has an estimated 113,500 women-owned businesses, employing 94,100 and attributing to roughly $16.9 billion, the survey found, using census data and factoring in relative changes in gross domestic product.
Nationally, the number of women-owned firms increased by 114 percent from 1997 to 2017, compared to just a 44 percent increase among all businesses.
Louisville is ranked 45th in growth of number of women-owned firms, among the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, with a 36 percent increase over the past 15 years. It ranked 44th in growth of jobs created, with a 4.9 percent increase, and 36th in growth of revenue, with a 48.3 percent increase.
Geri Stengel, American Express OPEN research adviser, said in an interview, “I would expect Louisville to be higher.”
And the same is true for the state, she said. Kentucky ranked 28th in growth of number of women-owned firms over the past 20 years, with a 72 percent increase, 47th in growth of jobs created, with a 1.4 decrease, and 40th in growth of revenue, with a 71 percent increase.
Stengel said the survey controls for metrics like population “to let smaller states shine,” and even doing so, “Louisville does not perform well, nor does Kentucky, at least for women-owned companies,” she said. —Mickey Meece
Motor coach maker to invest $40M in Shepherdsville
A Canada-based bus and motor coach manufacturer plans to spend $40 million to establish a Shepherdsville facility that will employ 550.
According to filings with the state, New Flyer of America, a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries, “is considering the lease and subsequent construction of a facility that would allow additional space for insourcing and manufacturing of new products” to support the motorcoach industry.
The company said in its most recent annual report that motor coach deliveries in Canada and the U.S. had grown at an annual average of about 16 percent since 2010. Meanwhile, deliveries of heavy-duty buses have increased at an annual average 5.2 percent since 2013 — though the company also acknowledged that transit ridership in the U.S. and Canada declined in 2016.
New Flyer Industries has 31 facilities and 5,800 employees, according to the filing.
The company plans to invest $12 million in rent, $3 million in building improvements and $25 million in equipment. Employees would earn about $23 per hour, including benefits. The company could not be immediately reached to provide more details about its Shepherdsville project.
UPS begins Saturday deliveries
UPS recently began Saturday pickups and deliveries in the Louisville region, and that means customers in some cases can get their packages two days earlier. It also means that UPS can spread the volume of packages over one additional day, which eliminates some bottlenecks.
The company told Insider it was hiring about 6,000 people nationwide to support the effort, including some in Louisville. That’s on top of 95,000 seasonal workers the company said it was hiring this year.
UPS told Insider via email that it is looking for drivers, inside package handlers and supervisors.
“UPS added Saturday delivery as the result of the tremendous growth in e-commerce,” a company spokesman said. “Online shoppers want their purchases as soon as possible, and Saturday delivery means they’ll get their packages a day or two earlier in many cases.”
“A package shipped on Thursday that takes two days to get to its destination will now be delivered on Saturday at no additional charge, instead of the following Monday,” he said. “The additional day of delivery does smooth out of the flow of packages in our system as well as increasing network capacity.”
People can apply online or come to the UPS Employment Center, 8203 National Turnpike. UPS employs about 20,000 in the Louisville area. —Boris Ladwig
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard visited Louisville this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Fed’s Louisville branch. During his visit, he stopped by local employers, including Ford Motor Co.’s Louisville Assembly Plant and HJI Supply Chain Solutions.
Greater Louisville Inc. says it has five open positions, including Executive Director, Regional Talent Attraction & Workforce, a post that has been open since Stacey Servo departed in April.
Norton Healthcare named Adam Kempf senior vice president and chief financial officer. He succeeds Michael W. Gough, who Insider reported this month was named chief operating officer.
Two Louisville entrepreneurs — Doug Cobb, founder of The Cobb Group and Chrysalis Ventures, and Joe Steier, founder of Professional Healthcare Services and Signature HealthCARE — were inducted into the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame this week.
At the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame event, Stacy Griggs, president and CEO of El Toro, also was named a member of Emerging Entrepreneurs Class of 2017. Access Ventures founder Bryce Butler was recognized as Investor of the Year, and angle investor Elizabeth Rounsavall was recognized as Mentor of the Year.
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, based in Crestwood, has completed its initial public offering, selling 10.7 million shares at a price of $14 per share for proceeds of $150 million. Shares haven’t moved much: In the first five trading days, the company’s shares closed as high as $14.10 and as low as $13.83.
Brown-Forman recently entered into a new five-year credit agreement that gives the company access to $800 million. The company can use the proceeds for “working capital and general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, acquisitions, share repurchases, distribution to shareholders and debt refinancings.” Six days after securing that new agreement, the company said that it was boosting its quarterly cash dividend by 8.2 percent, to 19.75 cents per share.
Sypris Solutions said this week that it recorded a third-quarter net loss on essentially flat revenue but is making progress toward diversifying in products and markets. Revenue, at nearly $21.4 million, was essentially unchanged from a year earlier. However, earnings plunged from a profit of $21 million a year ago to a loss of $3.1 million for the quarter ended Oct. 1.