As promised back in January, the stabilization poles holding up three Main Street façades have come down. The move marks the continued progress construction workers have made to stabilize, rebuild and renovate 111, 113 and 115 W. Main St., which were ravaged by fire nearly a year ago.
The three addresses make up the more than $30 million mixed-use development called 111 Whiskey Row, which will include restaurants, apartments and office space when it opens in June 2017. At that time, the restaurant and office tenants will begin building out their spaces and are expected to open later that year.
“While our timeline has changed, our mission has remained the same,” said Steve Wilson, a founding partner of 21C Museum Hotel, adding that the developers and investors are committed to the preservation and restoration of the nearly 150-year-old historic buildings.
Wilson is one of six named investors and developers in the 111 Whiskey Row project. Others include preservationist Edie Bingham; Nina Bonnie, founder of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation; local investor and philanthropist Christina Brown; Craig Greenberg, also a founding partner of 21C Museum Hotel; and Valle Jones, founder of commercial real estate development company Mayin LLC.
Jones said the fire added several million dollars to the cost of the project, but insurance should cover the majority, or possibly all, of the additional expense.
Louisville-based Sullivan & Cozart is the project’s general contractor. Once work is complete, 111 Whiskey Row will have 12 apartments, a mix of studio and one-bedroom units, on the top two floors ranging from 900 square feet to 1,500 square feet.
“The market for downtown is small units,” Jones said. Rental rates would start at $1,200 a month.
The bottom three floors will include 24,200 square feet of retail space and 19,200 square feet of office space. TRIO Commercial Property Group is leasing the office and retail space.
The retail space will likely fit two restaurants on the Washington Street side of the development and two to three restaurants on the Main Street side, said Justin Baker, TRIO’s principal broker.
The company has been fielding calls from national restaurant chains and local restaurateurs, everything from quick service to sit-down concepts. There also is potential for a multi-floor concept, Baker said.
The investors aren’t targeting anything in particular for the restaurants, Jones said. “We’d love to have some venues that involve live music.”
Although the stabilization beams are down, that doesn’t mean the two closed car lanes will reopen. The fencing separating the street from the buildings will be moved to allow for a temporary pedestrian walkway between the fence and a concrete barricade.
Jeffersonville-based PACE Contracting was awarded a $298,500 contract from Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government to repair the sidewalks and curb at 105, 111, 117, 119 and 121 W. Main St. The work will be done in two phases, with the first phase starting at Thursday at 105 and 111 W. Main St. and the second phase will conclude by March 31 next year, according to information provided by the Louisville Downtown Partnership.
In January 2017, the city will bid out the sidewalk and curb restoration work needed for 113, 115, 117 and 119 W. Main St. Work on that project won’t be complete until November 2017.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said there is “no block more significant to our native spirit” than Whiskey Row, which also includes Whiskey Row Lofts and a planned four-story Old Forester Distillery.
Fischer applauded the firefighters and other city safety officials who helped battle the July fire that destabilized the buildings and made a plug for funding new fire trucks and new recruit training, which are currently part of the city’s budget for next fiscal year.
He also recognized the investors’ continued commitment to the revitalization project despite the setback and stated that the project will be highly talked about.
“Whiskey Row is making and recreating history in our city.”
Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly listed Emily Bingham as an investor in 111 Whiskey Row; her mother, Edie Bingham, is an investor.