The 515 Building, in the lower left hand corner, is in a pivotal position downtown, in the same area as the Humana Building, Providian Center and PNC Tower.
The 515 Building, in the lower left hand corner, is in a pivotal position downtown, near the Humana Building, Providian Center and PNC Tower.

(Editor’s note: This post was updated at 7:25 p.m. on Mon., July 8.)

This afternoon, an internal Humana email started making the rounds announcing the giant health-insurer, health care company is buying the 515 Building at 515 W. Market St. downtown.

That would be a dramatic re-dedication to downtown after Humana moved hundreds of employees to suburban office parks during the last two years, exacerbating the downtown office vacancy rate.

Multiple real estate sources tell Insider Louisville Humana moved all their operations out of the 515 building earlier this year.

From the email:

Date: Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Subject: FW: Humana purchases 515 Building in downtown Louisville

From: Workplace Solutions [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 3:17 PM

Subject: Humana purchases 515 Building in downtown Louisville

Humana has made great strides toward advancing our integrated care delivery model. We continue to grow our business in this space – as shown by our acquisitions of Concentra, Metropolitan Health, SeniorBridge and our Anvita clinical analytics engine. To ensure the company is positioned for future growth, we’re excited to announce that Humana has purchased the 515 Building in downtown Louisville.

Located at 515 Market Street, the building is just steps away from the Humana building and other Humana worksites. There are plans to reconfigure all eight floors of the building to accommodate work areas, open meeting spaces, conference rooms, training and huddle rooms and storage areas. Long-term plans for the 515 Building are still being determined.

“Louisville is our hometown, and we are so pleased to have another opportunity to support its core by purchasing this vacant property for future use,” said Chuck Lambert, vice president of Associate and Business Services for Humana. “We will be customizing this work space for our associates to make it more robust, agile and sustainable. It is a perfect match for our existing locations in Louisville.”

Our real estate sources say employees with Humana Military Health Care and Humana Government  Business were in the 515 Building at one time.

In a follow-up response to our post, Kate Marx, Humana corporate communications consultant, clarified some of the details, adding that company executives will comment further as more of the transaction details become public record.

• Humana added to its real estate portfolio in downtown Louisville, purchasing the 126,623-square-foot building located at 515 Market Street.

• Humana plans to reconfigure all eight floors of the 515 Building to accommodate work areas, open meeting spaces, conference rooms, training and huddle rooms and storage areas.

From her email:

As you mentioned, Humana moved associates out of the 515 Building earlier this year when our lease expired. At that time, the property was not for sale. We also needed additional space for those associates, and the best fit for their needs was – and is – at the Forum Office Park.

Since August 2011, Humana, Louisville’s largest company by total revenue, has led a charge from downtown to urban office parks starting with a move to far eastern Jefferson County.

That year, Humana leased the former CitiGroup building at 12501 Lakefront Place off Blankenbaker Parkway.

Last December, our IL Monday Business Briefing, which is a separate staff,  broke the story that Humana was moving hundreds of employees to the Forum II Office Park on North Hurstbourne Parkway from the north tower of the Waterfront Plaza.

Waterfront Plaza is part of a Main Street complex that includes the Galt House hotel, owned by the A.J. Schneider Co. We noted at the time that Humana has been growing so rapidly that it now touches nearly every building in Louisville with Class A space.

We reported in April that the Class A vacancy rate in Louisville’s Central Business District, according to figures supplied to Insider Louisville every quarter by Commercial Kentucky Inc. (and its parent, Cushman & Wakefield), was at 16.2 percent.

“That may be the highest since we started tracking the market in 1987,” Commercial Kentucky president E. Phillip Scherer III told IL reporter Steve Kaufman at the time.

So, a retrenchment downtown by Humana is a good thing ….

Humana has a huge commitment to downtown in the Michael Graves-designed Humana Building at Fifth and Main streets, as well at the Humana Waterside complex a few block east between Main and Washington streets.