Welcome to the Dec. 3 Monday Business Briefing, your weekly business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
Yesternook building in Shelby Park for sale
The owners of Yesternook antique store have posted their building, as well as the one behind it, for sale.
Real estate agent Jamie Spaulding said her mom Lynn Gould and stepfather Eric Gould are ready to move out of the urban core.
“The whole plan is to sell the building, and they are hoping to move to the country and somewhere where they’ve got some land,” Spaulding said.
He’s had some ongoing health issues, Spaulding said. “I think they are just ready to live a slower-paced lifestyle.”
When Insider stopped into Yesternook Friday evening, Lynn Gould echoed much of what Spaulding said about wanting land.
“We are ready to do something different,” she said, later stating: “It’s time for a young person with a lot of energy” to take over the building, which was constructed in 1880s. Going up the stairs where they live is harder as they grow older.
Gould said Yesternook will live on, just at a different currently unknown location, though she’d like it to be larger.
“People who are into this kind of thing, it’s in your blood,” she said, adding that her granddaughter Gwen Rhodes has “gotten the fever.” Rhodes is good at selling, Gould said, whereas her favorite part is finding the items.
Rhodes, a University of Louisville student, said buying and selling antiques is exactly what she wants to do.
“This is a happy job, it makes me happy,” she said. “It makes me happy seeing other people get stuff that I enjoy. It makes me happy that we are recycling as I would say.”
As for when the antique store could close its Shelby Park location, that’s anyone’s guess. Gould noted that the neighborhood is coming up but with commercial real estate, it is difficult to predict how long it will take something to sell.
“I think it will be a while,” Gould said. “I’m in no big hurry.”
The Yesternook building is three stories, with retail on the bottom and residential on the top two floors. The two-story building behind it is currently used for storage but could be renovated for another use, she said.
The properties are listed together for $625,000, and Spaulding said she’s already received several inquiries since posting the for-sale sign a week or so ago. The buildings are located near Scarlet’s Bakery, Red Top hotdogs and the soon-to-open Logan Street Market.
“It has a lot of potential,” she said, noting that the properties are currently zoned commercial manufacturing. The Goulds “are just hoping that somebody who is passionate about the neighborhood like they are comes in.” —Caitlin Bowling
Freak ice storm drops nearly $12 million bill on LG&E and KU
The surprise, mid-November ice storm will cost LG&E and KU about $11.7 million, close to the electric-and-gas utility’s forecast storm budget for the entire calendar year, officials said.
A total of 153,500 customers — including 119,100 in LG&E’s service area — lost power in the storm that pummeled the region overnight and into the morning of Thursday, Nov. 15, spokeswoman Chris Whelan said in an email. It was the seventh-biggest service disruption since the company started consistently tracking these totals in 2003. Nearly 2,600 lines were brought down.
“Service was restored to almost everyone by late Saturday night, Nov. 17, and then a few more on that Sunday,” Whelan said, adding that fewer than 1,000 customers had to wait until Sunday to get power back.
The company, a unit of Allentown, Penn.-based PPL Corp., has a storm-recovery budget of about $13 million for 2018. By comparison, the ice storm in January 2009 knocked out power for 645,000 customers and cost $126 million.
Whelan said nearly 1,000 field personnel worked to bring power back on, with help coming from Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas.
The company is evaluating how best to handle the expense, Whelan said, adding the storm was big enough to qualify for what is known as “regulatory-asset treatment,” which would allow the company to amortize the costs over a period of time. —Mark R. Long
App to serve as virtual life coach for teens in foster care
The free app, which assists 17-year-olds with goal-setting and self-tracking, is available to 250 WellCare Medicaid members who are part of the Kentucky foster care program.
After getting help from WellCare care managers to get started, users can enter daily self-reports on their purposes, goals and targets. The app provides personalized tips, guidance, insights and support to help with things like being on time and staying focused.
The virtual life coaching is important, according to WellCare, because people “age out” of the foster care system at 18 and find themselves faced with making important choices about life without necessarily having much to lean on. They can wind up homeless, on drugs or otherwise at loose ends.
“Lack of purpose in life has a profound impact on health and well-being of young adults, especially those in the foster care system,” WellCare of Kentucky President Bill Jones said in a news release. “… By coaching these young adults to make better decisions, we aim to help them live better, healthier lives.” —Darla Carter
Mayor appoints new Louisville Metro Housing Authority director
Lisa Osanka, who has served as interim director of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority since April, will take on the role permanently, Mayor Greg Fischer announced.
“The Louisville Metro Housing Authority is a national leader in neighborhood revitalization and housing development, and a central part of our efforts to give every citizen the chance to reach their full potential,” Fischer said in a news release. “In Lisa, we have a leader with expertise in housing policy and community engagement, and also an activist’s passion for helping residents.”
LMHA oversees more than 4,500 public housing units and the administration of rental assistance to roughly 9,200 families through its voucher programs. It also is part of the demolition of public housing complex Beecher Terrace and transformation of the area into mixed-income housing, which the city received a $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant to do.
Osanka has more than 26 years of experience and was director of leased housing for LMHA before becoming interim director following Tim Barry’s retirement.
“Affordable housing is an issue I feel very strongly about, and I’ve spent a good amount of my life working to ensure that everyone in our community has a secure place to call home,” Osanka said in the release. “I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue serving this community, especially the thousands of families that we at LMHA serve every day.” —Caitlin Bowling
Woodford Reserve releases new Distillery Series and holiday bottle
It’s no coincidence that the 375 mL bottle of Woodford Reserve’s latest Distillery Series release would fit perfectly in a stocking. Besides, what bourbon-lover on your list wouldn’t want the first-ever Bottled-In-Bond tribute from Woodford?
The new release came out on Nov. 26 and can most likely be found at the distillery in Versailles, Ky., as well as a few local liquor stores.
Per the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, the bourbon must be produced by one distillery within one six-month distillation “season.” The product must be aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse and sold at 100 proof. This release checks the box of all those requirements, and we bet it’s quite tasty at a cool 100 proof. It’ll set you back $49.99.
Also available at most area liquor stores is the Woodford Reserve holiday bottle, titled “Winter Spirit” and designed by Louisville artist Lynn Dunbar.
‘Top Chef’ viewing party planned at Brown Theatre
Kentucky Department of Tourism and Louisville Tourism are planning a big to-do to mark the start of “Top Chef” Season 16, which was filmed in locations throughout Kentucky, including in Louisville.
Annie Pettry, former “Top Chef” contestant and owner of Decca restaurant, will host the shindig at the historic Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway, on Thursday, Dec. 6. The free event starts at 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public on a first come, first serve basis.
The event will feature door prizes and a cash bar. The culinary competition show is set to air on a big screen at the theater at 9 p.m.
“It’s no secret to us what a great culinary heritage our state and city have. Now the rest of the country will get a taste of our agricultural bounty, regional traditions and our modern and unique twists on Southern cuisine by both long adored and up-and-coming chefs,” Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism, said in a news release.
The season will show off all things Kentucky — bourbon, horses and bluegrass music — as well as popular sites such as Churchill Downs, the Muhammad Ali Center, Keeneland, Maker’s Mark Distillery and the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. For filming in the state, the show’s network Bravo is eligible for up to $3.526 million in state incentives.
Throughout the season, ending in March 2019, 15 chefs, including Sara Bradley of Paducah, Ky., will compete for the title of “Top Chef.” Episodes air at 9 p.m. Thursdays. —Caitlin Bowling