Welcome to the Oct. 20 Monday Business Briefing.

This is your private business intelligence briefing with Insider Louisville staff and contributors vetting tips collected during the past few days, hours and minutes before we post.

We’re slugging this the big-news-in-the-financial-sector edition of MBB, including a scoop about a coup in the local wealth management biz, along with outtakes from an exclusive interview with the CEO of Hilliard Lyons.

But fist, some potentially huge downtown real estate news…

The historic Kurfees Paint building downtown might finally be redeveloped
The historic Kurfees Paint building downtown might finally be redeveloped

Zone change sought to redevelop historic Kurfees Paint building

A local real estate/development firm has major plans for one of downtown Louisville’s architectural gems: the century-old Kurfees Paint building (aka Progress Paint) at Market and Brook streets.

The Column Group — which specializes in investment real estate brokerage and development — seeks to turn the four-story, 140,000-square-foot building into a mixed-use space, with street-level retail, self-storage on the middle floors, and residential units on the top floor.

But — and there’s always a but — a zone change from commercial to multipurpose is a necessary first step, as explained by Aaron Willis, president of Column Group, in a letter to neighbors:

We are writing to invite you to a meeting we have scheduled to present neighbors with our plan to rezone the old Kurfee’s Paint building at the corner of Market and Brook Streets. Our plans call for a mixed use, probably with retail on the first floor, self-storage on floors above that and residential on the top floor. In the end, the market will determine the exact allocation of uses. The EZ-1 zoning district is necessary to provide this flexibility which the existing C-3 zoning district does not.

Jefferson County property records reveal the building is owned by ADS Holdings, which, according to LinkedIn, “provides capital, management and development expertise in the hospitality industry, restaurants, shopping centers, housing, luxury retail and SPIRIT Industry.”  The man behind ADS is Vince Rosenblatt, who also serves as project manager at Louisville Distilling Co./Angel’s Envy.

ADS bought the east downtown property from Progress Paint in 2011 for $3.8 million, and at the time there was talk of putting an Angel’s Envy operation at the site; soon after, however, Angel’s Envy set its sights on the Vermont American Building across from Slugger Field (the distillery reportedly is still happening, despite taking way longer than expected).

In recent years, a few proposed developments have fallen through at Kurfees Paint, including plans for 90 market-rate apartments. Perhaps this time will be different?

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Kurfees Paint | Photo courtesy of U of L archives

The Beaux Arts-style structure, built in 1915, is on the National Register of Historic Places, so any developer must preserve its architectural integrity.

The aforementioned meeting to discuss the project is set for Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the Residence Inn Marriott, 333 E. Market St.

Insider Louisville will have more details on the proposed development after talking with Aaron Willis of the Column Group this week.

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