Coca-Cola facility on the market after company announces new Louisville operation

Courtesy Jefferson County PVA
Courtesy Jefferson County PVA

There could be new life for the Coca-Cola bottling building on West Hill Street.

The warehousing facility at the corner of 17th and Hill is the largest industrial parcel available in the West End right now, with 317,000 square feet of space inside and more than 13 acres outside. The listing comes a little more than two months after Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated — separate from the Atlanta-based syrupy drink dynamo — cut the ribbon on a new distribution facility at 7100 Global Dr.

The backstory is a little fizzy, so here’s the smoother version. The operation used to be owned by Coca-Cola Enterprises, which came under the mothership via a deal several years ago. That operation — with 350 employees — is now being sold to CCBCC, which is pumping $12 million into the new facility here. We’re told the company will be out of the building on West Hill within 30 days.

The warehouse was built in 1940 and was last assessed at $2.8 million, per the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator. Broker Gant Hill has the listing.

We also hear there’s something of a distilling renaissance in Louisville right now, and this space seems like a natural fit. Don’t be surprised if …

Shark Attack: Annual Venture Shark final competition 

Venture Sharks logoMay’s Venture Connectors Luncheon will play host to the 6th annual Venture Sharks finals. There were 35 applications for the competition. The field was narrowed to 11 for the semifinals and then to four by judges on April 15.

The four companies competing:

  • Sean Vandevander, Ecobridge Industries II: The company works with Kentucky farmers to source kenaf and hemp plant fiber for end use in biocomposites, green building, pulp and paper, and automotive.
  • Candice Peters and Amanda Kranias, Hello Parent: A mobile app that allows parents to connect with other families and organize events.
  • Steve Arkon, Logjustrips: The company collects stop/start data from company cars and presents a decision to the driver, “Was that trip business or personal?”
  • Gil Roberts and Jarett Duker, Phone Falcon LLC: A mobile repair service for smartphones and tablets that brings the repair shop to its clients for their convenience.

The winner of the pitch competition will take home $10,000 in prizes. The “Sharks” are: Bob Saunders, general partner, OCAVentures; Elizabeth Rounsavall, director of research and analytics, Chrysalis Ventures; Lou Kelmanson, president, Kelmanson Holdings LLC; and Vik Chadha, managing director, GlowTouch Technologies.

The Venture Connectors Luncheons are the first Wednesday of every month at the Muhammad Ali Center. Tickets are free for Venture Connectors members and $40 for students and visitors and include a lunch. You can RSVP and reserve your ticket online here. The event starts at 11:30 a.m.

Private Client Services expands its Southern Indiana, Louisville offerings

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

We told you earlier this month that Tony Bennett, the former complex manager at Wells Fargo Advisors’ downtown Louisville office, had left his gig there under circumstances that were, at the time, a little unclear.

Here’s the rest of the story: The 21-year financial services industry veteran was establishing his own adviser firm, Bennett & Bennett. And now that firm has joined Private Client Services, the largest independent broker/dealer in Kentucky, which is continuing an impressive growth trend.

Bennett has worked at wire houses, including Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells. But he found it difficult to streamline the customer experience there, and he was ready to declutter the experience for his advisors and customers, so he set forth on his own. Working under the PCS umbrella, he says, will offer support on the resource and regulatory side while helping him present a purer experience to potential advisers and customers.

“Ultimately, the goal should be to be able to pass that along to a client,” he says. “So that is very attractive for an adviser.”

Private Client ServicesBennett is pretty transparent about another thing, too: He’s looking to poach advisers from some of the bigger houses in town. Wells, for instance, has lost not only Bennett but this two-man adviser team, who moved to Raymond James last fall.

Bennett begins with offices in New Albany and Corydon, and he says they’ll be in Louisville soon.

Ernest Sampson, CEO of PCS, says he’s excited to bring Bennett on board. “The Bennett family and Bennett & Bennett Insurance Company have been outstanding civic and corporate leaders in Southern Indiana for decades,” Sampson says.

The roots of PCS in Louisville date back to 1928. They have 40 offices and 120 reps managing some $3.5 billion in direct and indirect money managed by their independents. They’ve added 14 advisers or adviser practices to their roles in the past 18 months.

“I never have any trouble getting an answer to a question,” Bennett says of his experience there, which officially began April 17. “The response time has been really kind of breathtaking. That goes from the very simplest detail to getting on the phone with Ernest Sampson.”

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