Before a shovel (or more likely a power tool) has even hit the ground, developer Steve Poe declared that his 14-story dual hotel project at First and Main streets downtown may very well be his favorite project.

“I think this is going to be the best one,” Poe, owner of Poe Companies, said at a ground-breaking ceremony for the project. “This is historic. This is unique.”

Poe is constructing a dual hotel, where there is not just facades and a parking lot, with an estimated $90 million price tag.

The project will use the historic facades on Main Street as the entrance to a modern, luxury hotel called Hotel Distil, an independent hotel affiliated with Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels. Then on the Washington Street side, Poe will construct a Moxy brand hotel, which caters to “engaging, smart and free-spirited” consumers and particularly millennials.

Poe said previously that 110-room Moxy would offer rooms at a lower price, roughly $150 a night. The rooms will include platform beds, peg walls instead of closets, motion sensor lighting, 42-inch televisions, lots of outlets and free Wi-Fi.

Additional features will be a street-level restaurant and bar and a rooftop terrace and event space.

Hotel Distil, which originally was slated to be a Westin brand hotel, will have 205 rooms, a restaurant, a rooftop bar and 7,500 square feet of meeting space. It will cater to upscale guests.

Hospitality company White Lodging will manage both hotels.

With the addition of the dual hotel, Mayor Greg Fischer said the block of Main Street between First and Second streets “is gonna be one of the greatest blocks in the entire world.”

The block already includes Whiskey Row Lofts, restaurants like Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, mixed-use development 111 Whiskey Row and Old Forester Distillery, which is under construction.

“We should be loud and proud. We’ve got a lot going on here,” Fischer said.

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Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]