Investors have put more than $30 million into renovating the interiors and preserving the cast-iron facades. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Correction appended.

West Main Street development 111 Whiskey Row is starting to fill up.

The development just signed its first office tenant and is in the process of renting out the dozen apartments located on the third and fourth floors. 111 Whiskey Row will cut the ribbon on its first commercial tenant in less than a month.

111 Whiskey Row is a more than $30 million mixed-use development that includes restaurants, retail, apartments and office space. Renovation work began more than two years ago, and the completion was delayed by a fire, but now, it’s nearly complete.

The first named tenant clothing retailer Duluth Trading Co. will host its grand opening on Thursday, Nov. 2, according to Valle Jones, a prominent businesswoman and partner in the development.

The opening will giving downtown workers, residents and visitors a 15,000-square-foot store to shop in just ahead of the holiday season. It will be the first major retailer to operate in downtown Louisville since the mid- to late-1990s.

Technically, the first tenants of 111 Whiskey Row are expected to move in later this week. Jones told Insider that at least three of the development’s 12 apartments are under lease, and that renters would be able to move in within the next few days.

The apartment range from 900 square feet to 1,500 square feet and start at $1,200 a month.

The latest tenant to sign on at 111 Whiskey Row is Gresham, Smith and Partners, an international engineering and design firm with offices currently located in National City Tower. The firm will take up more than 6,000 square feet of 111 Whiskey Row’s 15,000-square-feet of second-floor office space. TRIO Commercial Property Group represented 111 Whiskey Row in the leasing.

Mike Sewell, department manager for Gresham, Smith and Partners in Louisville, said they hoped to move the office’s 28 employees into 111 Whiskey Row sometime around the new year. He added that he liked the location because of its historic nature and how it fit employees’ vision for the office.

About 40 percent of Gresham, Smith and Partners employees in the local office ride their bikes anywhere from one to nine miles to work. The new location will allow for a more open floor plan, an indoor bike rack and a shower for employees who need to freshen up after getting into work.

“We’ve got an active lifestyle-focused workforce,” Sewell said, noting that the other spaces he looked at wouldn’t allow those amenities. “I think that is really what sold me on the space, (Jones’) willingness to accommodate how we want to function as a business. …The other spaces — they lost a lot of points.”

The new location also will place the company 12 stories closer to the street front. Sewell noted that the Louisville office works quite a bit on multi-model transportation projects.

“It kind of gives us a better, closer street-level view of where all these modes are coming together,” he said.

Jones noted that people leasing space in 111 Whiskey Row while construction is still underway “shows a lot of confidence in the block. They are willing to sign leases before everything is finished.”

Also on tap for 111 Whiskey Row is German-inspired beer hall The Hall on Washington Street, which is expected to open in January, and a secretive speakeasy that, according to public documents, is called Hell or High Water. The speakeasy is under construction but little else is known about it.

111 Whiskey Row still has a roughly 9,000-square-feet of office space and a 6,000-square-foot restaurant space available for lease. PRG Commercial Property Advisors is the leasing agent for the two remaining spots.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of square feet available for a restaurant. It is 6,000 square feet. It also incorrectly stated the direction of Main Street that 111 Whiskey Row is located on. It’s on West Main Street.

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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]