The Green Building was sold this week to the owner of Rabbit Hole Distillery. | Courtesy of Gill Holland

Gill Holland, the man responsible for bringing the Green Building to fruition in NuLu, isn’t wistful about the sale of the building to Rabbit Hole Distillery owner Kaveh Zamanian this week. Rather, he calls it a feel-good story.

“We’re totally fine,” Holland says, referring to his partner in the development, his wife, Augusta. “It isn’t a building you ever really own; you pass it on to somebody else. We held it in stewardship.”

The building, located at 732 E. Market St., sold for $2.4 million to Green Building LLC, which Zamanian owns.

The 120-year-old building has housed many things, from Galaxie (which is currently there) to offices to art galleries, and it was originally a dry goods store. A masonry structure, it was purchased by the Hollands in 2006 for $575,000.

It opened in 2008.

Holland calls the building “revolutionary.” | Courtesy of Gill Holland

The Green Building was the first in Louisville to receive platinum certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The building was in disrepair when first acquired by the Hollands, but extensive construction included infusing the original masonry shell with a modern core, adding a 40-foot-high lobby and natural lighting.

It was largely built with eco-friendly materials and renewable energy systems, with solar power, geothermal wells and recycled denim insulation. More than anything, it breathed life into a neighborhood that badly needed it, and helped kickstart NuLu’s growth.

“It was revolutionary,” Holland says. “When it opened, we had 10,000 people come through that first year. The economy had just tanked, and we had this amazing story, so it was definitely a beacon of light there during some dark times.”

Interestingly, it was the Hollands who sold the property for Rabbit Hole Distilling to Zamanian, and the architect for both was Doug Pierson, Holland adds.

Holland says he isn’t sure what Zamanian intends to use the building for — Zamanian didn’t immediately respond to an email — but promises that proceeds from the building will be used for projects in Portland and Harrods Creek, among other places. In Holland’s mind, that means the building will keep giving back to the community in its own way.

“We definitely called it our NuLu flagship property,” he says. “We put up a beautifully designed building and watched the positive ripple effect.”

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Email Kevin at [email protected]