What’s the use of being a business insider if all your news comes from press releases, right?

So, we’ve created the inaugural post for Insider Louisville’s Top Secret Monday briefing.

These are tips Insider Louisville staff and contributors have collected during the past few days, tips that are NOT double-verified like Insider Louisville’s daily reporting.

That said, these items are insider info from people with direct knowledge of the deals.

And, as always, more about these deals as we know more.

  • The Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters apparel chain continues to look at Louisville locations, according to real estate sources. Unlike most of its competition, Urban Outfitters is having an expansive 2011, with store openings this year in several markets including in South Bend, Ind. South Bend, of course, is home to Notre Dame, with college kids making up Urban Outfitter’s core market. The retailer also has a Bloomington, Ind. location. Urban Outfitters avoids the malls for stand-alone stores, and executives were close to leasing 10,000 square feet of space two years ago in the renovated John Riley Auto Service Garage and Body Shop, now 2011 Grinstead Drive. But that deal fell apart over zoning issues, according to insiders. Now, a space about a block east at 1140 Bardstown Road may be in play, a space which currently houses a Blockbuster.
  • Is it just us, or is everyone missing a huge University of Louisville project? Last week, the U of L Board of Trustees approved a 128,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center. That’s three acres under roof, and insiders are telling us it will take the place of the current rec facility, which is obsolete. If we calculate construction costs at a minimum of $200 per square foot, we’re talking about at $26 million project. How many of those come along every day? Construction is supposed to start this year, said an insider.
Edison Park in Butchertown
  • Insiders tell us Edison Park in Butchertown owners are preparing to expand the project with high-end apartments in adjoining buildings to the east and north. Sources say demand for luxury apartments far exceeds supply. At the same time, the condo market is dead because mortgage lenders are requiring as much as 30 percent down on new units. Edison Park has the advantage of being on a green, leafy stretch of  East Washington Street in the always-trendy urban neighborhood about two minutes from the business district.
  • Executives at Baptist Express Care, based in Lexington, Ky., are ramping up plans to open more clinics at Louisville-area Walmarts. Baptist Express Care operates 13 “The Clinic at Walmart” clinics in eight Kentucky cities including three in the Louisville area.
  • Lending Tree, which bought SurePoint Lending last year, is closing what were SurePoint offices in Indianapolis and Tampa and moving people back to Louisville, insiders say. The mortgage business has to be tough right now.
  • The Troll Pub Under the Bridge is scheduled to open by September at Second and Washington streets. This will be on the back side of Iron Quarter, or that’s what we’re being told. And they have a Facebook page.

There may be a recession lingering, but insiders know there’s always something going on. If you have a tip, send it to: [email protected]

Now, get out there and make some money!

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