Major renovations a year away at Whiskey Row - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Major renovations a year away at Whiskey Row

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The historic buildings that make up Whiskey Row in the 100 block of West Main Street are no longer in danger of falling down.  Workers have completed the stabilization work that took about six months.  But it will be awhile longer before major renovation work can begin.

"It's probably going to take another year before we are ready to go full blast," says Valle Jones, co-developer of the project.  Jones says leases need to be signed with tenants before major renovation work can begin.

Financing of what will likely turn out to be a $46 million project still has to be secured.

"When you don't see it, it doesn't mean nothing is happening," explains Jones. "There is a lot of activity, a lot of conversations, a lot of planning and negotiating going on; but it all has to come together before construction can start."

The goal is to make the block one of Louisville's major entertainment attractions and a big destination for tourists.

"This is Whiskey Row," says Jones, "it is going to have whiskey oriented venues, both with food and beverages; and we expect some entertainment activity as well."  Plans also call for 30,000 square feet of office space and between 20 and 30 apartments on the upper floors.

The development group, known as Main Street Revitalization, has already spent $5 million to buy the property and several more million to stabilize the buildings.  Jones predicts it will be at least two years before the first renovations are completed and tenants can open for business. 

But she believes it will be well worth the cost and the wait.  "This is part of our architectural history, our commercial history, and it is irreplaceable," says Jones.

Jones is also a co-developer of the successful Whiskey Row Lofts on the west side of the block, just across Second Street from the KFC Yum! Center.

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