LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It may not be obvious now, but work to redevelop Whiskey Row along Louisville's Main Street continues.
The restoration of five historic buildings now is mostly going on behind the scenes. The buildings have been stabilized and are no longer in danger of falling on someone, so the temporary covered wooden sidewalk that the city put up to protect the public is now finally gone.
Nearby restaurant operators had complained that the temporary sidewalk was hurting their business. People who work in the area and frequently walk by are also delighted that the wooden walkway has been taken down.
"I'm glad they saved the building fronts and I am glad to see the temporary sidewalk is gone because it was an eyesore," Lori Cleveland told WDRB News.
The developers are also glad to see the walkway is gone. "We are very thrilled to see that the barriers have come down," says Valle Jones, a co-developer in the project, "because that is the visible sign to the city of Louisville that millions of dollars have been spent here by a private group of civic minded investors."
Jones is one of about ten investors in the development group known as Main Street Revitalization. It has already spent millions to buy the property and keep it from falling down, but it is still uncertain when actual renovation work will begin at the site.
"I don't have an exact date of that, but I would say it would be in the next year of so," says Jones. She says there is a lot going on behind the scenes. She adds, " I understand until the people see the construction equipment and workers on the site, it looks like nothing is going on, but the bulk of the work that goes on in redevelopment is actually before the actual construction begins."
Jones says her group is negotiating with what she described as several exciting large tenants, but says she can't publicly say when any announcements might come. "When we are ready to announce we won't be shy about it," she adds.
Plans call for offices and apartments on the upper floors. The ground floor will be whiskey-oriented food, beverage, and entertainment attractions.
Whenever the long-term project is completed, it is expected to become a major addition to the continued redevelopment of downtown Louisville.
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