Atria's move to Nucleus means more vacant office space - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Atria's move to Nucleus means more vacant space for Brown & Williamson Tower

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Atria Senior Living's move to the new eight-story Nucleus research park building on Market Street will leave another hole less than a mile away at the Brown & Williamson Tower, which is already about 25 percent vacant, according to commercial real estate listings.

Atria's move was announced in a grand opening ceremony for the 300 E. Market Street building Wednesday morning.

Atria will vacate five floors (19 through 23) of the Brown & Williamson Tower, Atria spokeswoman Amy Schuster said.

The 26-story tower, at Fourth and Liberty streets near 4th Street Live, currently has five open floors and another floor becoming available in 2015, according to Doug Owen of real estate firm Cassidy Turley Harry K. Moore.

A leasing brochure shows six vacant floors, but Owen said a new tenant signed a lease yesterday to take most of the 18th floor.

At the Nucleus event Wednesday, Mayor Greg Fischer said Atria's move isn't concerning despite high vacancy rates among Louisville's most prominent office buildings, such as Brown & Williamson, Meidinger Tower and the Aegon Center.

"The towers are going to fill up again," Fischer said. "This is market cycles that go in and out, so they'll be fine."

Fischer said there is "a lot of work in the pipeline" to attract new office tenants to the city's prime downtown buildings.

Owen said he's been in touch with two out-of-town prospects interested in significant portions of the Brown & Williamson space. He said Louisville needs new and expanding companies so that vacancies can be filled without shuffling among current tenants.

"It's disappointing when you see one tenant in one building succeeding at the detriment of another (building)," he said.

Despite the vacancies, Owen said there are lot of good signs for the heart of downtown, including new stores along S. 4th Street and the pending redevelopment of the Hilliard Lyons Center at 4th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard as an Embassy Suites hotel.

At the new Nucleus building, Atria will be the anchor tenant with its corporate support center, a dedicated print shop, training and conference space and a public restaurant, according to a press release from the University of Louisville, which created Nucleus through its university foundation.

"We are very excited about the new space and how the new features will allow us to further build on our capabilities to provide great support to our communities across the nation," Schuster said Wednesday.

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