LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- At one time, it was one of Louisville's largest and most popular department stores -- and later an office building -- but for the last several years, the building at 4th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in the heart of downtown has been vacant.
But now it is an active construction site, and a new CVS Pharmacy is now open on part of the first floor.
Renovation on the old Stewart's Department Store and Hilliard Lyons office building is in full swing.
The building dates back to the early 20th Century.
On Friday, developer Eric Bachelor took WDRB News on a tour of the construction site where workers were busy on all eight floors of the building. Its decorative columns remain from the days when it was Stewart's
"We had to maintain historic aspects of the actual ceiling work," said Bachelor.
The project will contain a mix of retail stores, office space, and a 304-room Embassy Suites Hotel.
"There are eight floors here," said Bachelor. "It is eight acres under one roof, and the layout of the four-through-seven floors makes up the hotel where the framing and drywall installation is underway."
Visitors will see an ornate hotel lobby and restaurant on the first floor. The basement is being converted into a parking garage, a swimming pool and fitness center.
The renovations project is making use of three atriums that remain from the past.
"We were able to wrap the rooms around the atrium so we could have light in them," said Bachelor.
At $80 million, the project is believed to be the largest commercial development underway now in the city. The building runs an entire block along West Muhammad Ali from Fourth Street.
"It is adjacent to Fourth Street Live! and Fourth Street Live! has given recognition to the city and we are just going to further that," added Bachelor.
He says the work is on-schedule and the hotel is expected to be open by the end of this year.