LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The building formerly occupied by the restaurant Taco Punk in the NuLu neighborhood has a new owner.

The building, located in the 700 block of East Market Street, has been purchased by an investment group led by Patrick Ley and Scott Howe.

A commercial real estate agent in Louisville, Howe teamed up with Ley six months ago. As long-time friends, the pair decided to pursue a joint venture in the NuLu neighborhood.

"We looked for about six months before we found a property that made sense," said Howe. "There were two properties of interest and they were both here in NuLu."

While Howe and his wife already own NuLu art gallery Revelry, Ley was drawn to the neighborhood's similarities to his current home in Austin, Texas. 

When Taco Punk vacated the building in November, Howe went to the owner to see if he could represent the property. When Howe found out selling was an option, he already knew his buyer.

"Being next door in the art gallery, we saw an opportunity," said Howe. "We were able to get in there, get a good offer on the table, and he accepted it."

Howe stated he and Ley want to lease the space to a business that will blend in with the spirit of the NuLu neighborhood.

"We are looking for the right tenant that fits the mold for the NuLu neighborhood and aligns with the vision of the area," he said. "We have a prospect list with some great local businesses, as well as a few national franchises, but ultimately we want a good fit for what NuLu represents."

Howe said he would like to lease the space to a local restaurant group. Ideally, it would be a restaurant that was hip and casual.

"I'd like to see a great new restaurant for NuLu that's not only affordable, but also local and chef driven and fits that mold of NuLu," he explained.

Howe said they've had 30 to 40 serious inquiries into the property. The most serious inquiries have come from local restaurant groups.

Howe declined to reveal how much he paid for the building.

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