Omni Hotel groundbreaking attracts city leaders, residents and p - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Omni Hotel groundbreaking attracts city leaders, residents and protesters

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City leaders and Omni officials break ground for the new hotel slated to be finished by the Fall of 2018. City leaders and Omni officials break ground for the new hotel slated to be finished by the Fall of 2018.
An artist's rendering of what the new Omni Hotel will look like. An artist's rendering of what the new Omni Hotel will look like.
Members of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) are calling on city leaders to invest more money in affordable housing. Members of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) are calling on city leaders to invest more money in affordable housing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After three years of planning, the Omni Hotel is one step closer to becoming a reality.

“This site right here is going to be the living room for Louisville,” said Bob Rowling, owner and chairman of Omni Hotels and Resorts.  “It's going to blow your socks off.”

City leaders came together to celebrate what will soon be a 30-story hotel, featuring over 600 rooms, restaurants, a grocery store and 320 permanent jobs in Louisville.

“We're bringing local color to the hotel. We don't have any check the box projects. That means we spend a lot more time planning, understanding the culture,” Rowling explained.  “I think you all, the locals, will like it as much as the guests that come here into town.”

The development also includes 225 luxury apartments.

"It's a little bit of an experiment Louisville doesn't have a lot of downtown living right now and we're building 225 apartments we hope we can lease," said Rowling.

It’s an experiment protesters believe the city has over-funded.

Members of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) are calling on city leaders to invest more money in affordable housing.

"Metro Council made a commitment eight years ago when they established the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and it's only received $1.5 million in eight years.  And yet this project is receiving $139 million.  $17 million is going to build a parking garage.  It's time to invest in housing for all,” said CLOUT President Beverly Duncan

Last year, concerns about the project’s design and parking garage delayed committee approval.

But in the end, Omni prevailed.

“And I'm really appreciative of Omni's commitment to make that happen,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Omni is set to be complete by spring 2018.

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