LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two years after a large fire set the project back, the developers of 111 Whiskey Row are gearing up for the historic Main Street buildings’ first occupants.

The opening of 12 residential apartments, slated for Sept. 1, marks the first milestone in completing the seven-year, $30 million renovation of the buildings and facades in the 100 block of east Main Street.

111 Whiskey Row is the portion of the block retained by Main Street Revitalization LLC, a group of preservation-minded investors who kept the historic warehouses, which date to the 1870s and 1880s, from being demolished by buying out another developer in 2011.

Brown-Forman Corp., which is also an investor in Main Street Revitalization, is building a distillery and tourist attraction for its Old Forester bourbon brand on the west side of 111 Whiskey Row, while a high-rise Westin/Moxy hotel is planned for the east end of block, at First and Main streets.

Shortly after the apartments open, 111 Whiskey Row expects a number of other tenants and openings:

  • Duluth Trading Co. will open a store facing Main Street (fall 2017)
  • Second-floor office space (tenants TBA) (fall 2017)
  • A speakeasy-style bar (fall 2017)
  • A German beer hall restaurant (late 2017 or early 2018)
  • A unspecified second restaurant (early 2018)

Valle Jones, an investor in Main Street Revitalization and the co-developer of 111 Whiskey Row, said the project shows the importance of rehabilitating historic buildings.

“Even if they look decrepit, even if they look like they are falling in on themselves – which in fact these buildings were – they are still worth the investment, they are still worth bringing back, because of the attention that they garner, and because people want to be in them and around them,” she said.

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