Main Street to be re-developed despite credit crunch - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Main Street to be re-developed despite credit crunch

When the new downtown arena opens, there will also be plenty of new places to eat, shop, and live. Developers are proceeding with plans for a rebirth of Main Street, even though financing is hard to come by these days.

The announcement came today that one of the last run-down blocks along Main Street downtown will be re-developed.

For 11 years, George Timmering has operated this restaurant at 2nd and Main, about the only activity along this entire block. But that's about to change.

"I'm over the top excited that finally there is going to be development of the rest of the buildings," said Timmering. 

"In its heyday, this area was known as Whiskey Row," said Valle Jones, building owner.

Now two historic buildings along Main Street will become Whiskey Row Lofts, an $18 million development.

"These two buildings comprise about 100,000 square feet. When they're renovated, they will house restaurants, entertainment venues, offices, apartments and residential condominiums.

With a view of the new arena now under construction across Second street. While financing for this project has not yet been finalized, developers are confident that, despite the current credit crunch, they will be able to get financing.

"The institutions we're dealing with are strong, the interest they have to continue their business growing is strong, and this is the type of project they're interested in investing in," said Bill Weyland, architect and developer.

Just down the street along the same block, the Iron Quarter development announced more than a year ago is on hold. But the mayor says its developers are just waiting for Humana to make a decision on where to put some of its workers.

"The reason why this location at Iron Curtain is on hold, is that they are one of 5 or 6 locations where the facades of this building would be kept in place and ultimately behind it would be a 14 to 15 story building.

Meanwhile developers hope to complete Whiskey Row Lofts by the time the arena opens during the fall of 2010.

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