Kentucky Home Life building vertical

The Kentucky Home Life Building at 239 S. Fifth Street was sold for $15 million in May 2021.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – One of Louisville’s bigger downtown office buildings will be redeveloped as a hotel with “urban loft apartments” and retail, according to its new owner.

KHLB Properties, an affiliate of Dallas, Texas-area real estate firm Newstream Cos., bought the 20-story Kentucky Home Life Building at 239 S. Fifth Street for $15 million last week, according to Jefferson County property records.

While Newstream didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, its website says the 109-year-old building “will be redeveloped into a Mixed-Use concept to include a hotel, urban loft apartments, and retail.”

At the corner of 5th and Jefferson streets, the building is in “the heart of downtown in close proximity to many of Louisville’s top demand generators," Newstream notes.

The company didn’t list details such as the hotel brand or timeline.

The plan would continue a trend in which more space in the Central Business District is being built for or converted to hotel use amid the bourbon tourism boom, and less to traditional office space. Downtown office vacancies, already high before the pandemic, surged last year as companies moved to work-from-home arrangements.

The Kentucky Home Life Building is 43% occupied, according to the website of its previous owner, Madison Properties of Brooklyn, New York.

Alpha Mechanical Service, a contractor, filed a foreclosure action in February seeking to force the sale of the Home Life building to recoup about $71,000 in unpaid work the contractor claims it did on the building.

The building’s owner owed more than $91,000 in past-due property taxes, according to a Metro government filing in the case. Another contractor, Miranda Construction, claimed to be owed nearly $16,000 for a water-damage repair at the building in 2018.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.