One year later: The George undergoes renovation after emerging from bankruptcy

A year after emerging from bankruptcy, the condominium complex The George at 42 has a new modern look and is attracting buyers.

Louisville-based Underhill Associates acquired 111,000 square feet of the 160,000-square-foot building for more than $9 million. It fell into bankruptcy in 2013 after struggling during the recession.

Since becoming the majority owner of the multifamily development, Underhill Associates has invested a little more than $1 million in deferred maintenance and upgrades to the former Regency Tower, now The George, located at 6600 Seminary Woods Place off Brownsboro Road. As part of its revitalization effort, the company reinstituted the homeowner’s association as well.

“We have effectively put a pulse back in the building,” said Colin Underhill, a principal with Underhill Associates.

The company has sold 15 of the condos, just more than a one-third of the 44 it purchased out of bankruptcy. Available condos range from $290,600 for an unfinished unit to $1.8 million for the top-level penthouse with panoramic views of Louisville. Monthly homeowner’s fees range from $570 to $2,316.

Once Underhill Associates took over, about 50 percent of the other condo owners sold and about 50 percent stayed, Colin Underhill said.

Three foreclosed units have sold, and several condo owners have sold in the past year.

Underhill Associates “doing all the work that we’ve done allows these people to sell their units,” said the firm’s marketing director Jordan Underhill. “All the residents who are here who had no intention of selling before are happy about everything that is going on, and they want to stay and they want to get their friends to come. Any resales that have happened are people who never had any intention of staying here in the first place, and us becoming involved has allowed their unit to become marketable again.”

Underhill Associates has nearly finished its update, which included the pool, fitness center, lobby and other common spaces. It also has built out five condos and has four more units under construction.

“The sheer nature and quality of the building is now starting to show its true form,” said Colin Underhill.

People have several options when it comes to the condos. They can buy a completely renovated unit; they can buy a shell and bring in their own contractor to build it out to their specifications; they can work with Underhill Associates’ designers and builders to customize the space more by choosing finishes and altering the floor plan; or they can get a partially built out condo that Jordan Underhill called “a vanilla box.”

“People just don’t want to move into move-in ready anymore,” she said. “Most people who come to look here are in the early stages of deciding they are ready to move out of their homes where they’ve lived for 30-plus years and be done with their yards and move in to more turn-key lifestyle.”

Potential buyers are used to customizing their homes. Having the model units is nice to show them what a unit could look like, Jordan Underhill said, but they are finding that most want to add their own touches.

Still, it can be hard for potential buyers to let go of their houses. They are used to a big yard and not sharing spaces with others.

“Moving into a condo is a mentality type of thing where they think: ‘Is this my last stop? Am I getting old?’ ” Jordan Underhill said.

Potential buyers want more convenience and may be away at vacation homes for months at a time, she said. Underhill Associates tries to sell them on, among other things, the amenities.

Amenities at The George include underground parking, a pool, 24/7 concierge service, 24-hour security, a fitness center, storage units. There also is a room that guests of a condo owner can rent for $150 a night that is complete with a kitchenette and can be stocked with grocery items if requested.

“We are trying to make it so attractive they don’t even want to look back,” Jordan Underhill said.