Grocer Ice & Cold Storage to become luxury apartments

Grocers Ice & Cold Storage went out for bid last week. | Courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has a preliminary winning bid to buy the state-owned Grocers Ice & Cold Storage, located at 609 E. Main St.

Brandon Denton, owner of Denton Floyd Real Estate Group, confirmed to Insider Louisville that his company is expected to take ownership of the 111-year-old building pending final state approval of the company’s $400,000 bid.

The state has tentatively accepted the bid, according to a representative for the state.

Denton told Insider in a phone interview that Denton Floyd Real Estate Group wants to use historic tax credits to renovate the more than 44,000-square-foot building into a luxury apartment complex.

“We want to appeal to folks that are young professionals and millennials who like the urban feel and want to be close to downtown,” he said.

Preliminary plans call for 70 or more apartments, a mix of studio and one-bedroom units. Although there is a luxury apartment building under construction right next door to the property and another planned across the street, Denton said there is room for more.

“Being on the cusp of NuLu and Butchertown, we feel like there is more room for residential growth because you have all the amenities of downtown, you have the river not far away, and let’s not forget the soccer stadium.”

In order to move forward, Denton Floyd Real Estate Group’s bid must be approved by the Kentucky secretary of finance and administration. Pending the approval, Denton said he expected to take ownership in 30 days or less.

The state bought the Grocers Ice & Cold Storage for $3.6 million in 2010 as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project and put the building up for sale unsuccessfully before. Denton said that he wasn’t aware the building was for sale until recently and decided to bid on the property after touring it twice.

The company has prior experience rehabilitating historic properties and using historic tax credits. According to its website, Denton Floyd Real Estate Group has restored more than 25 landmarks.

“This fits right in our wheelhouse. We see a lot of potential in the building itself,” Denton said. “It allows us to go into a distressed, dilapidated eyesore and bring back the original glory.”

Denton Floyd Real Estate Group plans to preserve the facade, exterior brick work and cornice work, as well as some “mechanical features” inside, Denton said. The company plans to work within the current buildings footprint and height.

He didn’t know how much it will cost to renovate the Grocers Ice & Cold Storage building but said “it’s going to be in the many, many millions.”

Denton expects to break ground late next year. Construction could take 16 to 18 months.