Insider News Roundup: Despite fire, Broadway warehouse project still on; River Ridge increases; first Peerless bourbon; and more

Despite fire, HPI confident that $34 million West Broadway warehouse project moving forward

Housing Partnership Inc. finalized their purchase of a long-vacant warehouse at 1405 W. Broadway this year, which they hope to revitalize with a mixed-use development. | Photo by Joe Sonka

Despite a fire blazing inside a historic and long-vacant warehouse on West Broadway on Tuesday, Housing Partnership Inc. (HPI) says it is confident the building remains structurally sound and will continue its efforts to redevelop the property into a $34 million mixed-use development.

Louisville firefighters quickly put out the fire at 1405 W. Broadway that billowed smoke over much of downtown Tuesday afternoon, the cause of which is still unknown.

HPI, a nonprofit dedicated to developing affordable housing, completed its $1.1 million purchase of the warehouse in January, which the city aided with a $300,000 loan. As Insider Louisville first reported last year, HPI is partnering with OneWest to restore the property that has fallen into disrepair over the past two decades with housing for seniors and commercial office space.

In a statement to Insider on Wednesday, HPI President Andrew Hawes thanked the men and women of the fire department for their quick response and containment of the fire before anyone was injured. While stating that they do not yet know the extent of the damage, Hawes added, “We are confident that the building remains structurally sound due to the reinforced construction techniques used in its design.”

Hawes said HPI’s development plans have already contemplated a full gut rehab of the building, which was built 98 years ago and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The warehouse initially served as a candy factory that employed 350 workers and then became a tobacco warehouse for the country’s first menthol cigarettes, but it has sat empty for at least two decades after a church failed to develop it and out-of-state owners left it untouched for 13 years.

According to Hawes, the fire “reinforces the need to get the building put back to productive use,” as HPI and its partners are “proud to lead the redevelopment of this historic property and look forward to securing the funding needed in the near future.” — Joe Sonka

Jeffersonville’s River Ridge adds $2.6 million more to infrastructure plan

The River Ridge Development Authority added $2.6 million in projects to its long-term infrastructure plan for projects such as road extensions and excavations. | Courtesy of River Ridge Development Authority

The River Ridge Development Authority last week approved another $2.6 million in infrastructure investments to prepare for future development at the 6,000-acre River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville.

The development authority plans to invest more than $315 million total over the next two decades to complete the infrastructure improvements to prepare new parcels for development in the business park.

Projects approved include administrative for a new wastewater collection system, re-routed power lines, road excavations and awarding a $1.6 million construction contract to Temple and Temple Excavating and Paving Inc. to extend the existing Jacobs Way.

“River Ridge is home to more than 50 businesses and nearly 10,000 jobs, and we are continuing to invest in the infrastructure needed to bring the next 10,000 jobs to Southern Indiana,” River Ridge Development Authority executive director Jerry Acy said in a press release. “Our facilities and location provide lots of opportunities for growth, if we do the things we must do to support job-creating businesses that help our communities grow.” —Kevin Gibson

Child welfare forums coming to Louisville area June 5-6

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Nine regional forums will be held around the state to educate the public about a new federal law that’s aimed at keeping kids out of the foster care system and helping at-risk families stay together.

The state Department for Community Based Services will bring one of those forums, focusing on the Family First Prevention Services Act, to Louisville next Thursday, June 6. That event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sawyer Hayes Community Center, 2201 Lakeland Road, in E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.

There also will be a forum in Shepherdsville from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the Little Flock Baptist Church, 5500 N. Preston Highway.

Kentucky is embracing the Family First law as part of a broader plan to revamp and improve the state’s child-welfare system and better serve kids. Right now, about 9,700 Kentucky children are in out-of-home care, mostly because of neglect.

“At these Family First forums, we are engaging anyone who is already, or who wants to be, a part of the solution,” said DCBS Commissioner Eric Clark in a news release. “Child welfare belongs to all of us.”

Kentucky plans to be one of the early implementers of the act, which places an emphasis on prevention and using federal money for evidence-based services, from in-home parenting programs to treatment for substance-use disorders and mental illness, according to the state.

“Instead of being reactionary, Family First allows child welfare systems to be proactive and put funding and resources at the front end of the system,” Clark said. “Family First aims to prevent children from entering foster care by supporting families, identifying risks and removing safety concerns.” —Darla Carter

Two new businesses open at RiverPark Place

Two new businesses have opened in Waterside at RiverPark Place Apartments.

Waterside Wellness Studio, a mind, body and wellness studio, and Endless Summer Paddle and Coffee Company both opened recently in the commercial space located at 1301 Frankfort Ave., near the intersection of Frankfort and River Road.

Waterside Wellness offers a variety of fitness classes, along with a team of experienced instructors, focused on enhancing overall emotional, physical and mental health. It is managed by Kymberli Nix and available to residents of RiverPark Place as well as non-residents.

Endless Summer is owned by Mimi Hahn and Matt Sheehan, paddling enthusiasts, and a partnership with Nates Coffee in Lexington rounds out the combination rental and lessons business and coffee and beverage shop. Endless Summer also has four other locations around the area. —Kevin Gibson

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. to release its first bourbon June 22

Behold the bourbon. | Courtesy of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.

For the first time in 102 years, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. finally will release a bourbon to the world. And lucky for us living in Louisville, the launch date is set for Saturday, June 22, meaning we’ll be the first to get our hands on the goods.

Peerless opened its doors on 10th Street in 2015 after owner Corky Taylor, along with his son Carson Taylor, decided to revitalize his great-grandfather’s now-defunct distillery that operated for years in Henderson, Ky. Soon after opening, bourbon and whiskey began being distilled and were put away to age.

In 2017, Peerless released its first rye whiskey, and now, after much anticipation and four years of aging, its first bourbon will come out on June 22, which also happens to be the birthday of Corky’s father, Roy “Ace” Taylor. The event runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and bottles will be first come, first serve with a limit of two per person.

We’ve heard good things about the Peerless bourbon, so you may very well see us in line next month. —Sara Havens

This just in: Study shows that people apparently still like craft beer

Yes, it’s true: Study shows people still like craft beer.

A C+R Research study recently showed that of 2,000 Americans surveyed who identify themselves as regular alcohol drinkers, 49% of them drink craft beer at least once per week.

While noting that the focus group precludes the study from being considered scientific, the numbers also showed that 91% of those surveyed prefer craft beer over big-brand American beer, and that the preferred craft beer style is still the IPA.

In addition, 76% of those surveyed said price doesn’t influence them when deciding to buy craft beer; they reported spending, on average, $59 per month on the product.

The top five factors driving their love of craft beer were taste, quality, craft beer culture, the general growth of craft breweries and the higher alcohol content than in most big-brand beers. Other factors include branding, food-pairing options and availability. —Kevin Gibson

In Brief

Liege & Dairy opened its second store — at 12003 Shelbyville Road in Middletown — on Wednesday. Owner Andrew Llewellyn opened the original ice cream and waffle shop in 2018 in the Holiday Manor Shopping Center, and part of its success, other than the obvious paring of the sweet treats, is that it uses ingredients sourced from Kentucky Proud producers.