Detroit-based developer Village Green, which has been pursuing an acquisition of the iconic 800 Building south of Broadway in downtown Louisville for months, announced late Tuesday it has closed the deal.
The company will begin “an extensive plan to redevelop and reposition” the 29-story apartment tower to fit the luxury apartment operator’s brand next month, according to a news release. Upgrades are expected to include the addition of a “boutique hotel-style” lobby, changes to the exterior including a modernized entrance and restoration of the original blue (now a faded turquoise), and the addition of a rooftop “Sky Park and pool.” The 29th floor will be converted into a luxury lounge for tenants, including a gourmet kitchen, televisions, and lounge seating with an outdoor terrace.
The 800 Building will also get a new name, although the company hasn’t disclosed what it is.
“The 800 Apartments was a modern architectural icon that we look forward to restoring, upgrading, and returning to being Louisville’s premier address,” said Village Green Chairman and CEO Jonathan Holtzman in a release. “The views of the city from The 800 are phenomenal, and with all the apartment improvements, especially the brand new 29th floor Sky Club and rooftop Sky Park and pool, it will be a remarkable place again.”
Village Green also detailed its plans for the interior, including individual units:
Other amenities being added are a pocket rotunda entry; lobby and conference room; theater; business center; café/restaurant space with lobby access and indoor/outdoor seating; and personal concierge services. The community will consist of studio, convertible, one and two bedroom apartments and penthouses. Apartment upgrades include: kitchen islands with granite counter-tops and three different cabinet and appliance options; bathrooms with rain shower heads; brand-new custom closets; and wood flooring and Berber carpet. Penthouses will have condominium quality finishes with floor to ceiling glass windows. The building will also provide corporate/short-term furnished rentals through V-Suites.
Brett Corbin, vice president of the Louisville Downtown Residents Association, said the company’s plans look promising.
“I’m hopeful that this is a positive first step for the future of The 800 building, the current tenants, and the economy of downtown Louisville,” he said. “From what I heard at the re-zoning meeting a few months ago, this company is a good fit for the project and understands the challenge before them.”
The acquisition comes at a time when outside investors are buying into downtown at an unusually heavy pace. Village Green joins a list of outside investors, from Hudson Holdings (Starks Building) to Nashville’s Bristol Development Group (Main & Clay), looking to capitalize on the increasing trend toward downtown apartment living.
Rebecca Matheny, executive director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, praised the acquisition and plans for renovation.
“I’m thrilled about the project moving forward,” she said. “This is just the thing we need for a diversity of housing product in downtown.”
The company’s path to acquiring The 800 Building was circuitous. It held its first public meeting detailing renovation plans — typically an indication that a closing is imminent — in April. However, to satisfy arrangements with creditors, former owner Leon Petcov was forced to file bankruptcy, and a federal bankruptcy court in Illinois last month ordered a public auction of the property. Village Green made a stalking-horse bid, as IL reported in May, setting the low price at $21.6 million.
Village Green did not disclose the purchase price, and neither would George Tikijian, who brokered the sale. Tikijian confirmed the company was the only bidder at auction.
The company is known for high-end finishes in its “City Apartments” series, of which The 800 would be a part. At Chicago’s Randolph City Tower Apartments, for instance, unit interiors feature a heavy focus on kitchens and bathrooms, and entryways and other public areas are open, airy, and contemporary, filled with bright colors and featuring public art and big-screen TVs.
The company also said it would pursue other development opportunities in Louisville. Perhaps Crescent Centre is on its list?