Welcome to the Oct. 31 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Spalding University demolishes 100-year-old building despite objections

The former Puritan Uniform Rental building was demolished. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

The former Puritan Uniform Rental building was demolished. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

The former Puritan Uniform Rental building is no more.

The 100-year-old building, at 206 W. Breckinridge St., was torn down last week to make way for a parking lot for Spalding University.

Spalding University put the demolition on hold in August after some residents raised objections, Broken Sidewalk reported at the time. There was no other update until Dan Borsch, owner of The Old Louisville Tavern and Toonerville Deli, posted a picture on Facebook of the demolished building.

Beth Newberry, director of media relations for Spalding University, told IL Friday that the school received inquiries from some local businesses and people involved in real estate that were interested in possibly redeveloping the building.

“Nothing really panned out there, so we continued with our original plan to tear down the building,” she said.

The property would require environmental abatement, Newberry said, which made rehabilitating the building cost-prohibitive. Spalding University decided to turn the property into a parking lot after signing an agreement with the state not to break the concrete because of the ground contamination underneath.

“Because we can’t break the surface, it limits what we can do in that space,” she said, adding that she was unsure how many parking spaces would fit on the 1.6-acre property.

The Puritan Uniform Rental building is the third Spalding University-owned property to be demolished recently. The college also brought down two buildings near Second and Kentucky streets where — as part of an agreement with LG&E — it plans to construct a small park-type space, Newberry said.

Spalding University is expected to break ground on the park project soon. —Caitlin Bowling

Five things you need to know ahead of the Yum Brands’ spinoff

Yum Brands Inc. is headquartered at 1900 Colonel Sanders Lane. | Courtesy of Yum! Brands

Yum Brands Inc. is headquartered at 1900 Colonel Sanders Lane. | Courtesy of Yum! Brands

Today, Yum China Holdings will officially break off from Louisville-based Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. And on Tuesday, the new company will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol YUMC.

Here is a quick summary of five key points about the spinoff:

  1. Yum Brands believes its operations in China are worth $10 billion, but some off-the-record sources told Bloomberg this year that they felt the company overvalued its China business. Once Yum China Holdings starts trading, we’ll see what shareholders think the new company is worth.

Yum Brands previously announced that it would give stockholders one share in Yum China Holdings for every whole share they own in Yum Brands. All partial shares will be combined and sold on the open stock market. Stockholders with partial shares will be compensated accordingly.

  1. This isn’t a traditional spinoff. While Yum China Holdings will have its own executives and operate autonomously, the company will pay a 3 percent licensing fee back to Yum Brands. This means Yum Brands still will benefit somewhat from the growing China economy, but it will be more insulated than it has been in the past from economic ups and downs in China.

In the past, avian flu scares and food supplier scandals in China have soured overall sales numbers for Yum Brands.

  1. As part of the spinoff, Yum Brands already has bought back $5.1 billion in shares in the company and plans to purchase an additional $1.1 billion worth before the end of the year in an effort to return value back to shareholders. The company recently announced that it would return $13.5 billion in value to shareholders by 2019.
  2. Even though it’s not technically a company yet, Yum China Holdings has attracted two big-name investors who are putting $460 million of capital into it. The company will start out with zero external debt and more than $900 million in cash. That will allow Yum China Holdings to invest immediately in expanding its presence in China.

Which leads to ….

  1. The board of Yum China Holdings will be led by a man named Fred Hu. Hu was formerly chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Greater China and has extensive experience building businesses in China. His company Primavera Capital Group is the main investor backing Yum China Holdings. The other is Ant Financial Services Group, which owns the popular cashless payment system Alipay. Alipay will be introduced to all Yum China Holding locations following the spinoff.

Almost Family plans major acquisition

almostfamilyLouisville-based home health nursing services provider Almost Family plans to spend $128 million to acquire portions of a competitor.

Almost Family said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire an 80 percent controlling interest in CHS Home Health, a subsidiary of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems Inc.

The deal would bolster Almost Family’s annual revenue by about $200 million. CHS Home Health operates 74 home health and 15 hospice locations in 22 states.

After the deal is concluded, Almost Family would operate 340 branches in 26 states and would care for an average 50,000 patients daily. The company said the deal would make Almost Family “the third-largest Medicare home health provider in the U.S.”

Almost Family CEO William B. Yarmuth said in a statement that the health care services market is “intensely competitive” and he believes that among the company’s recent acquisitions, the “partnership with CHS may be the most strategic.”

“We believe it will enable us to see the health care continuum and home care specifically through the eyes of not only one of America’s best hospital companies, but one of America’s best health care companies,” Yarmuth said.

CHS CEO Wayne Smith said it was important for the company to retain a meaningful interest “to help ensure appropriate post-acute care coordination for the benefit of our patients.”

The parties expect the transaction to be completed in the fourth quarter. Shares of Almost Family, which had risen slightly since the transaction was announced, closed down 1.4 percent on Friday, to $39. Boris Ladwig

Louisville burger joint makes the cut for ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’

Grind Burger Kitchen will make its Food Network debut. | File Photo

Grind Burger Kitchen will make its Food Network debut. | File Photo

Grind Burger Kitchen will get its 15 minutes of fame in December.

The restaurant will appear on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with host Guy Fieri, who recently opened a restaurant here in Louisville called Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse. The episode will air at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, and Grind Burger Kitchen plans to host a watch party that night.

Grind Burger Kitchen started as a food truck before opening a brick-and-mortar location on Preston Highway. The restaurant eventually outgrew that space and settled into 829 E. Market St., Suite C. It is most known for its burgers and its Brussels sprouts.

This month, another Louisville burger restaurant Mussel and Burger Bar announced that it would be on “Ginormous Food,” a new program on Food Network that highlights delicious food in large portions. There is still no word on when that show will air. — Caitlin Bowling

LVA selects Luckett & Farley as architect for renovated Portland headquarters

Luckett & Farley's concept for LVA's new exterior | Courtesy of LVA

Luckett & Farley’s concept for LVA’s new exterior | Courtesy of LVA

Attendees at Louisville Visual Art‘s UnMasked fundraiser on Thursday got a sneak peek of the new renderings of the organization’s Portland headquarters. It also was announced that Louisville firm Luckett & Farley will be the architect behind the renovations.

“LVA is thrilled to be working with Luckett & Farley on our renovation,” said LVA executive director Lindy Casebier in a press release. “We are excited to partner with them on the plan, design and build-out of our permanent home in Portland. We are looking forward to taking this step toward LVA’s next hundred years of improving lives through art.”

LVA’s mission is to engage, inspire and improve Louisville through the arts. It provides visual art education, community outreach and artist support, and offers instruction to more than 5,500 students annually. It’s an organization and mission Luckett & Farley felt good about aligning with.

“We all became architects, engineers and interior designers so we could create amazing experiences within the community we live in,” said Luckett & Farley vice president Greg Buccola. “The LVA project is just that: the chance to collaborate with talented leaders and design a space that fosters creativity for Louisville’s youth is incredibly rewarding Luckett & Farley is grateful to LVA for its contribution to the arts in Louisville and for their trust in advancing their initiatives through this new space.” —Sara Havens

DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub opening location in Douglass Loop

DiOrio's owner Vic DiOrio competed on the U.S. Pizza Team. | Courtesy of DiOrio's Pizza and Pub

DiOrio’s owner Vic DiOrio competed on the U.S. Pizza Team. | Courtesy of DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub

DiOrio’s Pizza and Pub already has a Highlands location, but it’s about to get another.

The pizzeria plans to move into 2216 Dundee Road, Suite 1, the former Café Lou Lou space, according to a recently filed liquor license application. The new store is unlikely to take business away from its existing Highlands location at 919 Baxter Ave. because it’s about 3 miles away.

“The loop is roughly in the middle of both stores, and I think everyone of these areas, we are in are their own little world,” Vic DiOrio, owner of the pizzeria, told Insider Louisville. “There are a lot of different people who live in that area. … I think a lot of people theses days want to go roughly where they live.”

During the past few years, DiOrio has turned down about 15 other spaces, he added.

“We have a lot of people coming to us asking us to open stores,” DiOrio said. “We look for a spot that fits our needs and is in a good area.”

DiOrio said he wasn’t sure when the new location will open, if they will do so before the end of the year or hold off until after the holidays. It depends in part on the liquor license process.

The company is doing minor renovations to the space, including painting, installing new flooring and adding DiOrio’s touches. Because it was formerly a restaurant, it doesn’t need much work.

Insider Louisville reported previously that Café Lou Lou closed its Douglass Loop after a disagreement with the landlord.

“Unfortunately, we have had an issue with our landlord, not rent related, that has forced us to close the Highlands location,” owner Clay Wallace posted this summer.

The Douglass Loop store, which will seat about 100 people, will be DiOrio’s third. It also has a location at 310 Wallace Ave. in St. Matthews. —Caitlin Bowling

Louisville among finalists to host national cycling championships

Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos rides during the 2013 World Cyclo-cross Championships in Louisville. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Dutch cyclist Marianne Vos rides in the 2013 World Cyclo-cross Championships in Louisville. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

USA Cycling is considering Louisville as one of five potential sites for its 2019-20 national cyclo-cross championships.

The governing body for bicycle racing in the U.S. announced the finalists via Twitter. Louisville is competing with Bend, Ore.; Ogden, Utah; Tacoma, Wash.; and San Diego.

Cyclo-cross, also called CX or cyclo-X, is a fall/winter bike racing event involving riders repeatedly traversing short trails of various terrains, sometimes having to dismount and carry the bike around obstacles.

Karl F. Schmitt Jr., president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, said hosting such a prestigious event boosts the local economy, as visitors and riders spend money on local hotels, restaurants and shops.

In addition, he said, the event supports the vibrant Louisville cycling community, fosters active lifestyles and promotes the city, as people from all over the country come to Louisville, have a good time and tell other people to visit here.

The city has previously hosted national and international cycling events, including the UCI World Championships in 2013. The event, at Eva Bandman Park, involved about 2,000 cyclists and generated an economic impact of about $2 million, Schmitt said.

USA Cycling will make a decision on the nationals early next year. Louisville has a chance to host the event either 2019 or 2020. In an online survey of CX Magazine, Louisville was the favorite among nearly 5,000 participants, garnering 45 percent of the votes. Tacoma ranked second, with 38 percent.

USA Cycling could not be reached.

Next weekend, the city will host the 10th Annual Derby City Cup. Schmitt said about 1,200 riders, including professionals are expected to participate. The first races will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. Boris Ladwig

Orangetheory Fitness to open in the Highlands


Orangetheory Fitness is coming to Baxter Avenue. | Photo by Melissa Chipman

Louisville is getting another dose of the popular boutique gym Orangetheory Fitness. A storefront at 918 Baxter Ave. is under renovation, and the business has a tent out front to sign up new members.

According to the website, Orangetheory Fitness offers 60-minute workout sessions, split into cardiovascular and strength training, with heart rate monitors to track intensity and maximize metabolic burn.

Memberships do not require a contract and range from four sessions a month to unlimited access.

According to an employee who answered the phone at the Baxter Avenue location, Billy Davis owns all three Louisville locations — St. Matthews, Middletown and now the Highlands. She said the new gym should be open by late January.

Davis told IL via email:

$129 [a month]  is reserved for the first 225 founding members that we will sign up during pre-sales. That rate is for our Premier unlimited membership, customers can come as often as they like. Once we open our Premier rate is $159… We also offer other options:

Elite = 8 per month (month to month with 30 days notice to cancel)

Basic = 4 per month (month to month with 30 days notice to cancel)

Packs of 10, 20 and 30 sessions.

He declined to elaborate further on pricing, which is not outlined on the gym’s website. Davis added: “Orangetheory isn’t a gym, it’s a fitness studio that provides ‘Group Personal Training’ or ‘Personalized Group Training.'” He further explained that members reserve one of 24 spots per session via an app, and each session lasts one hour. Melissa Chipman

Yelp Louisville event offers taste of Louisville restaurants to support nonprofit

Louisvillians who are 21 or older are invited to support Yelp Louisville’s third annual Art in Action.

Yelp Louisville is bringing together more than 60 restaurants, beverage brands, local makers, nonprofits and other businesses to offer tastings and display their wares. Participating businesses include Mayan Cafe, Chateau Bourbon B&B, SET at Theatre Square, Ale-8-One, Buffalo Trace and Old Louisville Brewery, to name a few.

Louisville arts organizations Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Opera, CirqueLouis and Acting Against Cancer also will be performing at the event.

Art in Action is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Louisville Palace, 625 S. Fourth St. The event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. Proceeds will go to Strive, a nonprofit that provides music therapy and arts-related wellness classes.

RSVPs are required. —Caitlin Bowling