Welcome to the April 23 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Home sales decline for the first time this year

A breakdown of the numbers from Jefferson County | Courtesy of GLAR

While home sales in the Louisville MLS have remained strong overall, March was the first month this year and the first month since December to report a decline in homes sold.

According to numbers from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, consumers bought 253 fewer homes within the Louisville MLS in March 2018, a 15.6 percent decrease compared to March 2017.

The Louisville MLS last reported a drop in homes sold during December when home sales declined nearly 3 percent. Still, home sales for 2017 overall increased 2.1 percent, according to GLAR statistics.

Of the homes that did sell in March 2018, the median price was $172,500, a rise of 7.8 percent compared to March 2017.

“Multiple offers for move-in ready starter homes continue to be the norm, and 55 percent of homes are selling in 30 days or less,” GLAR president Dave Parks said in a news release.

Jefferson County followed the trends set by the entire Louisville MLS but to a greater degree. Home sales in Jefferson County in March dipped just more than 16 percent, with 928 homes sold, and median home prices increased 11 percent, to $172,050.

“Even with the expected uptick in new listings in coming months, buyers in most markets will likely have to act fast on any available listing that checks all their boxes,” said National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall in the release. —Caitlin Bowling

Developer proposes golf entertainment project for 106.8-acre East End development


The property is located near large apartment complexes in the East End. | Courtesy of Google Maps

Well-known Louisville developer Kevin Cogan is hoping to construct a “golf entertainment facility” as part of his massive mixed-use development near Factory Lane and the Gene Snyder Freeway.

Information included in the plans filed with Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services was scant but did note that the development would be a three-story, 85,728-square-foot driving range and entertainment facility built on 12.45 acres of land at 3050 Terra Crossing Blvd.

Insider Louisville reached out to Jefferson Development Group who referred inquiries about the project to attorney Bill Bardenwerper.

Bardenwerper told Insider that the developer is not ready to announce an operator as a few are still in running, but it will be similar to golf entertainment facilities like TopGolf, which filed plans earlier this year to open a location at Oxmoor Center.

“The whole idea is the same from one of these to the other. We think this is a great location because it’s a family thing, a younger people thing,” Bardenwerper said, noting that there are a large number of apartment complexes and subdivisions nearby.

Although they have not finalized an agreement with an operator, Bardenwerper said Jefferson Development Group was confident enough to file generic plans for the project. It was not included in the company’s original development plans filed with the city.

“We were guessing at the uses at the time,” Bardenwerper said. “It was being talked about at the time. We just didn’t put it on there because it was too early.”

Insider previously reported that Cogan plans to build apartments, offices, retail/commercial space and a senior living facility on 106.8-acres previously owned by St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphan Society.

His company purchased the land for about $11.9 million, according to county property records. Cogan has already received approval from the city to rezone the property and to build a 274-multifamily apartment complex. —Caitlin Bowling

Norton Commons adding new amenities including zero-entry lagoon pool, splash park

The Grove

The Grove will be a 2.5-acre recreational area. | Rendering by Sabak Wilson Lingo

Norton Commons is continuing its growth with a 2.5-acre recreational area with a zero-entry, lagoon-style pool, splash park, playground, walking trails, green space and woodland and watershed protection areas.

Workers will break ground on what is being called The Grove in fall 2019 with a hopeful completion date before pool season in 2019 and the start of the Welcome Home Tour & Design Show on May 25, 2019.

Another addition will be a space called Peppermint Green, located between Passionflower Drive and Saint Bernadette Avenue. It will feature a walking path surrounded by urns with flowers, benches and large native trees. With the two projects, Norton Commons will add 100 trees to its existing crop of more than 2,700.

“Norton Commons is thrilled to continue to engage in one-of-a-kind place-making,” Charles Osborn III, managing director of Norton Commons, said in a news release. “We’re all about walkable, mixed-usage, with an eye toward the future, but never forgetting Louisville’s unique roots and history.” —Caitlin Bowling

UofL’s Postel returns to his previous post, salary, with a thank-you bonus

Dr. Greg Postel

After not being selected for the permanent job, UofL’s interim president Greg Postel will be the school’s executive vice president for health affairs, the board of trustees said Thursday.

Postel had held the same role before becoming interim president in early 2017. Unlike several of UofL’s top interim positions over the past year, the position was never opened for applications.

Postel will return to the Health Sciences Campus when UofL’s new president, Neeli Bendapudi, begins on May 15.

Postel will make his original salary of $950,000 in the position, which is the top UofL official at the Health Sciences Campus. He’s guaranteed one year in the role, according to his contract.

The board of trustees also gave Postel a bonus of $100,000 as a thank you for his time as interim president. —Olivia Krauth

Evan Williams signs on as team sponsor for Louisville Bats, will host ‘Cheers to Bourbon Night’

Check out the Louisville Mashers!

Evan Williams announced last week that it’ll be the official team sponsor for the Louisville Bats during their 2018-19 season, now underway. Bourbon and Bats lovers can expect to find Evan Williams products on the bars throughout Louisville Slugger Field, as well as on various signs and billboards.

On Saturday, May 26, the Bats will change their team name, logo and jerseys for one game only during the first-ever “Cheers to Bourbon Night.” They’ll be known as the Louisville Mashers.

Along with bourbon-tasting stations located around the stadium, there also will be special Evan Williams/Bats-branded bourbon glasses given out to the first 1,000 people who are 21 and over.

“We’re excited to join the home team and sponsor the Louisville Bats this season, bringing together America’s favorite pastime and native spirit,” said EW Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau, who will throw out the first pitch during that game. “Whether your team rocks or team neat, Evan Williams has a bourbon done right for everyone.” —Sara Havens

Delta Dental provides $200,000 grant to protect kids’ oral health

Photo courtesy of Pexels

An effort to improve the oral health of children in Louisville and beyond is getting a $200,000 boost from Delta Dental of Kentucky.

A grant from the nonprofit will help fund United for Kids’ Smiles, a program to help children in southern and western Jefferson County as well as Shelby and Bullitt counties.

In Louisville, families will be educated about the importance of good oral-health habits, such brushing their teeth and avoiding sugary drinks, and more patients will be receiving fluoride treatments. It also will help families who need a dentist.

Plus, part of the grant will be used to hire a part-time dental hygienist to establish a fluoride treatment program at various Norton Children’s Medical Associates practices. Some partnering clinics in the region also will be participating.

United for Kids’ Smiles is a program developed through a partnership between Delta Dental and Kentucky Youth Advocates as part of a broader initiative.

That effort includes the development of the Louisville Regional Oral Health Coalition, which is led by Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness, and the creation of regional networks and programs to tackle problems illuminated in a 2016 oral health study of the state’s youths. For example, poor children often go without dental care.

“We believe that the implementation of these regional programs will drive the action necessary to improve the oral health of Kentucky’s children,” said Jude Thompson, chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Kentucky, in a news release. “We are proud to help fund these wonderful programs, which will have a lasting impact on children statewide.” —Darla Carter

Festival of Faiths considers the image of the Sacred Feminine

Festival of Faiths

The Festival of Faiths is this week. | Courtesy of Festival of Faiths

The annual dayslong Festival of Faiths, this year held April 24-28, will consider the Sacred Feminine from various standpoints.

Sessions look at the role women play in indigenous spiritual practices, how to uplift feminine virtues and how individuals’ treatment of the world can be a reflection of how women are treated, among other aspects.

The event also has added new evening cocktail receptions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Kentucky Center for the Arts that will honor women “who are blazing new trails in their fields,” according to its organizers.

The different after-hours events will feature poet and author Hannah Drake and Safiyyah Dance Company director Safiyyah Rasool, local artists Brianna Harlan and Kendell Regan creating an art installation, and female chefs showing off their cooking skills.

Full-week passes and tickets to individual sessions are still available—Caitlin Bowling

In Brief

Churchill Downs named Tim Bryant, president and general manager of Derby City Gaming, a $60 million state-of-the-art gambling facility opening at 4520 Poplar Level Road in fall 2018. He will assume the role on May 14.

EdjAnalytics, a data science and prescriptive analytics firm focused on health care, workforce, services and sports, hired former Genscape director Susan Olson as its chief operating officer.

Crestwood-based Apellis Pharmaceuticals hopes to raise $140 million by offering 5.5 million shares of its common stock at a price of $25.50.