kindredSources: Kindred plans 20-story new HQ building

We told you in our Aug. 1 The Closing Bell that Kindred Healthcare has acquired the entire west side of Threatre Square around its headquarters at 680 S. Fourth St. Those parcels include 12 Theatre Square addresses on the big crescent – 1 Theatre Square through 26 Theatre Square, according to Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator’s records.

This is a big deal, and our experience is that with big deals, the details begin to leak fast and furiously. For example, this week, sources tell us Kindred’s nascent plans include a 20-floor building.

We emailed Susan Moss, Kindred senior vice president of Marketing and Communications, for additional details but received no reply. When we queried Moss for the TCB item, she sent IL this:

Kindred has purchased the three buildings located in Theatre Square. By owning the property it gives us the flexibility to bring our Support Center employees closer together. We currently have approximately 200 employees located at the Kaufman-Straus building on Fourth Street.

Our guesstimate from financial filings is Kindred has about 2,500 Louisville employees out of a total of about 63,000 across the United States. So, it appears a local consolidation is afoot, a consolidation that might add another signature building to Louisville’s skyline – the first post-Great Recession corporate HQ. This is another deal everyone seems to know about, but hasn’t been reported.

West Louisville Appreciation DaysSo many plans…

Adding the Cogan project to our whiteboard list of proposed downtown projects made us realize what a make-or-break moment it is in Louisville history.

That list includes:

• Cogan’s 343 apartments on Main Street

• Kindred’s new headquarters, which could be the first significant downtown office tower since Preston Pointe and the Zirmed building

• The next property east is the former Vermont American building, where Angel’s Envy announced its new urban distillery … last year. Nothing has happened since, though a group of investors has taken deed to the property from the State of Kentucky.

• The $261 million Omni hotel/residential/retail complex planned for the abandoned blocks of Third Street south of the Kentucky International Convention Center: This deal, which involves Metro Government, Omni and Cordish Cos., was supposed to be final by July 15. But that date came and went without anyone (except IL) noticing. City officials say the next deadline is Sept. 1. What’s going on? No one will say.

• Multiple hotels are nearly finished or under construction, including reconfiguring the former Stewart’s Dry Goods building at Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard into an Embassy Suites Hotel, Bill Weyland’s Hilton Garden Inn at Fourth and Chestnut, and Steve Poe’s just-begun Aloft Hotel at First and Main.

If these and other projects all happen, Louisville starts to look like it’s on a Nashville trajectory. Though it’s hard to see a breakout moment unless the University of Louisville begins to be a bigger contributor to economic development. And we’re not talking about season ticket sales. Speaking of which…