Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.
CafePress to move headquarters to Shelbyville Road
Some of CafePress’s shipping boxes may become moving boxes.
The publicly traded Louisville company has been searching for a new headquarters in the East End and recently settled on a place along Shelbyville Road, according to an Oct. 13 document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
CafePress agreed to buy a 1.6-acre property at 11909 Shelbyville Road in Middletown for $1.8 million from Hameron Properties I LLC, a company owned by Dr. Ronald Hamm, the document states. The custom products company will pay $1.65 million upon closing and the remaining $150,000 once some post-close conditions are met.
The contract between the two companies allows for a 60-day due diligence period. Within 30 days of that period ending, CafePress expects to close on the property.
The Shelbyville Road plot includes a 25,000-square-foot building. A second filing by CafePress on Oct. 21 gives the rehabilitation center NeuroRestorative Kentucky first right of refusal to lease all or a portion of the building. The first right of refusal lasts until Jan. 31, 2021.
CafePress CEO Fred Durham could not be reached for comment, but he told Business First in August that he was looking for about 10,000 square feet to serve as the company’s headquarters. Right now, CafePress executives work out of offices at its 180,000-square-foot factory at 6901 A Riverport Drive. —Caitlin Bowling
Kentucky best in nation for early retirees, says finance advice company
Thanks to its lenient tax rules and low cost of living, Kentucky is the best place in America for early retirement, according to a personal finance advice company.
SmartAsset.com said beyond natural beauty, the state is a haven for early retirees because they get to keep a lot of their income and they do not have to spend as much on living expenses as early retirees in other states.
Kentucky exempts the first $41,110 in retirement income from income taxes, “and unlike similar rules in other states, there is no age restriction on who can claim the deduction,” the company wrote.
Kentucky’s average annual housing costs, at $8,544, are the fourth-lowest in the nation.
“Likewise, living expenses in Kentucky’s largest cities, including Louisville and Lexington, compare favorably to other major U.S. cities,” the company wrote.
South Dakota ranked second. Wyoming, Tennessee and Mississippi rounded out the top five. Four of the top 10 places identified by SmartAsset.com had special rules that reduced taxes on early retirees.
In August, SmartAsset.com had named Louisville the best place in the nation to retire on a budget. “Homeowners over age 65 qualify for a homestead exemption on their property taxes, and the state sales tax is relatively low at 6 percent,” the company wrote.
In addition, the median home value was about $96,000, and cost of living in Louisville was about 7 percent below the national average.
Nonetheless, the low-cost environment does not seem to have enticed many retirees to Kentucky or Louisville.
According to the Census Bureau, the share of residents aged 65 and older in Louisville, at 12.6 percent, is smaller than in Kentucky, 13.3, percent, which is lower than the nation’s average. Florida’s share of residents age 65 and above, for example, is 19.1 percent. Arizona’s is 15.9 percent.
Try SmartAsset.com’s Kentucky tax calculator here. —Boris Ladwig
Humana, Aetna share price see steep declines
Shares of Humana, Aetna and other health care companies have been hammered in the last two days, with Humana’s stock price falling nearly $21 or 11.2 percent.
Humana’s shares closed at $165.11 Thursday, down from $185,92 on Tuesday. Shares of Aetna, which plans to buy the Louisville-based company, fell 7.6 percent during the same span.
Shares of rivals Cigna and Anthem, which also are in the process of merging, fell 8.1 percent and 6 percent in the two-day span.
This comes in the wake of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton saying on Wednesday that she has “serious concerns” about the proposed mergers.
New York restaurant owner opening concept in Louisville
Edward Lee isn’t the only New York chef to see potential in Louisville.
“When I tell people in New York City I am opening a restaurant in Kentucky, they go ‘Where? Why?’” Cadolini told Insider Louisville.
Cadolini’s father-in-law is originally from Louisville, and Cadolini has visited a few times.
Casual talk about opening a restaurant in Louisville turned into looking for a location last Thanksgiving. After about six months of searching, he found 1327 Bardstown Road, next to Dustin Staggers’ Roux, in the space formerly occupied by Butterfly Garden Cafe.
“It’s beautiful; that spot, I love it,” said Cadolini, a native of Sorrento, Italy.
ROC Restaurant serves “traditional Italian with a touch of American,” Cadolini said, adding that some American tastes have seeped into his cooking after many years.
Cadolini said he believes his restaurant fits in Louisville because its New York prices aren’t out of line with some of Louisville’s nicer eateries. Dinner prices range from $9 for a mixed green salad to $32 for grilled fish with mixed greens and home fries.
However, he does plan to make some tweaks to fit the Highlands and Louisville. He will make sure bourbon is highlighted along with the traditional Italian Negroni and Italian wines.
ROC Restaurant’s first floor will include a large bar and provide a more casual atmosphere. The second floor will be white table cloth and cater to people looking for a special night out.
“That neighborhood, if you do too fine dining, it is not the right neighborhood,” Cadolini said. “It is going to be an upbeat, buzzing atmosphere.”
Not much work is needed to turn the space into ROC Restaurant, Cadolini said.
“The second floor, we are almost not touching it. There is not much construction, just image and look.”
The biggest expense will be building out the kitchen and opening up the first floor into one large space. The décor will be simple, with white walls and dark brown wood.
Cadolini plans to bring in an Italian chef either from New York City or straight from Italy as well as a manager from his Tribeca ROC Restaurant to manage the Louisville restaurant. He will hire 15 to 20 people locally to fill other positions.
He also plans to ease into the Louisville market with a limited menu and soft opening in January. Cadolini said he wants to make sure the New York menu can be replicated in Louisville, adding that all his pasta is made by hand. —Caitlin Bowling
Louisville looking at entrepreneurship centers
While we’re pretty concerned about all the recent shakeups at Greater Louisville Inc., one wing of the chamber of commerce still seems like it’s getting stuff done.
When Terry Gill left as director of EnterpriseCorp, an editorial about Louisville’s need for an entrepreneurship center was his mic drop.
He said, “Our region is on the verge of a seismic shift as one of our most successful startups, Humana, merges with Aetna next year. A successful merger would unleash a historic amount of liquidity as stock options are exercised. Some percentage of this fresh capital should recycle within our community in the form of private investments in existing or newly formed private companies.”
So we need to make sure resources are in place to make it “easy” to transition into entrepreneurship.
Well, EnterpriseCorp’s Amelia Gandara has picked up the mic and is seeking to further Gill’s dream for an entrepreneurship center. One that harbors “pre-accelerators, vertical-specific and general incubators, innovation centers, maker spaces, and venues for creative programming and community outreach.”
Gandara has been visiting similar centers in Nashville, the Carolinas and Kansas City and doing extensive interviews with stakeholders.
‘Dream Funders’ lands at the Frazier
The local “Shark Tank”-style reality show “Dream Funders” has decided to film at the Frazier History Museum. The show, which is still seeking investors and “dreamers” or entrepreneurs, will air on WBNA starting in January. It’s hosted by Melissa Fraser, a partner at Strothman and Company.
“’Dream Funders’ celebrates local entrepreneurs and investors and we could not think of a better place than a Museum that was founded by one of the city’s most noted philanthropists and businessmen. We were looking for a location that would make a colorful backdrop and was a Louisville Landmark, and we found a wealth of each in the Frazier,” said Tom Fawbush, GM of WBNA.
Liquor Barn named ‘Best Multiple Outlet Retailer’ by Whisky Magazine
You mean you can’t find more than 400 bourbons at every liquor store around the country? Hell, it’s tough to find that many at most outlets in Kentucky, but thanks to Liquor Barn, we usually have no problem finding the bourbon we want (unless it’s Pappy) at one of its 15 stores throughout the state. Whisky Magazine just honored Liquor Barn of Kentucky with the title of “Best Multiple Outlet Retailer” of the year in America, and it will compete globally next year for another coveted award.
The magazine praised the regional chain for its nice selection of craft brands.
“In the whiskey category, they have everything from popular products that turn high volume to specialty brands that are almost a nuisance to carry,” said David Sweet, senior vice president of the magazine, in a press release. “There aren’t a lot of retailers who can carry that type of selection and maintain it across all their stores.”
Brad Williams, director of spirits for Liquor Barn for the past 20 years, attributes the award to his well-educated staff.
“Because we’re in the heart of bourbon country, we naturally know a lot about whiskey,” he said in the release.
“People think of us as a large retailer. So they know we carry a lot of products,” said Williams. “But when they see how we display and present whiskey, they see our passion and expertise in the whiskey category. Our staff knows where everything is and how to locate it in an instant. And if someone wants to talk about whiskey, we’ve got the time.”
James Beard Foundation and Food Tank recognize food-focused nonprofit
The renowned culinary organization James Beard Foundation and food think tank Food Tank have acknowledged six Louisville food-focused nonprofits in its second annual Good Food Organization Guide.
The guide features almost 1,000 food-related nonprofits around the United States. Those from Louisville are:
- Louisville Grows: The nonprofit has built multiple orchards in the Portland neighborhood and has another in the works in the Russell neighborhood. It provides greater access to fresh food.
- New Roots: The nonprofit runs Fresh Stops around the city that provide fresh and affordable food in areas where such produce is not readily available.
- Organic Association of Kentucky: The nonprofit promotes organic farming throughout the state and provides educational and advisory services.
- Seed Capital Ky: The nonprofit is behind the proposed West Louisville FoodPort, a 24-acre project at 30th Street that will include a demonstration garden, a mile-long walking trail, a visitors center, retail space and a regional hub for farmers to collect, distribute and package products.
- Tallgrass Farm Foundation: The nonprofit offers complimentary cooking classes and healthy food preparation demonstrations. It also promotes sustainable farming.
- The Food Literacy Project: The nonprofit offers farm-based educational classes to schools, teachers and community groups.
To learn more about the guide and the nonprofits it highlights, visit www.goodfoodorgguide.com. —Caitlin Bowling