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.
International real estate and investment firm acquires Noveen Consulting
The acquisition of the Louisville-based health care consulting firm Noveen Consulting by Fortune 500 company CBRE Group is “a good marriage for us,” Noveen’s founder Mo Deljoo told Insider in a phone interview.
Acquisitions are “kind of the nature of the business,” Deljoo said, adding that the company already had been working with CBRE’s health care division for 17 years when the deal was struck.
Companies working in the health care industry want to be a kind of one-stop shop. Noveen complements the work of CBRE’s health care division, which helps U.S. health care systems cut costs and monetize assets, as well as deals in facilities and project management, the release notes. Noveen offers services including facility condition assessments, energy management and technology consulting.
“The environment for health care providers continues to evolve rapidly, and Noveen gives CBRE another significant advantage in helping our clients to achieve innovative facility and technology outcomes,” Curt Grantham, global president of project management at CBRE, said in the release.
Both Deljoo and a spokesman for CBRE declined to say what the acquisition price was or how many employees work at Noveen Consulting. CBRE has retained Deljoo and Noveen’s employees, and operations will continue out of Louisville.
“That was part of the deal,” Deljoo said, adding that he expects the consulting operation to grow because CBRE already has a broad base of customers in the health care industry, and the investment firm has more capital it can infuse into the operation.
In addition to running Noveen, Deljoo continues to expand his real estate holdings. He owns the former Hilltop Theater, which is now becoming a hub of real estate activity, and the former Third Lutheran Church, located at 1757 Frankfort Ave. The church is still available for lease by commercial real estate company PRG.
Most recently, with help from PRG, Deljoo purchased an office building at 624 W. Main St. as an investment property for $1.9 million.
“I just like the area,” Deljoo told Insider, citing the boom in downtown bourbon attractions. “I feel optimistic about the future of that portion of downtown.” —Caitlin Bowling
In the past week, several developers and property owners have filed applications with the city for new developments or additions to existing ones. Here’s a quick look at some projects that could soon be under construction in two areas of Louisville:
Two separate mixed-use commercial developments may be headed to the same section of Fern Creek.
Property owner Ken Towery filed plans with Louisville Metro Planning & Design Services to construct 16,575 square feet of commercial space, split among four buildings at 7714 and 7718 Bardstown Road. The proposed uses include a restaurant with an outdoor patio, two retail spaces and a coffee shop with a drive-thru and outdoor seating. The development would have 131 parking spaces.
A different project, at 7710 Bardstown Road, also calls for multiple uses: a credit union, more than 7,000 square feet of retail and an eight-bay auto service shop. An application to rezone the property from C-1 to C-2 was filed by the property owner Park Community Credit Union.
Also filed recently were planning documents for two projects off Blankenbaker Parkway but just on opposing sides of Interstate 64.
Real estate development firm Pinnacle Properties of Louisville wants to expand Blankenbaker Centre, located at 11820 Ransum Drive, with another new office condo. The building would be nearly 45,000 square feet, according to documents filed with the city, and be leased to a business or businesses. If approved, the office condo would be constructed on underused parking lot space, the developer noted.
Not far away at 1801 Tucker Station Road, Blankenbaker Station Business Park could undergo an expansion as well. Developer Greg Oakley, who created the business park with partner John Hollenbach, filed plans for a four-story, 72,000-square-foot office building with a 303-space parking lot.
The more than 540-acre business park is regularly expanding, and the partners Hollenbach and Oakley have plans to grow along the $1.5-million Urton Lane Extension between Rehl and Taylorsville roads. —Caitlin Bowling
Kentucky has a new Medicaid commissioner, according to the state.
Carol Steckel, a former WellCare Health Plans executive, started Sept. 4, the Kentucky Cabinet from Health and Family Services announced. She has led Medicaid programs in multiple states and has more than 20 years of experience at “transforming health care delivery systems.”
Steckel will earn $120,000 in the position and oversee an $11 billion budget at a time when the Bevin administration is waiting to hear whether it will be able to move forward with its Medicaid overhaul, Kentucky HEALTH.
The section 1115 Medicaid waiver is now under federal review due to a legal challenge. The state also is facing a nearly $300 million shortfall in the Medicaid budget over the next two years, state officials have said.
Steckel replaces Jill Hunter, who’s moved to the position of senior deputy commissioner and will be heading up the redesign of home and community-based services waiver programs, also known as 1915(c) waivers.
Steckel comes to her new job from WellCare, where she was involved in Medicaid policy development as senior director of alliance development. She also has been director of Medicaid administration in North Carolina, the Medicaid commissioner for Alabama, and director of health care innovation in Louisiana, where she led that state’s response to the Affordable Care Act.
Cabinet Secretary Adam Meier praised both Steckel and Hunter in a news release, saying, “Carol is a nationally known Medicaid leader and will bring additional expertise to the Agency,” while “Jill’s passion and understanding of the vulnerable populations served by the 1915(c) waivers is unmatched.”
Steckel and Hunter’s new roles were among several announced Tuesday by the Cabinet. David Gray, a former president of Baptist Health Louisville, has been named the director of provider relations. He will offer outreach and education to providers about issues and policies that affect them. He’ll also identify ways to reduce red tape. —Darla Carter
Spalding University has already beat its original fundraising goal by more than $10 million and still has years to spare.
The university announced that it has raised $30.4 million since undertaking its largest capital campaign to date.
When starting the campaign in 2014, Spalding initially aimed to raise $20 million by 2020, a news release said. Officials bumped the goal to $30 million in 2016.
“Through this campaign, we have provided our students and the community with more resources and services while making our campus greener and more beautiful,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said in the release.
Nearly $11 million went to student scholarships, and another $7 million went to boost the amount of green space on the downtown campus. Donations have funded several other renovations and outdoor projects, including an athletic fields complex set to be finished in late spring 2019. —Olivia Krauth
Angel’s Envy wants to give back what it’s been taking from the land — oak trees — and the Louisville-based bourbon company needs help.
For every photo shared on social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) of someone consuming Angel’s Envy, a new white oak tree will be planted in Kentucky and around the region. Social media posts must include #ToastTheTrees.
The effort is part of Angel’s Envy’s “Toast the Trees” campaign, which started Sept. 1. The goal this year is to get 20,000 hashtags.
The campaign is nationwide, and bars from each state have partnered to help with the cause. In Louisville, those include Butchertown Social, Couvillion, Louvino, Mr. Lee’s, Silver Dollar and many more.
In other Angel’s Envy news, the Henry County Local reported that Louisville Distilling Co. — the legal name of Angel’s Envy — is looking to purchase 354 acres in Henry County, Ky., to build a second distillery and five rick houses.
Angel’s Envy would not comment about the project at this time.
According to the Henry County Local, the new distillery would generate an estimated $1.7 million in tax revenue for the area, and it would keep the historical aspects of the site intact, including some barns, a lake and a cemetery.
And according to a report by WDRB News, the county’s planning commission approved the zoning change for the land in late August. —Sara Havens
The Historic Locust Grove has been entertaining locals and those just passing through since 1792, and now the mansion and museum is guaranteed to keep doing the same for many more years thanks to a $1 million gift from the late B. Preston Thomas.
Thomas worked with Locust Grove for more than 20 years, from serving on the board as president, treasurer and secretary, to even filling in as executive director at one point. His wife, Margy Thomas, helped facilitate the donation to the museum.
“From collecting tickets to working on financial statements, Preston enjoyed being part of the Locust Grove community,” Thomas said in a news release. “He never sought recognition for anything he did — he would be embarrassed at the attention — but would be delighted that he was able to do something for a place and people he believed in so deeply.”
The gift will go toward Locust Grove’s $3.2 million capital campaign, which will help enhance the 55-acre site — from renovating the visitor’s center to building a pavilion to improving access.
“Preston Thomas supported the work of Locust Grove in ways that were apparent and in ways that were invisible, but so crucial to our success over the past decades,” Locust Grove Executive Director Carol Ely said in the release. “It is wonderful, and so characteristic of Preston, that he leaves a generous legacy gift to realize the vision of a more engaging, strong and vibrant Locust Grove for the future.”
Locust Grove is owned by Metro Louisville and managed through Metro Parks & Recreation in partnership with Historic Locust Grove Inc. It’s located at 561 Blankenbaker Lane. —Sara Havens
The Old National Bank Foundation has given the Greater Louisville Foundation a $10,000 grant to teach underserved communities about entrepreneurial resources available through GLI’s EnterpriseCorp, according to a news release.
The Community Foundation of Louisville announced a $50,000 increase in its bonus and prize pool funds for the fifth-annual Give for Good Louisville on Sept. 13. Participating nonprofits can vie for more than $340,000 by achieving three tiers of donation levels, the foundation said. The event raised $4.6 million in 2017, it said. (Insider Louisville is participating.)