Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly named the developers involved with the project. The story has been updated.
The July fire at the Whiskey Row development on West Main Street destroyed about 40 percent of the top of the buildings, according to developer Valle Jones.
It could have been much worse though, said Jones, founder of commercial real estate development company Mayin LLC. The heavy timber, arched brick openings and some of the exposed ceilings remain.
“These buildings are like battleships,” she said. “It withstood an explosive fire.”
Jones is co-developing 111 Whiskey Row, 111 through 115 W. Main St., with Craig Greenberg on behalf of a group of prominent Louisville investors.
The historic buildings are slated to house apartments, office space and four restaurants. The development group also sold 117 and 119 W. Main St. to Brown-Forman Corp., which plans to open the Old Forester Distillery there.
Jones said the entire development will open in summer 2017.
The Old Forester Distillery was set to open before the end of 2016, but construction on the project hasn’t started yet because the buildings are still unstable.
Steel and concrete stabilizers were placed in front of the buildings to shore up the facades. However, Jones said workers are having to take down some of the bricks and mortar that have all but crumbled and stabilize the walls between the five separate buildings.
“We don’t know who is holding who up at this point,” Jones said.
By late winter, internal steel structural supports should be in place, and the development can progress as planned.
“We are moving forward,” Jones said, “and we are going to rock the block.”