The Closing Bell: Jefferson Mall adds entertainment venue; Ford to resume production; Bevin’s voter registration; JCPS audit cost; & more
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.
Entertainment venue to take over the Macy’s space at Jefferson Mall
By the holidays, the former Macy’s building at Jefferson Mall will be transformed into a state-of-the art entertainment complex called Round1 Bowling and Amusement, according to CBL Properties, which announced the first phase of redevelopment plans this week.
Those plans also include the remaking of the Sears building, CBL said, which will include a mix of dining, entertainment and retail. More details will be announced over the coming months, it added.
Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL Properties, said in a news release that the company was pleased with the progress so far. He added, “The addition of Round1 will position Jefferson Mall as a premier entertainment destination for our customers in the Louisville market and will draw visitors from the surrounding region.”
As its name suggests, Round1 offers bowling and amusements, including billiards, karaoke, arcade games, darts and Ping-Pong, a kids zone, plus food and beverages, according to its website.
Round1 originated in 1980 and has grown into more than 100 locations in Japan. The company opened up its first U.S. store in Industry, Calif., in August 2010. As of May 2018, Round1 has 21 locations in the United States. This will be the first in Kentucky, a company executive said. —Mickey Meece
Ford to resume Super Duty production
Ford Motor Co. plans to resume Super Duty production in Louisville no later than Monday. The automaker had halted production because a fire and explosion at a plant in Michigan disrupted the supply of a critical component.
Ford said in a news release Wednesday that it had “repaired the supply chain for Super Duty.”
“Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers … to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles.”
The company said to re-establish the supply chain for the F-150 it removed 19 dies from the affected Michigan plant and flew one 87,000 pound die from Michigan to Nottingham, England, “via an Antonov cargo plane — one of the largest in the world — in just 30 hours door-to-door.”
“Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of product development and purchasing, said in the release.
A union official had told Insider that the stoppage at Kentucky Truck Plant affected about 2,500 to 3,000 of the plant’s 8,400 hourly workers, and that at least some of them would have to collect unemployment during the shutdown.
The stoppage occurred at an inopportune time because of high demand for the Super Duty. The local union official said that once production resumes, workers should prepare for some “serious overtime.” —Boris Ladwig
Bevin still registered at old address when he voted last week
According to records from the Jefferson County Clerk, Gov. Matt Bevin was still registered at his old address in the Cherokee Gardens neighborhood that he moved out of over a year ago when he voted absentee last week.
As was first reported by the Courier Journal’s Tom Loftus, Bevin purchased a mansion in Anchorage and moved his large family of 11 there in March of last year. After refusing to confirm that move for many weeks, the governor finally said in late May that he and his family moved to the new home — and not the governor’s mansion in Frankfort — in order to take advantage of the Anchorage mansion’s relative size and seclusion.
However, Bevin’s registration card and voting history on file with the clerk’s office shows that when he voted absentee at the clerk’s election center on May 8 — which he shared a photo of in a tweet that day — he had still not updated his registration to his new Anchorage address.
While Bevin has stated that he and his family now live in the Anchorage home, the Jefferson County PVA website shows that he still owns his old house in Cherokee Gardens, which is valued at less than a fourth of his new home.
Asked if voting at the old address is a violation of Kentucky statutes, University of Kentucky election law professor Josh Douglas told Insider Louisville that it depends on whether or not Bevin considers his new home in Anchorage to only be a temporary address.
“The real question would be whether he could make an argument that he intends to return to the (Cherokee Gardens) house and that’s his permanent address,” said Douglas. “So if he can make an argument to that, then he would be OK. It’s really about what the person’s intent is.”
Insider asked the governor’s spokeswoman via email why Bevin did not update his voting registration and if he intends to move his family back into the Cherokee Gardens, but did not receive a response.
In an interview with WDRB last year, Bevin said “the whole point” of moving into the Anchorage mansion was so his large family “had a place that was a little removed, so that you couldn’t just drive by and look in the windows, so that you couldn’t throw something at it, if you were so inclined.” —Joe Sonka
State spent nearly $80K on JCPS audit
The Kentucky Department of Education spent nearly $80,000 of taxpayer money conducting the Jefferson County Public Schools audit over the past 14 months.
KDE spent the bulk of the audit’s $79,959 price tag when several KDE staffers came to town for two weeks in April 2017 to conduct school visits and review documents, according to records obtained by Insider.
For those two weeks, KDE spent right under $68,000 on travel-related expenses, including mileage and the standard state rate for food reimbursement ($8 to $18 depending on the meal). Staffers stayed at the Embassy Suites in Lyndon, also renting a meeting room, which at least one staffer referred to as the “team HQ” on their expense report.
SouthPointe Commons takes shape with anchor tenant
“The demise of brick and mortar retailers has been greatly exaggerated,” said Mike Brown, director of business development for the Barrister Commercial Group, regarding the $80 million SouthPointe Commons development, which now has Lowe’s as an anchor tenant.
Lowe’s, which is expected to open in March 2019, will occupy 160,000 square feet for its estimated $4.5 million project, which is part of Phase 1 of the 363,000-square-foot retail center in Louisville, Brown told Insider.
The center sits on 48 acres off Bardstown Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway. TRIO Commercial Property Group is the leasing company for SouthPointe Commons.
Brown said he and his team are negotiating with a high-end liquor store, a pet store, a bank, a specialty food store, as well as restaurants. For additional phases, they hope to secure fashion retailers, additional restaurants, a movie theater and more. —Mickey Meece
Uspiritus reaps $1 million donation
An organization that serves abused and neglected children will receive $1 million from David and Suzanne Kueber, who are owners in Sun Tan City and the Louisville-area Planet Fitness clubs.
The donation to Uspiritus was announced Tuesday and marks the latest chapter in a long-standing relationship between the Kuebers and the agency, which typically works with more than 1,100 children a year.
Uspiritus was founded in 2012 with the merger of Bellewood Home for Children and Brooklawn Child & Family Services.
“Our experience with Uspiritus has been nothing short of amazing, seeing the work they do working with at-risk children,” David Kueber said in a news release. “Our family has been fortunate to be involved with such a great organization and see firsthand the impact it has on families across the state.”
The money will help Uspiritus to continue assisting boys and girls ages 6-18 who deal with the effects of mental illness, abuse, neglect or other family crises. The agency has residential and community-based programs in Louisville but also oversees services in Bowling Green and Lexington. —Darla Carter
JCPS elementary teacher named best in the state
A Jefferson County Public Schools’ teacher is Kentucky’s 2019 Elementary Teacher of the Year, according to a news release from the district.
NyRee Clayton-Taylor, a creative writing teacher at Wheatley Elementary, received the award in Frankfort on Tuesday. Clayton-Taylor was one of nine semifinalists out of an initial group of 24 teachers in the state.
Clayton-Taylor has taught in JCPS since 1999, initially teaching at Coleridge-Taylor and Fairdale Elementaries, according to the release. She has been at Wheatley for six years and currently teaches creative writing.
“I get to teach creative writing through hip-hop,” Clayton-Taylor said in the release. “We get to talk about issues and the kids get to use their reading and writing skills towards a project.”
The overall Teacher of the Year and middle school award went to Jessica Duenas from Oldham County Middle School. The high school award went to Tiffany Marsh, who teaches at Fayette County’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. —Olivia Krauth
The University of Louisville has hired Thomas Hoy of Dinsmore & Stohl to be its interim general counsel. Hoy has practiced law in Louisville since 1980, according to a news release.
Dr. Brian Holland has been named division chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Louisville. Holland, who previously served as interim chief, practices with UofL Physicians-Pediatric Cardiology and is a veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
Waterfront Botanical Gardens, a $60 million project in Butchertown, has hired Whittenberg Construction to build its first building the Graeser Family Education Center, an education/event venue that will accommodate 250 people and is expected to open in fall 2019.
An affiliate of Duncan Galloway Egan Greenwald said it had purchased an office building at 9625 Ormsby Station Road. Terms were not released. The firm, which currently leases office space at 9750 Ormsby Station Road, plans to occupy the building in the coming months.