The Closing Bell: Grinstead apartments sell, McConnell says ACA is ‘crashing,’ Louisville tops for homeownership, and 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.
Grinstead apartment complex sells for $4.2 million
Two down, two to still to sell.
Insider Louisville first reported last year that developer Steve Poe was looking to offloaded four of his five multifamily residential properties — every one except RiverPark Place.
He sold the first, the 96-unit Preston Gardens, in February for $8.05 million to Lakeshore Club LLC.
The second is Grinstead Place, a 28-unit apartment complex near Louisville Collegiate School. The deal closed on Aug. 19.
A family from California bought Grinstead Place for $4.2 million, Craig Collins, executive vice president at Commercial Kentucky, told IL.
“The California investor really liked Louisville, especially the Highlands location. He felt there would always be tenants,” Collins said.
Robert Corry is listed as the owner of Kentucky Bluegrass LLC, the company that bought Grinstead Place.
The remaining two residential properties that Poe is trying to sell are The Woods at Lexington Road, a 72-unit apartment building at 2139 Lexington Road near the Beargrass Creek Greenway, and Dundee Place, a 20-unit complex at 2242 Dundee Road off Bardstown Road. Collins said The Woods at Lexington Road property is close to selling as well. —Caitlin Bowling
McConnell: Affordable Care Act ‘is crashing’
As some big insurers are fleeing the state health exchanges, including Kentucky’s Kynect, U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, predicted big changes for the Affordable Care Act next year.
According to The Associated Press, McConnell said in Louisville this week that whoever wins the White House in November will have to make big changes to the health care law, because it is “is crashing.”
Big health insurance companies including Louisville-based Humana have said they are struggling with higher-than-expected costs incurred by customers who sign up for insurance through the exchanges, which are a central part of the health care act, known informally as “Obamacare.”
Many big insurers are scaling back their participation on the exchanges. As IL reported this week, Kynect customers in 54 counties next year will be offered plans from just one insurer.
While states and the federal government are tweaking portions of the law, McConnell said that the law “can’t possibly go on like this,” the AP reported.
“My prediction is that ‘Obamacare’ will be revisited next year, no matter who wins the election, no matter who’s in control of Congress,” McConnell said. “Because things that can’t work, won’t work, and will need to be revisited by popular demand from people all across the country.”
Louisville among top cities for homeownership
Louisville-Jefferson County has cracked the top 10 in BankRate‘s ranking of best and worst cities for homeowners.
The financial news website’s study looked at 50 metropolitan areas and considered eight factors: home affordability, price appreciation, property tax rates, homeowners’ insurance, energy costs, maintenance costs, foreclosures, and how much rents increased during the last six years.
Louisville ranked No. 9, after scoring highly in terms of affordability, property tax rates and energy costs. The city ranked poorly in property value appreciation.
Notably, cities in middle America tended to do well in the rankings.
“Out of the top 15 metro areas, only one is within 250 miles of an ocean,” Bankrate.com analyst Claes Bell said in a news release. “Homeowners in America’s largest coastal cities face a number of challenges, ranging from sky-high mortgage payments gobbling up an outsized portion of homeowners’ incomes to high property insurance rates, especially in hurricane-prone areas, and our ranking reflects that.” —Caitlin Bowling
Climbing and beer? NuLu business contemplating beer sales
In the evenings after Climb NuLu shuts down, owner Joe Anderson will sometimes go for a drink, and he often sees customers grabbing a beer at one of the neighborhood’s watering holes as well.
The observation has led Anderson to consider applying for a license to sell beer at his rock-climbing gym. Other similar gyms in the United States and abroad serve beer, and customers seem to like it, Anderson told Insider Louisville, adding that he wouldn’t expect beer sales to be a major revenue stream.
“We are not trying to be a bar,” he said. “It’s more for a community space.”
Anderson hasn’t applied for a malt beverage license yet and hasn’t decided 100 percent whether he will or not. If Climb NuLu does start selling beer though, he said, climbers will only be able to imbibe after they are done climbing.
Humana exec to deliver keynote
Humana Chief Innovation Officer Chris Kay will deliver the opening keynote address of a coming health conference in Nashville.
The Oct. 3 conference — called Distributed: Health — will involve health care and technology leaders from around the world to discuss how to employ blockchain technology to improve health care. A blockchain is a distributed database that keeps a permanent and tamper-proof record of transaction data. The tech was created for bitcoin to get around the problem of how to create digital property without a central hub that keeps track of who owns what.
David Bailey, CEO of BTC Media, publisher of Distributed, said he is thrilled that Humana is trying to apply the technology in the health care field.
“This should serve as a wake-up call for the entire industry that distributed ledgers can offer solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing payers and providers today,” Bailey said. ”We expect to see a Cambrian explosion of use cases for blockchain tech in health care, just as we’ve seen in the financial services industry over the past 24 months.”
Good Garbage closing its retail store at the end of the month
The future of the nonprofit Good Garbage is as yet unknown, but we do know that the owner is closing the creative reuse retail store at the end of September.
Good Garbage, started in 2013 by Lynn Quire, sold donated “garbage” — craft supplies that were gently used or surplus that would otherwise be thrown out — to crafters, teachers, artists, schools and more.
In a news release, Quire mourned the closing: “We have diverted 75,000 pounds of materials, served thousands of teachers, artists and children through outreach at community centers, schools, workshops and community events and supplying inexpensive materials over the past 3 plus years. When you have physically touched almost every ounce of that 75,000 pounds, it is personal and hard to let go.”
The business started in the Portland neighborhood and then relocated to Frankfort Avenue in 2015.
Good Garbage’s workshop will be operating until the end of the year. There are events planned throughout the fall and the space is available for birthdays, scout troop outings or other events.
According to the release: “In-kind donations during September will be placed on hold. Supplies in stock, which are already deeply discounted, will be further discounted. After the store is closed it will be determined what, if any, in-kind donations will be accepted by appointment only, to help supply teachers with things they may need. Many donations will be diverted through referrals to other nonprofit organizations who can use them.” —Melissa Chipman
Take an electric vehicle for a spin
EvolveKY will participate in the once-a-month outdoor bazaar from 11 a..m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 1007 E. Jefferson St.
The club is inviting people to “see first-hand what makes electric cars cleaner, more cost effective and more fun to drive than their gasoline counterparts.”
EvolveKY members have anything from expensive electric sports cars to moderately priced commuter vehicles. They aim “to help spread the adoption of EVs by increasing the number and variety of charging options in and around Louisville.”
The club this summer unveiled a new charging station at The Highland Green Building, 1401 Bardstown Road.
Evolve KY targets primarily locations such as shopping areas and parks, where drivers can charge their vehicles while engaging in activities that last 45 minutes or more.
Those interested in sponsoring a station can contact Evolve KY at 502-644-1719 or email and get more information on the group’s Facebook page. —Boris Ladwig
Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall ranked 20th in highest ticket-selling venues worldwide
The Pollstar trade publication recently compiled its list of the 100 top-selling venues worldwide, and the Kentucky Center‘s Whitney Hall landed at slot No. 20, just behind Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium. The mid-year report is based on ticket sales; the Whitney sold 134,224 between Jan. 1 and June 30 of 2016.
“The community has embraced Whitney Hall as a world class theater for many years,” said Kim Baker, president of the Kentucky Center, in a press release. “This recognition demonstrates the passion and enthusiasm Kentucky audiences have for the performing arts.”
Athletic clothing company opening first Louisville store
Athleta will open in a 2,979-square-foot space at the East End shopping center, according to a building permit issued by the city. The build-out cost for the shop is nearly $215,000, the permit states.
This will be the first location anywhere close to Louisville. The nearest Athleta currently is in Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. IL reached out to the media relations office for Athleta to see when the Louisville store will open but hasn’t heard back.
According to its website, Athleta has more than 100 stores. It sells a gamut of athletic and leisure clothing, from running gear to swimsuits and yoga pants to casual clothes that a woman might that say “I work out” even if she doesn’t. Prices for various item the most part are $30 and up.
Surveillance video and social media help catch Monkey Wrench thieves
Last week, Insider reported the news that the Highlands bar the Monkey Wrench had been broken into for a second time in the span of a couple years. The two perpetrators stole a safe that contained about $1,500 in cash and a Washburn banjo valued at $1,200.
Nearly four days after our story ran and owner Dennie Humphrey posted photos of the burglars on Facebook — a post that was shared more than 2,500 times — Louisville Metro Police found the two men they believe are responsible: Joseph Jaggers and Damian Graves were served with warrants for third-degree burglary and detained.
Humphrey shared the good news on his Facebook page: “The city of Louisville prevails … See, if we all work together, the people of the city will be the true heroes. Thank you all for the likes and shares, and thanks to the media for all of your interest.”
He tells Insider he has not gotten his banjo or the money back yet, but “there is still hope in all ways,” he says.
Bingham Fellows 2017: applications open, theme announced
Applications to the 2017 Bingham Fellows class are open now. The program has selected the theme “Winning the Talent of the Future” as the focus for the year. They’ll be studying ways to develop, retain and attract talent to the city.
Leadership Louisville’s Bingham Fellows program has been around for more than 20 years. It’s the most advanced program that Leadership Louisville offers. During the program, participants work in teams and serve as social entrepreneurs, creating sustainable practices toward advancing an issue that is prevailing in Louisville.
Lowe’s donation to help renovate Parklands Boys and Girls Club
Lowe’s has created an initiative called “Renovation across the Nation,” which awards one Boys and Girls club in each state $50,000 for critical repairs. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana is this state’s recipient and the money will go toward much needed repairs to the Parklands Club.
Renovations include a new gym floor, new flooring in the Teen Room, and the installation of a green screen and sound recording studio for a media room.
“This Lowe’s grant makes it possible for us to continue to engage the body, mind and soul of local youth in the safe and welcoming environment of our Parklands Club,” said Jennifer Helgeson, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, in a news release. “We are very excited for the youth we serve to begin using the new media equipment that will allow them to engage in sound and video engineering as well as artistic expression.”
Lowe’s volunteers from its Lowe’s Heroes program will be involved with the renovation, lending a hand and helping to source materials. The renovation is expected to begin soon and conclude in December. —Melissa Chipman