The Closing Bell: El Camino update; Tucker Station apartments moving forward; Edumedics changes its name; Thorntons HQ plans; 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.
Movement on the future El Camino site
Plans are finally moving ahead for El Camino’s revival on Goss Avenue.
Shawn Cantley, a local attorney and one of the owners of the closed El Camino restaurant, filed a pre-application for a conditional use permit this week that, if approved, would allow outdoor alcohol sales and consumption at 1301 Goss Avenue.
The preapplication noted that Cantley also plans to file an application in the future with Metro Planning & Design Service asking for permission to construct a one-story, 5,000-square-foot restaurant with an outdoor patio on that site.
The Goss Avenue site was formerly home to the antique shop Yesternook, but Cantley and partners at Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger PLC bought the property in February 2017, Insider Louisville reported. The Yesternook building has since been repurposed as offices for the law firm.
The plan has always been that once renovations of the building were completed, work would begin on building a new space for El Camino, a tiki bar and restaurant that formerly operated on Bardstown Road. The restaurant building will be constructed from the ground up next to the law office; the two businesses will share a parking lot.
Out-of-town developer acquires property for apartment project
Cityscape Residential, an Indianapolis-based developer that has built two apartment complexes in Louisville, is moving forward with plans for another.
The company closed on 38 acres at 1411 Tucker Station Road; the price was $3.6 million, according to the local commercial real estate brokerage firm Horizon Commercial Realty, which represented Cityscape in the deal.
Cityscape previously announced plans to construct a 370-unit apartment complex called Tucker Station Apartments on the property. The development includes units with one, two and three bedrooms, many with attached garages, and amenities such as expansive natural areas, a pool and a clubhouse.
According to a news release from Horizon Commercial Realty, Cityscape has received a $39.6 million construction loan from Regions Bank.
Insider reached out to a spokeswoman with the company, who could not be reached.
Cityscape also is working on a fourth Louisville development called Flats at Springhurst, a 249-unit complex across from The Paddock Shops. —Caitlin Bowling
Edumedics raises $9.5M, changes name
Louisville-based health care company Edumedics has changed its name to SentryHealth following the completion of a $9.5 million Series A financing round.
The company announced that it has named health care investor Bruce Lunsford as its board chairman; he joined the Edumedics board in 2015. Lunsford’s investment company, Lunsford Capital, led the Series A round.
Edumedics, now SentryHealth, was founded in 2010 and helps employers cut medical costs by identifying employees with a chronic disease or at risk of developing one and providing care on-site, in nearby clinics or via telehealth.
People with chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes “typically account for up to 75 percent of an employer’s medical costs because employees with chronic diseases are often unable to effectively manage their conditions over the long-run, resulting in complications such as kidney failure and heart disease,” the company stated. —Boris Ladwig
Thorntons wants to use headquarters land for retail, hotel and restaurants
Louisville-based convenience company Thorntons wants Louisville Metro’s approval to develop more than offices on property it owns on Old Henry Road.
Thorntons bought almost 29 acres along Old Henry Road, just off the Gene Snyder Freeway, in early 2016 for around $38 million. The company, which owns more than 15,500 U.S. convenience stores, built its multimillion-dollar headquarters on a portion of the property, with plenty of room for future expansion.
It also apparently left room for other businesses. Thorntons this week filed an application with Metro Planning & Design Services, asking to rezone 8.3 acres of land from office-residential to commercial, which would pave the way for the development of a hotel, two restaurants, a coffee shop with a patio, a retail store and a bank, according to the filing.
A spokeswoman with Thorntons said the company is not commenting on its plans at this time. However, a letter written by the attorney representing the company said, “Thorntons believes this mix of uses will serve nearby office and medical uses as well as the neighborhoods near the subject properties.”
The property is located next to KentuckyOne Health’s Medical Center Jewish Northeast.
According to the application, the hotel would be five stories and 110 rooms. The two restaurants would be roughly 5,600 square feet, and one would have patio seating. The bank, coffee shop and 4,200-square-feet of retail would all be located in a single strip center. The plans call for 354 parking spaces.
It was reported last month that Thorntons may be looking to sell its stores. —Caitlin Bowling
Antitrust scrutiny prompts Churchill Downs to cancel casino purchase
Churchill Downs has canceled its planned $51 million purchase of a Mississippi casino after scrutiny from antitrust regulators.
The Louisville-based racing/gaming company said in March that it planned to buy the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Miss., and the Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pa., for $229.5 million in cash.
However, on Monday, the company said that it was terminating its agreement to acquire the Lady Luck Casino “in consideration of the time and expense needed to reply to” a Federal Trade Commission request for “additional information and documentary material … pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.”
Churchill Downs will pay Eldorado Resorts, the owner of both casinos, a $5 million termination fee, provided the parties execute an agreement where Churchill Downs takes over operations of the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Pa., for $100,000. The parties said they expect that transaction to close in the fourth quarter.
Actuator maker plans expansion
A Danish manufacturer plans to expand its Louisville operations.
LINAK US, which produces actuators and actuator systems used in health care, furniture, agriculture and other industries, plans to build a 40,000-square-foot office and warehouse, according to filings with the city.
LINAK, which is based in southern Denmark, built its facility on Stanley Gault Parkway in 1999. According to documents filed with the city, LINAK is seeking a zoning change for a property at 1701 N. English Station Road so that it can build a warehouse that connects to properties that LINAK owns to the east and north.
LINAK in late 2016 announced plans to invest $33 million in Louisville and to add 400 employees here as it expected U.S. sales to double in five years.
More details about the latest expansion were not available, and the company could not be immediately reached.
Feds make Humana pay back wages
Humana has paid $128,422 in back wages to 17 employees for violating record keeping and overtime laws, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a news release
The Louisville-based insurer paid the wages after an investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division determined that the company failed to pay employees in the Grievance and Appeal Division for work they performed after their shifts were scheduled to end.
The DOL said Humana paid the employees only for their scheduled 40 hours, but not for any overtime.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that employees receive the wages they have legally earned for all the hours they have worked,” Karen Garnett, WHD’s district director in Louisville, said in the release. “We encourage employers to contact us with any questions they may have and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them understand their obligations and to comply with the law.” —Boris Ladwig
Grocery store Fresh Market is closing one of its two Louisville locations, 10480 Shelbyville Road, along with 14 other stores nationwide sometime in the next month. Fresh Market CEO Larry Appel told Fortune in a statement that the stores were underperforming.
Ann Coffey has become interim CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides consulting, professional development and other assistance to nonprofits in the region. Coffey replaces Greg Nielsen, who recently stepped down to pursue other opportunities.
Louisville tied with San Francisco for the No. 8 spot on SpareFoot’s “Best Cities for Registered Nurses Right Now.” Done in collaboration with ZipRecruiter, the report says, “While landing a job here may take a little more effort, those looking for an affordable place to live while earning an above average salary will find Louisville fits the bill.” Providence, R.I. took the top spot, and Cincinnati nabbed No. 10.