March 2014

Ambitious Louisville Project Includes New Omni


Louisville will get a new four-diamond hotel—along with a much-anticipated downtown grocery, retail shops and 200 apartments—under a $261 million downtown development plan announced by Mayor Greg Fischer and Governor Steve Beshear.

Omni Hotels & Resorts will build a 600-room convention hotel on the old Water Company Block at Third and Liberty streets that will be adjacent to 200 apartments constructed by The Cordish Companies. The project will also include an upscale grocery and retail space for other shops.

The development will be among the largest projects under construction in the region and will be a catalyst for the continued revitalization of downtown Louisville, Fischer said.

He and Beshear were joined by Cordish Director of Development Nick Benjamin and Mike Garcia, Omni’s CFO and Senior Vice President of Development, in making the announcement.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015 and the project will open no later than 2017. The project is a joint deal between Omni, Cordish, Metro Government and the State of Kentucky, which is providing support in the form of a rebate of taxes that will be generated by the project.

The specific components of the project are:

• Omni Louisville Hotel will be the first four-diamond, luxury hotel in the area, and will feature 600 guestrooms and suites, 70,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, fitness center, two full-service restaurants, rooftop pool-side café, street level retail venue and a lobby lounge. The hotel is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification.

• 200 upscale, market-rate apartment units.

• 44,000 square feet of retail including a high quality, full service downtown grocery store.

• 850 space parking garage to service all three major components (hotel, residential and retail/grocery) developed by the Parking Authority of River City.

The hotel and the apartments will share amenities including concierge service that will offer a unique, downtown lifestyle.

Funding Details

The total cost of the project is $261 million, with 51 percent, or $135 million of that, coming directly from private equity ($105M from Omni and $30M from Cordish). The state is contributing $90.5 million or 35 percent of the project through the form of tax rebates.

The city is contributing $35.5 million or 14 percent of the total project. Of that, roughly $17 million is the value of the land, which the city purchased years ago, and about $17 million is to construct a parking garage. There is also $1.5 million of contingency.

The state had previously provided approval for a reimbursement of new tax revenues generated as a result of the project which can be applied toward repayment of the debt obligation. The tax increment incentive will have to be renegotiated based upon changes to the project, but it is anticipated that there will still be a significant state tax increment contribution.

The public sector’s assistance is consistent with comparable developments in other major cities.

A Meetings Mecca

The Omni Louisville Hotel will be the company's first property in Kentucky. Omni will focus on creating exceptional experiences for its guests by showcasing the local flair of Louisville throughout the hotel’s design, décor, culinary and retail venue.

In addition to the 70,000 square feet of meeting space planned for the hotel, meeting and convention attendees will have access to an additional 300,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space at the Kentucky International Convention Center.

The Omni Louisville Hotel will become a part of Omni’s robust and growing Convention Collection, which features signature properties in Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Nashville, Providence and Washington DC, to name a few.

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