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    Cordish Out, Omni Stands Alone on Proposed Downtown Skyscraper
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    The familiar Louisville skyline is about to change thanks to Omni Hotels and Resorts. The company will begin construction later this year on a 30-plus story building that will contain a luxury hotel, apartments, and other amenities. Construction is expected to be completed by March of 2018.

    Mayor Greg Fischer says the new project will bring with it more than 760 construction jobs which will include 20% minority owned companies and 5% female owned companies. After all the work is done about 300 full time and part time jobs will be available on a permanent basis to work the various businesses within the space.

    At one time, the Cordish Company, owner and operator of 4th Street Live, was connected to the project with Omni, but now the mayor says Omni will be the sole developer due to expansion of the original plan.

    Don’t weep for Cordish, however. Fischer is giving them $900,000 to abandon the project. He also promised $2.25 million dollars over the next nine years in the form of tax credits.

    Lest we think the store has been given away, funding for the Omni building comes from a public - private partnership where Omni pays 52% of the cost of development with the city and state putting in the rest through a tax increment financial district.

    The Omni project is the first new mega construction announcement since 2006’s Museum Plaza proposal that was eventually abandoned in 2011.

    Museum Plaza was to have been a skyscraper on Museum Row near the Muhammad Ali Center. At 62 stories, it would have also dominated the Louisville skyline as it’s tallest building, dwarfing the 40 story National City Tower by a significant amount.

    The Museum Plaza building would have had a hotel, lofts, condos, retail, a museum and was also to house the University of Louisville’s Master of Fine Arts program.

    The official groundbreaking came in 2007 with construction halted in early 2008 due to engineering problems. By the time they figured out a way around that, money became an issue.

    Things are going full steam ahead for the Omni construction, however, and will bring with its pair of new restaurants, a rooftop cafe, fitness center and, for the first time in a long time, a full service grocery store for downtown residents.

    The project is expected to cost $289 million. No groundbreaking date has been set.

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    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

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