City to provide up to $1 million for relocation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 21, 2015) — Mayor Greg Fischer today announced a plan to save all or parts of the old Water Company Building and pledged city money to help in the effort.
“The bottom line is we are committed to saving all or parts of the historic old Water Company Building,” Fischer said. “The city is committed to providing up to $1 million dollars toward a relocation effort and we are announcing a 30-day deadline to find a new location and new owner for the building.”
Fischer said the proposed $300 million Omni Hotel complex—which will include 225 apartments, a 600-room hotel and a 20,000 square foot grocery—presents challenges and opportunities relative to the reuse of the old Water Company building. It would cost taxpayers at least an extra $6 million to include property in the Omni and, even then, it would not remotely work with the hotel design.
Fischer outlined three options:
- Move the entire old Water Company building
- Move the portico, the façade, and 25 feet of the side walls
- Move only the portico and place it on public land
Keeping the building in place is not an option, Fischer said. Because of the complexity of moving large structures, the city has been advised that the building should be relocated within a six-block radius of its current site. It could not move under interstate underpasses due to its height.
Fischer said the city, along with preservation leaders, will attempt to find a private donor to accept the property and help provide additional funding necessary to prepare a site, which will need to have a foundation prepared so that the building can be placed on it. Also, funds will need to be raised to pay for the relocation expenses that could include moving street lights and other potential obstacles. The city’s portion of the relocation is not estimated to cover all of these costs, but will be a significant contribution to defray total expenses.
The Omni project will be the largest construction project in the city, outside of the bridges project, and it will create 760 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs.