Monday, April 09, 2007

River City News Briefs

Downtown Holiday Inn Completes Renovations
The much maligned Holiday Inn Louisville-Downtown has finally completed a much needed 7.5 million dollar renovation project that includes newly refinished guest rooms, lobbies, meeting space, and restaurants. The new features include high speed Internet throughout the building, new fitness room and indoor jacuzzi, new contemporary lobby, new beds, and new fixtures in bathrooms. The hotel now also boasts an "upscale" eatery with patio seating on Broadway. The Holiday Inn is one of the last hotel properties in downtown to complete a major overhaul in recent years. Since the opening of the Louisville Marriott-Downtown, nearly all hotel properties in the CBD have completed major overhauls to compete in a tightening market. And with 1,300 rooms to be added by 2010, including an upscale Westin, downtown hotels will again need to reevaluate their conditions, and plan accordingly.

Developer Plans Class A Space for New Albany
The Charlestown Road corridor of New Albany continues to expand with the announcement of a 16,000 square foot building of Class A Office Space. The building is not large, yet it is significant for the Southern Indiana suburbs, because while they have been able to land plenty of new retail establishments and industrial users, they have nearly no white collar office jobs. In fact, Clark and Floyd counties combined have less than 350,000 square feet of Class A space. A local developer though hopes to help change that fact. He is building his new development near the entrance of the planned Purdue University business incubator and campus. He is banking that "if you build it, they will come." I hope so - Southern Indiana could certainly use some more high paying, quality jobs.

Local Groups Assess Needs of Fort Knox
Fort Knox is going through some growing pains. In 2005 the BRAC realignment meant that the local army installation will be seeing a net gain of 3,500 position - which will translate into around 12,000 new residents in area by mid 2010. Fort Knox and it's surrounding communities (such as Radcliff) are not yet fully prepared for the onslaught of new residents. So local groups are completing needed studies to identify areas of growth potential before the new residents get to town. In the report they're updating the local land-use study for county and municipal governments, they're looking at the local road needs, housing needs, retail and job needs. These new positions at Fort Knox will be one of the largest spurts of growth for the base in a very long time and local governments do not want to be caught unprepared as the local population swells.

New Albany Logistics Firm Adds 50 Employees
L&D Mail Masters, a local logistic firm, announced they will be adding almost 50 new employees to their workforce. The small, New Albany-grown business currently has 100 employees and 20 million dollars in revenue. Their expansion will mean an investment of 4.2 million dollars in buildings and equipment. Salaries will begin in the mid 30,000 dollar range.

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