Omni Hotel development grows in scale, will become Louisville's 3rd tallest building

Omni Hotel development grows in scale, will become Louisville's 3rd tallest building
Mayor Greg Fischer announced details of the development on Jan. 6. (Source: Janelle MacDonald, WAVE 3 News)
Mayor Greg Fischer announced details of the development on Jan. 6. (Source: Janelle MacDonald, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The planned Omni Hotel development in downtown Louisville has grown in scale and will become the city's third tallest building, said Mayor Greg Fischer during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

The building will be more than 30 stories tall and contain 600 hotel rooms topped by 225 luxury apartments on the old Water Company block.



Situated one block from the Kentucky International Convention Center, the new hotel will be a four-diamond, luxury hotel, Fischer said.

Only the National City Tower at 40 stories and the 400 W. Market building at 35 stories will be taller than the new Omni Hotel. The complex will include two restaurants, a lobby lounge, 70,000 square-feet of meeting space, a lobby art gallery, a rooftop cafe, spa and fitness center, swimming pool and grocery. The project will be sustainable, with LEED silver certification.

The $289 million project will be completed no later than March 31, 2018, Fischer said.

The mayor called the project a win-win for Louisville because it will create an estimated 765 construction jobs -- with 20 percent minority and 5 percent woman-owned business participation -- and 320 permanent jobs.

"The investment is transformational for downtown and another sign of the momentum in our city," said Fischer. "We are thrilled to partner with the great team at Omni Hotels & Resorts, a nationally recognized luxury hotel brand, and continue our strong partnership with The Cordish Companies. Outside of the Ohio River Bridges Project, this will be the largest single investment occurring in Louisville."

In March 2014, the mayor announced that Omni would partner with The Cordish Company, developer and owner of Fourth Street Live!, to build a new hotel, apartments and grocery at Third and Jefferson Streets. After further discussion with Cordish, it was decided that Omni will be the sole developer of the project, making it the first Omni property in Kentucky.

Cordish brought the Omni deal to Louisville. "We are very pleased Cordish has delivered a world class development to the city, and we look forward to future partnerships with The Cordish Companies," Fischer said.

"We are looking forward to breaking ground on the new Omni Louisville Hotel," said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts. "We are confident that this new, mixed-use complex and four-diamond hotel will bring additional convention and tourism business to the bustling city of Louisville, and we are excited to be a part of the community."

Cordish will transfer its development rights for the Water Company block.

"We are very pleased to have delivered a world-class development for the city as we promised," said Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies. "Omni will be a great additional to Louisville, and we are pleased they have agreed to flag the convention hotel as part of this $289 million expansion of Fourth Street Live!"

"The Omni will provide the bed capacity needed since the opening of the Yum! Center and provide the quality of place our visitors have come to expect," said Metro Council President Jim King. "I congratulate the mayor and his team for landing such an asset for Louisville. The Metro Council will work carefully but quickly to complete its evaluation of the transaction from which I expect a positive outcome."

Fischer said the project is a public-private partnership with Omni paying 52 percent ($150 million) of the development costs and the city and state providing 48 percent ($139 million), which includes a rebate of taxes generated by the project, $17 million for a parking garage to be constructed and owned by the Parking Authority of River City (PARC) and $17 million, the value of the land.

The city will work with Omni on the final design of the development and receive input from the local historic preservation and workforce communities regarding the design and construction.

WAVE 3 News reporter Janelle MacDonald will have much more on these and other significant changes to the Omni Hotel project tonight on WAVE 3 News at 5.

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