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U of L's Downtown Life Sciences Building Expects Summer Completion

The opening of the University of Louisville’s new eight-story downtown life sciences building being constructed near Market and Floyd streets will likely be open this summer, officials say. Nucleus--U of L’s research and development arm--has been building a life sciences corridor downtown that includes a series of buildings to support research, businesses and entrepreneurs.  The new 200,000 square foot building was expected to be complete this month, but Nucleus President and CEO Vickie Yates Brown says the opening will have to wait. “We are probably about 70 to 75 percent completed with the building. We still anticipate having the building completed probably around June or July of this year,” she says. Nucleus is also trying to take advantage of the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program that supports development in impoverished communities like the East Market region where Nucleus is building, Brown says. She says Nucleus should find out in April whether the project will receive the extra financial support through the program, which could be up to $10 million. If the project doesn’t move forward with the federal tax credits, Nucleus will pursue other options to build equity in the new Nucleus building, Brown says. “These are tough times for the federal government and they say they’re going to do something in April and it may not happen. So if it doesn’t we have a plan B,” she says. Brown says Nucleus has seven commitment letters from companies and when the building does open she expects it will be around 60 percent full. The building itself is designed as a “core and shell” building, meaning companies that have signed a lease will be given an allowance to complete the interior portions of their space to fit their operations, Brown says. The building will likely include restaurants, a coffee shop and a conference room on the first floor. Bernheim Forest and Arboretum is designing a rooftop garden that will be accessible to tenants, she says. Brown says she expects the building to be LEED certified.