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Jim Porter's to Be Torn Down to Make Way For MSD Storage Basin Project

MSD sewer
Creative Commons
MSD sewer

The Metropolitan Sewer District will purchase Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium on Lexington Road for $5 million, the agency announced Thursday.

MSD plans to use the site in "conjunction with the construction of the proposed Interstate 64/Grinstead Drive CSO Storage Basin," according to a statement released Thursday.

The building will be demolished by the end of the year, said MSD chief engineer Steve Emly.

Emly said he expects Jim Porter's to be shuttered within three to six months.

Ben Rogers, owner of Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium, said the business will remain open "as long as possible."

"It will simply be business as usual until further notice," Rogers said in a post to the business' Facebook page. The bar was open for about 25 years.

The Jim Porter's owners will have salvage rights to the building and all contents within.

The property on which Jim Porter's sits will be used as a "staging area for the construction phase of the basin project," per the statement.

"This is a very large public works project," Emly said. "Contractors always need a large area to stage their equipment and materials over that period of time, and there wasn't a feasible way to use what we needed to use of their parking area without effectively shutting the business down."

Construction on the site is set to begin in 2017 and be completed by 2020. It's expected to cost about $45 million.

The project aims to prevent areas surrounding Beargrass Creek from "combined sewer overflows," according to the statement.

The proposed basins are designed to "capture rainwater and raw sewage, which otherwise can overwhelm the sewer system during rain events and flow untreated into our waterways. These basins are intended to retain the mixture of rainwater and sewage until the rain subsides, and then gradually release it back into the sewer system for treatment."

The Jefferson County property valuation administrator last appraised the property for about $800,000. But Emly said tax assessments are rarely an indication of a property's real value.

Emly said officials came to the $5 million purchase price after negotiations with the owner and a "third-party appraiser."

"We do have an appraisal in hand and some other information that helped us arrive at that $5 million offer," he said.

The deal should be closed within 30 days; nothing is expected to cause it fall through, Emly said.

Both Rogers, in the Facebook post, and MSD officials said the deal was cordial.

In the Facebook post, Rogers said the Lexington Road location may be going away, but the bar may someday return.

"We are looking very seriously at using the proceeds from the sale to re-open a bigger, better, upgraded Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium at a new location."

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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