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Old Louisville Water Co. Building Will Be Dismantled

The old Louisville Water Co. building will be dismantled, with portions put in storage, to make way for the $300 million Omni Hotel & Residences project, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday.

Louisville preservation advocates had worked in recent monthsto find a new location for the century-old downtown building that once served as offices for the water company.

In a letter issued Wednesday, Fischer said "no workable proposals have been offered" despite the efforts of advocates and businesses.

Necessary permits for the demolition will be applied for this week, Fischer said in the letter. Crews will begin the process after a 30-day notice period is up.

The building's facade, portico and sections of the side walls will be "carefully removed and placed in storage," Fischer said in the letter.

Within 12 to 18 months, city officials will solicit proposals for the reassembly and reuse of the materials.

"This will allow sufficient time for interested parties to fully develop a proposal and business plan that will make the best use of the water company building and will hopefully make it productive and relevant for generations to come," Fischer said in the letter.

This spring, Fischer said the city would make available $1 million to preserve the structure—either by relocating the building or by moving only the facade or portico.

Fischer's letter did not give details on the costs for dismantling the structure and placing portions in storage. A city spokesman declined to comment further on the mayor's announcement.

The Omni development will get about 48 percent of its funding through public finance incentives. The project was given approval from downtown development review and zoning committees in recent weeks.

Omni developers hope to break ground by early 2016 and have the project completed by March 2018.

Here's the letter:

[scribd id=273629772 key=key-cahfDgTa73b7yfaDtjAl mode=scroll]

This story will be updated.

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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