Most of us are pretty perturbed about the whole issue with Cordish and Fourth Street Live and the $950,000 gift from Mayor Jerry Abramson. We’ll never know how they spent the money, but if they did manage to blow that cash on the Sports and Social Club, it says something about the company’s mismanagement of resources.
Here’s more evidence of that. Next week, there’s a pretrial hearing on a lawsuit filed by local investors who had planned a fitness club in the space directly above what was then Lucky Strike Lanes. The space was nearing completion for a fall 2004 (a lease was executed in Nov. 2003) opening when Cordish canceled the lease, which would have brought in $20K per month.
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The unfinished space sits empty still today. You can kind of peak into the doors on the 2nd floor and see where the reception desk was going to be. It’s what’s behind those horse racing posters above the Sports and Social Club. Want to know how much rent Premier Fitness would have paid by now, had Cordish not canceled the lease a month before opening?
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Premier ownership, which included Jim Schwab and Jack Howell, had invested close to $1 million in renovation and equipment. Not to mention architectural plans and marketing, which had already begun. The problems with Cordish eventually resulted in the bankruptcy of their company, now known at Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Center LLC.
That meant closing the once-thriving Premier Fitness centers on Shelbyville Road, Preston Highway and in Indiana.
According to the suit, Premier had spent $100,000 on architects and engineers after Cordish had furnished incorrect plans. But that’s just one issue the suit claims resulted from Cordish mismanagement of the property, handled by Blake Cordish himself. There are several claims in the suit, which is filed against Louisville Galleria, LLC, including:
- not delivering the premises as required by the lease
- providing inaccurate surveys and drawings
- not preparing floors for finishing
- reducing the space available to Premier by using its space for electrical closets for 4th Street Live tenants
- accommodating other tenants in a way that delayed Premier’s schedule
- failing to provide $200,000 in loans as provided in the lease
- attempting to charge rent before it was due
- providing an inadequate HVAC system
For you folks who criticize Cordish as being unfriendly to local businesses, note that Premier is the only locally-owned business to have come close to opening on 4th Street Live.
Premier’s owners were, at one time, thrilled at the prospect of adding to their local chain of fitness centers with a downtown property. The experience left them bankrupt and forced to close other thriving locations.
And Cordish hasn’t been able to find another tenant for five years.