Cordish Facing Lawsuit by Fitness Operator

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.


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?

$1.2 million.

Read the Rest After the Jump…

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.

8 thoughts on “Cordish Facing Lawsuit by Fitness Operator

  1. Can you substantiate your claim that Premier’s other locations were thriving? There’s a reason why fitness centers open and close so often. I’m not saying Cordish isn’t in the wrong, but you seem to have closed the book on them prematurely. Do you blame a Company for taking a $950K handout? I’d do the same if it were offered with no strings attached.

  2. Hmm…anyone watch WHAS’s interview with Mayor Moonbeam today? He claims that his giveaway to Cordish was really the fault of the Council and their predecessors, the Board of Aldermen because they’re the ones who approved spending all that money in the first place.

    He also said that the ‘Strong Mayor’ concept is not in need of revamping for the next fool who sits in the hot seat–the ‘Ville needs a strong mayor who can make decisions and doesn’t need to be bogged down in pesky details like trying to have 26 folks involved in critical negotiations when just one will do.

    Hope he takes his hookah with him when he leaves office…

  3. I’m not standing up for Cordish. I’m merely pointing out the sensational nature of allegations found in lawsuits.

  4. EdenSprings, what is especially outrageous is Mayor Jer’s claim that the people of Jefferson County knew they were voting for this so-called “strong mayor” form of government. That, of course, is abject nonsense.

    I think people will generally agree that the mayor should be the chief negotiator in these matters, but the council also needs to be involved, directly. Not just consultation, but a part of the process. Anything else goes against the will of the people. Some people’s “slowing things down” is other people’s “deliberate process”.

    It has always been clear that this mayor simply doesn’t want anyone in his way, like he’s some dictator or something.

  5. Well they do call him Mayor for Life as Gary Roedemeier called him years ago. No wonder this community is in the economic, social, and political mess it is in with the failed policies of the last 25 years. Jerry Abramson from 1976 until now has had his hand in the governance of this city for 29 of the last 33 years. Over half of his life was spent either as a lawyer or politician. For us to wonder why we are in such a mess here, its very obvious why we are.

  6. Ever notice when Jerry is asked a question that is a “yes” or “no” answer…..he never actually answers the question….he just babbles on with some BS…..The pro Politician like Jerry is just a fox in the henhouse!

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