The silos are coming down!
One University of Louisville student described them as “an iconic eyesore” and over the next few months they will disappear. The student was describing the 22 silos that are part of the old Solae property on Floyd St. adjacent to UofL’s Belknap campus.
The University of Louisville Foundation has hired LVI/NCM to clear the property. The pre-demolition process will include salvaging, recycling and selling equipment, parts and materials from the old Solae plant.
The demolition and salvage operation will begin immediately, according to Kathleen Smith, chief of staff to UofL President James Ramsey.
“This is a prime piece of real estate, right along Interstate 65, that UofL and the foundation have been interested in buying for some time” Smith said. “This will give the university options to expand while clearing the view for I-65 travelers to see our spectacularly beautiful Belknap campus.”
Smith said LVI/NCM, which is also known as NorthStar Group Holdings LLC, submitted the lowest proposed price--$687,800—among eight demolition firms that responded to the foundation’s request for proposals. Part of the deal calls for the foundation and NCM/LVI to split proceeds from the sale of all salvageable and recyclable equipment, parts and materials. Those proceeds could bring a few hundred thousand dollars back to the foundation largely offsetting the cost of demolition, according to Smith.
The contract calls for general site clearing including crushing concrete from the silos and plant into gravel. The gravel will be spread across the 15-acre site and all work completed by Oct. 28, with the property used, in the short term, for parking for football games.
Solae, a subsidiary of DuPont, shuttered its Louisville operation at the end of 2012. Its plant converted soybeans into materials used in industrial products such as paper, adhesives and ink. The property has seen a number of different owners and uses since 1919 when operations first began on the site. The 22 silos, made of concrete and steel, are believed to have been built about the same time. The foundation purchased the land for $3.3 million in Dec. 2013.