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UofL Foundation buys former nightclub for Nucleus park

by John R. Karman III, communications and marketing last modified Aug 14, 2014 05:02 PM

The University of Louisville Foundation has bought a bar.

At least it used to be a bar. The foundation recently closed on the purchase of a former nightclub and restaurant building at 252 E. Market St., across South Floyd Street from The Nucleus building.

The foundation paid a holding company called Landrum I LLC $793,550 for the 6,400-square-foot property, which it plans to incorporate into its J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The campus is being developed by a foundation affiliate, Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center, as space for entrepreneurs, researchers and corporate office users.

Nucleus CEO Vickie Yates Brown said the exact use of the building has not been determined, but plans likely will include additional space for entrepreneurs and start-up companies.

Because restaurant equipment remains at the site, the space also could accommodate a small café or coffee shop, Brown said. The building also has patio space that could be used for alfresco dining. It formerly housed several restaurants and nightclubs, including La Rosita Mexican Grill.

With this latest acquisition, the UofL Foundation owns five buildings at the downtown Nucleus site. The other four are the eight-story, 200,000-square-foot Nucleus building at 300 E. Market St., the Nucleus Tech Center on East Jefferson Street, the iHub co-working space adjacent to the former nightclub and the recently acquired Dulworth Office Furniture building, also on East Market.

Nucleus has issued a request for proposals to build an 800-space parking garage on its downtown campus, which is bound by Floyd, Preston, Market and Jefferson streets. Brown said officials hope to break ground on the garage this fall. Plans call for two more office buildings to be constructed at the site, formerly known as The Haymarket because local farmers once sold fruits and vegetables there.

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