Wayside Christian Mission buys Hotel Louisville building
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Wayside Christian Mission’s struggle to find a new home for its women’s shelter seems to be over. This week, the shelter purchased the 12-story building for $10 million in a foreclosure auction and plans to be operating in the facility by the end of the summer.

The building is in move-in condition and only a few changes are required for Wayside. Nina Moseley, Wayside’s COO, told the C-J that since the structure was a functioning hotel, it’s in great shape. Asbestos was found in the building and the heating and cooling system will apparently be replaced as part of the improvements.

Neighboring Jefferson Community & Technical College had hoped to purchase the building for campus expansion, but was unable to release funds without state approval. JCTC had planned to demolish the building, but now will look elsewhere in the vicinity for expansion. The C-J also says Sen. Tim Shaughnessy would like to use eminent domain to take the building for JCTC, but a JCTC official said they aren’t pursuing that option.

Because of the mostly commercial nature of the area, Wayside doesn’t expect much opposition to their expansion plans. Definitely not to the level of opposition of the Original Highlands to a proposed expansion at the old Mercy High School campus on East Broadway.

The current East Market Street shelter for women and families is being phased out after being purchased by a group of investors for $5 million last year. Wayside had planned to demolish three buildings to build a larger shelter at that location, rebuilding the facades into the new design. Several of the buildings have already been turned over to the new owners and are undergoing renovation.

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Branden Klayko

19 COMMENTS

  1. I’ll be honest, I think this is bad. I think there are some real selfish motives behind this purchase. Warehousing the homeless will do no good. This place is too big to be an individual benefit to each person that finds themselves without a place to go. If 250 rooms are needed to serve the homeless community, they should be in 10 different locations. Also, the ancillary detriment to the area needs to be addressed. It is the elephant in the room. No viable commercial or residential development will relocate next to a shelter for 250 homeless. That may not be fair, but that is real. It’s almost as if the death knell has sounded for the adjacent blocks.

  2. I am not sure saying it is the death knell for that area is very fair…East Market street didn’t seem to suffer much in the past several years .

    Not to mention that “warehousing” the homeless is not the mission of wayside-they offer so many more services and I can see how the hotel would help them achieve those goals.

    Really, just because a hotel has 250 rooms doesn’t mean they will all be used as temporary residences.

  3. $10M!!! An astounding figure for a local not for profit. And where is the fiscal responsibility and wisdom in such a purchase – an organization that ALWAYS has its hand out paid more than the market appraisal amount for property in the central business district. Is this the best way to serve the needs of those less fortunate by buying at a premium – a full $4M above the minimum needed to secure title. Seems that money could go a long way in helping folks.

    Compare this irresponsible management to the Healing Place, an organization that goes about its mission with responsibility. Their new facility under construction has transformed abandoned industrial property and will create a campus environment for their clients and residents while improving the neighborhood – property acquired for pennies on the dollar compared to the extravagant Wayside purchase. No nearby businesses or residents impacted. A true win for the organization and the community.

    Mercy too, was an ill conceived choice but for a different reason. The impact on an almost completely residential area would have been overwhelming and inappropriate.

    See the duck and hide by Wayside:
    http://www.whas11.com/news/local/stories/whas11-topstories-090527-Hotel-Louisville-FOLO.2220a10f.html

    http://www.whas11.com/justposted/stories/whas11-topstories-090527-Hotel-Louisville-Cainat11.229101f6.html

  4. Ok this is crazy! An organization that has continually claimed to be in dire straits comes up with over 10Million to buy a building??! Wayside seems to have a surplus of money. They buy big buildings and pay their TWO CEO’s a higher salary by double than any other agency around. (let’s not even mention the fact that they have a married couple at the helm who both make good salary’s – can we say conflict of interest?). If I was someone who donated to them I would be knocking on the door asking some hard questions. There are many more agencies who would get my money first.

    Now back to the building – JCTC did a thorough evaluation of this property and determined the abestos was so bad it needed to be demolished but apparantly Nina Mosely doubles as a inpector and knows it is perfectly safe to warehouse poor people in the building as it is! Iminent Domain should come into play here!

  5. The number of intended residents was always 200+, even when their eyes were on Mercy Academy. It was publicly revised downward after the neighborhood held 2 open forums for discussion, conducted a neighborhood poll, and ultimately determined it was an inappropriate scale. That multiple month process was later characterized by LEO as a “fast and furious” reaction, and they bought the new, lower number.

    This seems a little faster and more furious, but the core issues are the same. The only real difference is that this facility isn’t smack in the middle of a residential area. Glad a politician is acknowledging the issue. Now he should help Wayside identify one or several sites that are more appropriate for everyone. The us against the world approach that Wayside has adopted, maybe necessarily, reflects poorly on everyone.

  6. Don’t forget Wayside agreed, after the $5M purchase of their deteriorated East Market buildings, and with city and the East Market Business Assoc support, that the best location for an expanded facility to serve the needs of those less fortunate, would be to build an addition to their current facility in the East Downtown neighborhood at Jackson & Jefferson Streets, thereby creating a more efficient operation as the entire program would be in the same block. Wayside, as they have shown over and over again, changed the rules to suit themselves. The organization has only played ball when it serves their interests no matter the flurry around them. Perhaps when their very well paid management realizes that they are part of a greater community with whom they must learn to interact will the situation change to create a win-win.

  7. Gus Goldsmith, on the verge of bankruptcy, involved in some clearly improper and dubious property scheme? Say it ain't so!

  8. This is essentially a cut and paste of my comment on the this morning's CJ editorial, with a few added comments I couldn't get in due to the limit on post sizes:

    First off – downtown Louisville needs another surface parking lot only slightly less than it needs this Al Schnieder designed building, so until JCTC actually has funds to do something with the site (which considering how education-phobic the state government is in doling out monies – won't be any time soon) and provided they can even come up with funds from the General Assembly to somehow purchase this building, this is what should be done:

    Buy the building from Wayside at it's market value of $9 million and lease it back to them at a nominal rental price of $1 a year for an agreed upon minimum lease of say 5 years, with an option to renew after that period at one year extensions if JCTC is agreeable.

    In this scenario, Wayside takes the building as is, does minor renovation work, forgos having to undertake an expensive asbestos remediation process (which will more than exceed the $1 million dollar hit Wayside takes by agreeing to sell for the reduced price) and JCTC can use the buildings parking lot.

    Once the college actually has plans and monies to do something with the site, they then give Wayside a one year notice to find somewhere else to move – say the Galt House East or one of those adjacent hideous office towers that appear to be about 20% leased – and use the $7 million or so dollars they should still have left from selling the Building less renovation and maintenance and buy that place.

    As I hinted at initially, this Hotel Louisville building is truly a piece of crap – but at least it's early Al Schnieder (as opposed to his Baroque period masterpieces; the Executive Inns and Galt Houses), before he felt the need to break every urban planning and architectural rule known to man. Unlike his later projects, this building at least comes close to holding the corner and it's street edge. And is undeniably better than yet another JCTC surface parking lot.

    What is JCTC's masterplan? Has anyone seen any previous ones? I'm not living in Louisville anymore, so I've not kept up with what they're doing with their campus, but the last time I was down there, it still looked pretty much the same to me.

  9. To wtf??..

    Wayside did not agree that Jefferson St. was the best location for their expansion. City government, in lieu of helping them find a better place to house their women and families, guaranteed them the option to expand at this locale. Unfortunately, with the expansion projected for I-65, the Jefferson St. location would not be suitable for this kind of project.

    As far as the asbestos in the new building, are you under the impression that Wayside would launch itself into a building without having inspectors look at it first? Nice speculation there, wtf. To the people concerned with the money aspect of Wayside’s purchase of Hotel Louisville, perhaps the endeavor of ending homelessness is worth ten million dollars. This was a bold move and I commend them for going out on a limb for the less fortunate after facing such staunch opposition from the neighborhood associations.

  10. For over a decade the national trend has been to take down the massive projects and stop the outdated notion of concentrating poverty, alcoholism and substance abuse in small, narrowly defined areas. You can look to Louisville or any major city and see that this is so.

    Wayside however continues to build bigger and bigger, ignoring all common wisdom, to the detriment of both their clients and to the neighborhoods that have to house these mega-shelters. It's insane… True integration into a community will not happen by placing every homeless person under a single, 50,000 square foot roof.

  11. What better way to continue the endeavor of ending homelessness than to focus yourself in the midst of all the social services that the community can provide and place those who so desperately need education right next to a college? This could be a win-win situation for both JCC and Wayside. Student interns can get first hand experience and credit at the new facility for social service classes and volunteer hours. Clients of Wayside can take GED and continuing education courses at JCC. Looks like a good fit to me.

    The insanity of the situation is that no matter where Wayside has tried to move, there is constant opposition. Despite their best efforts to be more fiscally responsible with the renovations of their existing structures on Market St. and their desperate attempt to secure Mercy Academy, Wayside Christian Mission continues to be marginalized by Louisville and its neighborhood associations. To ignore the fact that these less fortunate CITIZENS need and deserve a suitable environment in which to rehabilitate their lives, is folly. To continue to kick Wayside around when they are trying to serve, is a sin.

  12. And in the interests of coordination and community, they approached JCTC to develop such a program before purchasing the property. Right?

    Opposition comes after communities realize that Wayside has a plan, the impacted community has no say in that plan, and it is either resist or accept their plan, without the full disclosure of their plan. And then comes the spin…Christian, homeless, nymby, etc.

    The same approach will yield the same result, every time. At least, I hope it will.

  13. colonel, Wayside did NOT want to renovate on E. Market, they wanted to demolish at least 4 19th cent buildings. The neighborhood welcomed renovation and their presence, but could not accept demolition of nearly 1/2 block of the very buildings that helps make the area unique. Waysides services added to the diversity of the area, but because of their “my way or the highway” approach, the entire community was against the demo, not the people. That is why we supported their move to Jax and Jeff at an expanded facility still within the boundaries of the association.

    As to Mercy, would have totally overwhelmed a residential area – not thought out at all, other than I can do this because we have a pile of cash. Check out The Healing Place for a good approach to serving the less fortunate while also creating a win for the community.

  14. Did the Colonel just make my point?
    Against Wayside’s approach = Against the homeless.
    Apparently, being on the side of a good cause means that everything you do is right and that you have no obligation to consider or involve the rest of your community. This is what reasonable, charitable, active community members are hearing from Wayside, and until it changes, Wayside will be doing the homeless a disservice.

  15. >>>To continue to kick Wayside around when they are trying to serve, is a sin. —- That’s a load of $%@# and the typical mantra that supporters hide behind. Give the sin a rest and look at the real issue. 300+ homeless under a single roof is too much negative impact for one area. Additionally, our homeless come from every zip code in Jefferson County. Wayside’s efforts to corral them all into one neighborhood is just dumb. We kissed the concept of concentrated projects goodbye years ago. It’s time to stop warehousing the homeless and do away with the concept of mega-shelters. For homeless shelters to actually integrate into a neighborhood, they must first and foremost not OVERWHELM said neighborhood. We have to look towards proportionately sized facilities, spread throughout the county. Smaller, well sized shelters would provide more normalcy for our existing neighborhoods while also allowing our homeless residents closer proximity to various job opportunities, family, children, etc. And yes, it will cost more, but it’s the right thing to do for EVERYONE INVOLVED.

  16. Just wait, Gus Goldbond-loan shark, is knee deep in this, standing to make millions off of this. Gus boy and Wayside have made a deal with the devil that is going to pocket both side a good amount of money. For anyone who thinks Wayside isn’t playing this like a fiddle, WAKE UP- they are all about the $$$$$.

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