With the Water Company Block now just a footnote in history, the massive $300 million Omni Hotel & Residences, half publicly funded, is ready to move forward. And we’ll wager that the Texas-based company and top city and state officials will spare no expense with an upcoming groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Friday, January 29 at 10:00a.m.
The hotel, parking garage, convention center ballrooms, residences, and a handful of retail outlets are to be built on the northern two-thirds of the block bound by Liberty Street, Second Street, Muhammad Ali Boulevard, and Death Valley. Sorry, Third Street.
The official ceremony will take place at the corner of Second and Liberty streets with a VIP reception following at Christ Church Cathedral across Second Street. That’s an odd location for the celebration of a controversial development that divided the Louisville community throughout the past year.
Given Broken Sidewalk’s critical stance on the design and public approval processes throughout 2015, it’s not much of a surprise that we didn’t get an invitation to the groundbreaking, nor the VIP reception. Sheldon Shafer at the Courier-Journal did, noting that it asks attendees “to reflect upon the future” at the event, because, well, you know.
The 30-story slab tower and its podium base are expected to be complete by 2018. And we’ll be there, of course, to bring you updates along the way.[Top image showing the planned view of the Omni from Second and Liberty, by HKS Architects.]