Louisville, KY – November 5, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman John Yarmuth and Governor Steve Beshear are pleased to announce significant, positive progress in the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s application for a $100 million federal loan from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the development of Museum Plaza. Congressman Yarmuth received a letter from HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez which states, in part, “HUD is optimistic that a [loan] commitment can be issued.” And, upon receipt of the project receiving a commitment for the remaining $140.5 million construction loan and other administrative requirements, “HUD will move promptly to complete the process for issuance of a Section 108 commitment.”
Upon receiving this letter, Congressman Yarmuth said, “I have been working closely with HUD officials in support of this loan application since it was filed this past summer. Getting Museum Plaza financed and back under construction is critically important for our community and will lead to the creation of thousands of good paying jobs. This is an important step forward and I am proud to join the Governor and other community leaders in advancing this effort.”
Governor Steve Beshear noted, “It is very exciting that HUD is formally expressing its interest in helping finance Museum Plaza. This is a project that will create thousands of jobs for low- and moderate-income Kentuckians and will stimulate the economy across the Commonwealth. My administration will continue working with the development team, HUD, and Congressman Yarmuth to make this project a reality.”
With the receipt of this letter from HUD, the Museum Plaza development team will continue its efforts to complete the financing for this $465 million project. 70 percent of the project’s financing will be secured with this commitment. $140.5 million of the project’s financing still remains to be committed; it is expected that this will be provided in the form of a traditional, first mortgage construction loan representing 30 percent of the project’s cost. However, the development team is pursuing many financing strategies given the current challenging environment for financing new construction projects. The Museum Plaza partners have already invested more than $50 million in the development of the project and are confident they can secure the remaining financing.
“We are thrilled with the positive progress we have made with HUD and are grateful for their support of our $100 million loan application. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before Museum Plaza gets back under construction. Primarily, we need to secure a $140.5 million construction loan. Our development team, with the strong support and involvement of Governor Beshear, Congressman Yarmuth, Congressman Chandler, and many others across the Commonwealth, has made tremendous progress in advancing this project throughout these most challenging of times. Our collective commitment to making Museum Plaza a reality is stronger than ever. We have come incredibly far and we will continue working day and night until Museum Plaza is financed and built. I cannot yet tell you when Museum Plaza will be financed and under construction, but I am confident it will be financed and under construction,” said Steve Wilson, who along with his wife, Laura Lee Brown, Steve Poe, and Craig Greenberg are the Museum Plaza development partners.
“I’ve been a believer in Museum Plaza since I first saw the renderings and heard Steve and Laura Lee’s vision,” said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Now more than ever, I’m confident that Museum Plaza will become an exciting part of Louisville’s skyline and the state’s economy.”
The November 1, 2010 letter from HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez to Congressman John Yarmuth is attached.
Museum Plaza is a $465 million, 62-story skyscraper that will include more than 300,000 square feet of Class A office space; two hotels; residential space; the University of Louisville Master of Fine Arts program; a new, nonprofit contemporary arts center; a public park; and a significant amount of other public infrastructure, including an 850-space parking garage to serve the project and the neighborhood. The application for the $100 million federal loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program was submitted by the Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG) on July 9, 2010. Museum Plaza expects to create 4,500 prevailing wage construction jobs and, when built, more than 2,300 people will work in Museum Plaza.