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Cool condos planned in old ice house site: Loft units will be 'funky, industrial'

By Sheldon S. Shafer, The Courier-Journal, September 7, 2007

Two investors have purchased a former ice-manufacturing complex at 217 E. Main with the intent to renovate it into 52 residential condominiums. Partners in the Ice House Lofts LLC are Dave Steinbrecher, owner of Derek Engineering, a general contracting company, and David Barhorst, head of SoFo Development.

They recently purchased the former Arctic Ice House, a green brick complex of three buildings for $2 million. They have been used primarily for storage since the ice company left the complex around 1990. The property, which is between Brook and Floyd streets, is near the Louisville Slugger Field and Waterfront Park, Main and Market street restaurants, galleries and the future downtown arena.

The old ice plant includes seven-, two- and one-story buildings that will provide owners with a "funky, industrial-type" space.

The first phase, which will cost $3 million, will focus on renovating the seven-story building, which was once used to store 300-pound blocks of ice. It will house 32 one-bedroom loft units, and will sell for $189,000 to $215,000; each unit will have 750 to 800 sq. ft. of space. Work on phase one, which includes the installation of two new elevators, could begin by the end of 2007 and be ready by fall 2008.

Phase two, which will cost $2 million, should be completed within two to three years. That phase calls for renovating the one-story building, that was used as offices for the ice company, and the two-story building, where ice was made, into 20 additional units. They will be split into 14 one-bedroom units priced in the same range as the previous units, and six two-bedroom units that will sell as much as $299,000 and have 1,250 sq. ft. of space.

A full basement on the level of Washington Street will have a common lobby, and feature a TV room, pool table and fitness room. There is room on the property for the required 52 parking spaces, and an old loading dock along Main will serve as an outdoor patio for some of the units.

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