Mayor Abramson critical of Wayside's plans

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 2:18 PM

(WHAS11) - Two events could shape the future of a downtown Louisville hotel.

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It appears that a homeless shelter run by Wayside Christian Mission may never open up for business in the hotel currently at Second and Broadway.

For the first time, the mayor is weighing in on whether a homeless mission should even be there in the first place.

Kentucky's legislature gave the green light for Jefferson Community College to try and buy the property to expand their campus. But they'll have to work out a deal with Wayside to do it. However, Wayside may not have much choice because Mayor Abramson made it clear he wants the college, not a homeless shelter, on the site.

Among all the big picture issues in Frankfort this session, lawmakers finally managed to push through a measure affecting one small corner of downtown Louisville.

Lisa Brosky of Jefferson Community & Technical College said, "This property is very strategically important to the college because of its location."

It's no secret; Jefferson Community College had their eyes on this hotel for some time. Now they can spend 10.5 million to buy the former Hotel Louisville; that is if Tina Moseley and Wayside Christian Mission will sell.

Brosky said, "They have offered to sell us the parking lot but our focus remains acquiring the entire property."

JCTC says negotiations have gone well, but still haven't yielded a deal, possibly because wayside and the Moseley's could profit millions off selling the property to the college. Wayside needs somewhere else to go. That part, the college and even the mayor say they are willing to make happen.

Brosky said, "We would give them all the support we could."

Mayor Jerry Abramson said, "We'll continue to work with them. We showed them several (possible) locations when they made the decision to leave Market Street and we're continuing to work with them to show other locations that might meet their needs."

It seems Wayside should listen because they still don't have city approval to open a homeless shelter at Second and Broadway, a place the mayor doesn't want a homeless shelter anyway. He wants an expansion of the college.

Mayor Abramson said, "No question. (The college) is the best use for that corner."

So Louisville's version of "Let's Make a Deal" moves on with plenty of questions still to be answered.

Senator Tim Shaughnessy said, "Wayside bought the property. But they have not closed on the property, so now we have given the college the authorization to purchase the site which hopefully they'll work out something to be able to do that."

But will that happen?

We've also learned that the Moseley's and the creditor of the hotel, Gus Goldsmith, are working out what's called an "Assignment of Judgment." That turns the sale of the hotel into a direct deal between the two parties, bypassing the Jefferson County Commissioner's office.

In the end, that could mean the Moseley's pay only 7 million or so for the property, increasing their chances of profit by selling to the community college which would involve taxpayer dollars.

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