There are no half measures when it comes to the work of Louisville-based Underhill Associates.
After transforming a former cotton mill into the sophisticated and ultra-popular Germantown Mill Lofts, the family-owned development firm has turned its attention to an abandoned condominium development in which about a dozen of the 55 units were completed when the housing market collapsed about eight years ago.
The Underhills are in the process of building out or renovating about 44 units at the former Regency Tower complex, which recently was renamed The George at 42, a play on its proximity to U.S. 42 off Interstate 71. The capital cost for the work has been projected at $15 million or more.
Jordan Underhill, director of sales for the complex, showed off the first model unit during a tour of the facility earlier this week. Underhill said the model unit, which has multiple bedrooms in a 1,900-square-foot floor plan, already existed when the company took over the complex. But Underhill Associates renovated the space, adding upscale furniture, appliances, cabinetry, flooring and other features, which you can see in our slideshow above.
Underhill said on Tuesday that there will be about seven model units, including another one coming online soon that is a mirror image of the existing model unit. Five more are being built to the Underhills’ specifications and should debut by late January. Even though they are model units, Underhill said, the company would sell them if someone makes the right offer.
Seven condos in the development were under contract as of Tuesday morning, which leaves about 30 unfinished and unsold units.
Condos are available in different sizes, with standard units ranging from about 1,800 to 2,500 square feet and with most floor plans having two to three bedrooms. Each unit has an outdoor balcony.
For those interested in buying a unit, there are several options available: You can buy an unfinished shell and hire your own contractor to build out the space to your specifications, buy a finished condo built by the Underhills’ team of designers and contractors, or take a hybrid approach in which you buy the unfinished shell at the listed price then consult with the Underhills on a custom design.
The design and construction costs then would be added to the final price at the time of closing, Underhill said.
Underhill Associates is working on the project with interior design firm US Designs and 310 Construction, a partnership between Wilkinson Builders and Realm Construction.
You can find a full list of unfinished and finished prices for the condo units on The George at 42 website, but unfinished shells typically start at more than $300,000 and go up from there, and most finished condo units start at more than $500,000.
Underhill said buyers can combine condo units for more space. The price guide also lists the monthly dues, or homeowners association fees, for each unit based on square footage. The dues pay for future upgrades and maintenance.
Beyond the standard units, the Underhills have a few two-story units as well as two junior penthouses and an expansive top-floor penthouse. The junior penthouses each have about 6,000 square feet and are priced at about $1.7 million for the unfinished shell. The 7,000-square-foot master penthouse, meanwhile, has an unfinished price tag of nearly $2.3 million — at least for now.
“It’s too cheap,” Underhill said.
Staff photographer William DeShazer and I took a tour of the three penthouses and were struck by their enormity. On the top floor, the unit has a looping balcony that provides an arresting panorama of Louisville scenery, including the downtown skyline, the Lincoln and Kennedy bridges, parts of Southern Indiana and the nearly completed East End Bridge. (That balcony, by the way, is 6,000 square feet, Underhill said.)
In addition, the Underhills are working on a robust amenities package that includes a renovated outdoor pool and courtyard area, renovated lobby, comprehensive concierge services, a children’s playroom, fitness center and a hotel-style guest suite that can be used by condo guests alongside multiple levels of underground parking. Most of those services should be available in the coming months.
Underhill said the goal is to make the complex family friendly and accommodating for residents who entertain guests. More than $1 million will be spent on upgraded amenities that will not be passed on to residents, she said.
The building went into foreclosure in 2013, and Regency Tower Acquisition Ltd. — a company formed by Underhill Associates principals Jeff Underhill, Todd Underhill, Colin Underhill and Matt Willinger — bid just more than $9 million to buy the building and its unsold units from PNC Bank.
The building’s original developer, Seminary Woods LLC, owed PNC more than $22 million in principal, interest and expenses when the property was foreclosed on, according to court records.