After Fire Delay, New Old Forester Distillery Gets Permit – Opening 2017

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The new Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row in Louisville, KY was supposed to open in 2016. That all changed in July 2015 when a massive fire in nearby buildings threatened to destroy an entire city block. Since then, developers and engineers of the Whiskey Row project have been hard at work stabilizing the facades of the historic buildings with massive temporary concrete blocks and steel piers.  You can see more photos of the Whiskey Row construction site here. According to the developer, the temporary piers will be coming down in June 2016.

Temporary Supports for Whiskey Row Buildings Coming Down Soon
Whiskey Row - Old Forester 4

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Old Forester Distillery Building Permit Approved
Old Forester Distillery Building Plans Front and Back View

The company that will be building the new Old Forester Distillery at 117 and 119 Main Street has just received approval for its building permit as of January 19. The Old Forester builder received relatively minor damage compared to the neighboring buildings during last summer’s fire.

According to the permit the estimated construction cost for Old Forester Distillery is $22.5 Million. The distillery will cover a total of 70,308 square feet with a total of six floors. There will be a four story distillery with a basement and a sub-basement. The project will include restoration and repair of the exterior façade, replacing windows, a restaurant shell, and repairing the roof.

The permit includes occupancy classifications of A-2, F-1 and H-3 construction. In simple terms,

  • A is for Assembly occupancy such as food or drink consumption (restaurants.)
  • F is for Factory with moderate hazard occupancy.
  • H is for High Hazard occupancy that involves the manufacturing, processing, generation or storage of materials that constitute a physical or health hazard (combustible liquids.)

Old Forester Distillery Floor by Floor Plans

Floor Classification Occupancy
Sub-Basement F-1
Basement F-1
1st Floor A-2, F-1 and H-1 155 People
2nd Floor A-2 and F-1
3rd Floor F-1 and H-1
4th Floor A-2 423 People
578 Total People

When completed, the building will house a fully functioning distillery and visitor center for Old Forester. The distillery will include fermentation, distilling, barrel-making, filling, dumping and bottling. The new distillery is expected to double the distilling capacity for Brown-Forman’s Old Forester Bourbon.

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Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row Site Approval
Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row Site Approval

Related Stories
Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row Construction Project Photos
New Old Forester Distillery Construction Kicks-Off with 2017 Opening Planned
New Old Forester Distillery Project Plan Jumps from $30 to $45 Million
Fire Crews Put Out Massive Fire on Louisville’s Historic Whiskey Row [Video]

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