21 C Museum/Hotel


700 West Main St
Louisville, KY 40202

Census Tract


Poverty Rate


Median Income


Total Project Cost


Federal NMTC Financing


Project Completion

April 2006

21 C Museum Hotel


Located in historic downtown Louisville, the 19th century property consists of five adjoining buildings. The currently under-utilized industrial buildings totaling 98,000 square feet have been renovated to a 90-room hotel, an 8,000 square foot restaurant, and an open to the public contemporary art museum that is integrated in the hotel. The project’s location in downtown Louisville puts it at the center of an area that has been targeted for redevelopment by city officials. A substantial amount of resources from federal, state, and local levels have been directed to this area, including this project and several others.

Project Financing

In addition to a $7.8 million debt and equity investment by UDF, the project has received federal Historic Rehabilitation tax credits, a $1.7 million grant from the City of Louisville, and a 100% return of sales tax collected at the property pursuant to the Kentucky Tourism Development Act. The total cost of the rehabilitation of this project is $22.95 million. UDF made an equity investment and an interest-only, subordinated loan to this project to ensure its viability. 

Steve Wilson, one of the project sponsors, called the financing made available through new markets tax credits a crucial piece of his financing. “We really couldn’t do this without the tax credits,” he said. “This makes it possible to help the mayor’s efforts to rejuvenate downtown and also will make some other projects possible” around the city.

Community Impact

This project has created 250 temporary construction jobs and 102 full time jobs for residents of the area. This project is located in a census tract with a 33% poverty rate and the median income is 68% of the area median income. The Hotel features an interactive integrated contemporary art museum. All common areas of the hotel display works of modern art, and these areas are open to the public at no charge. The 21 C Hotel also benefits local community residents by rehabilitating an underutilized building. 

It’s “exactly what we’ve needed” on that stretch of Main Street, said Carol Hensley, Executive Director of the Main Street Association. “It will help efforts to draw people to shops and attractions.

Table of Contents