By Jacob Abrahamson-
For years, drivers coming into Louisville from the South on I-65 were greeted by 22 concrete silos owned by the Solae Company. The silos were notable for the giant lettering on their side, which read “University of Louisville.” U of L, which bought the property containing the silos for $3.3 million in Dec. 2013, recently announced plans to demolish the property.
The plant, which converted soybeans into industrial products, ceased operation in 2012 and has since stood empty, and Kathleen Smith, chief of staff to UofL President James Ramsey, announced on Friday that demolition and salvage operations are set to begin immediately.
“This will give the university options to expand while clearing the view for I-65 travelers to see our spectacularly beautiful Belknap campus,” said Smith
NorthStar Group Holdings, L.L.C. has been hired for $687,800 to sell all salvageable equipment which remains onsite, with half of the profits going to the UofL Foundation. The concrete from the silos will be crushed into gravel to be both sold and used as a parking surface.
All work is set to be completed by Oct. 28, and the site will be initially used for football parking and other activities.
According to Smith, there is no set long-term plan for the site. The 20 -year Belknap campus plan presented to the trustees in 2009 offers no specifics on the future of the site.