LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville and a Lexington developer announced plans today to convert the Reynolds Building, a historic four-story structure at Third Street and Eastern Parkway, into upscale loft condominiums.

    The Reynolds Lofts will offer 77 one- and two-bedroom condos to university faculty, staff and others at a cost of between $105,000 and $225,000. Planners expect the $8.75 million remodeling project to be completed by the end of 2006.

    “We’re thrilled that the Reynolds Building is going to be redone in a way that pays homage to history,” said U of L President James Ramsey.

    The Reynolds Building, built in 1915, started out as a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant designed by industrial architect Albert Kahn. In 1940, Reynolds Metals bought the facility, first using it to make aircraft parts in World War II and later using it as a national sales office. When Reynolds left Louisville in 1958 it gave the building to U of L.

    For years, the university used the facility for classrooms, offices and storage but had to move out in the early 1990s because of the building’s deteriorating condition.

    “Now we’ll be restoring a historic treasure to its former glory, creating an innovative place to live and revitalizing the neighborhood in the process,” Ramsey said.

    The McGoodwin Co., a Lexington developer that has won awards for historic preservation, will renovate the building. Company president Rob McGoodwin is applying to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places, he said.

    “We’re proud to be breathing new life into a marvelous old structure,” McGoodwin said.

    The developer is spending $7.5 million to renovate the building and paying U of L $1.25 million to lease the property for 99 years.

    Key design elements of the building’s façade and interior such as walls, door frames and ceiling grids will be retained in the renovation and elevator doors embossed with the Reynolds corporate logo will be reused, McGoodwin said.