Buffalo Trace buys back office buildings

Leases to state will still be honored

By Kevin Wheatley Published:

Buffalo Trace Distillery Inc. has purchased three office buildings on Fair Oaks Lane currently leased to state government for office space, but says it has no immediate plans for them.

The $18.8 million purchase comes about nine months after the office buildings, which house agencies like the Department of Revenue, Division of Water and Department of Public Advocacy, were sold to U.S. Bank for $16.9 million at a master commissioner’s sale in December.

The bank had foreclosed on the properties, which include 100, 150 and 200 Fair Oaks Lane, in 2010.

Buffalo Trace bought the properties from the bank Aug. 27.

Spokeswoman Amy Preske says the distillery has not finalized plans for the properties and will honor current leases with the state.

The properties, appraised at $22 million recently per court records, had once been part of the distillery’s campus. Age International, the parent company of Ancient Age Distillery, sold the properties in 1991 for more than $433,000, property records show. The buildings had been used as warehouses, Preske said.

“This will get us back to our original footprint because we did own those buildings before they were sold,” Preske told The State Journal. “This kind of helps us get back to what we used to be.”

U.S. Bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the former owners, Two-O-Third Aventura, of Miami, Fla., and Sembler Frankfort, of St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2010 after the companies defaulted on a $31 million loan.

The two companies bought the properties for $35.8 million in 2005, property records show.

Pamela Trautner, spokeswoman for the Finance and Administration Cabinet, said the state has not made plans to move the offices once the leases expire in 2014 and 2015.

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