Business Briefs

Messer/Harmon JV to build Louisville City Football Club stadium

Messer/Harmon JV has been selected to build Louisville City Football Club’s new stadium in the historic and burgeoning Butchertown area. Construction began in earnest last week.

Messer Construction is one of the region’s largest building contractors and is employee-owned with nearly 120 workers in the Louisville area. Harmon Construction, based in North Vernon, Indiana, has strong ties to Louisville. William A. “Billy” Harmon, the firm’s president, played basketball for the University of Louisville from 1973-77.

Messer and Harmon previously teamed up to manage the expansion of the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium, a $63.25 million project that added 5,400 seats, loge level seating and field level suites. The LouCity FC stadium is a $65 million project with 11,300 seats.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Messer/Harmon because of their proven record in this market and commitment to advancing this project,” said Brad Estes, president of LouCity FC. “It’s important to us that Messer and Harmon are part of the fabric of Louisville. Messer has built so many large, top-quality projects around Louisville and has demonstrated time and again the ability to finish on time and on budget, which is so important for our new stadium.” Construction will take more than a year and is due to be complete for the start of the 2020 season in March.

“The Butchertown stadium is a transformative project for Louisville, and we’re proud to team with Harmon to oversee construction of this iconic addition to our city,” said John Megibben, Messer vice president and Louisville market leader. “We know all eyes are on us because this stadium is a showcase project. It’s in a highly visible location and will be part of the city’s front door, welcoming both residents and passersby. It needs to make a statement that this is a city on the move.”

As a former basketball player for UofL, Harmon knows how much this city loves sports. “Sports runs deep in my family and business and there’s nothing more gratifying than working on a project like this. This will be the site where thousands of people will enjoy soccer. And I’m sure many youngsters who come here be inspired to play professionally, which builds character,” said Harmon, whose father started the family construction business in 1969.  

Messer/Harmon JV has made a strong commitment to providing employment opportunities for minorities and local workers during construction. This project will have at least 20 percent minority participation, which includes 5 percent for certified female-owned businesses. In addition, at least 75 percent of the workforce must reside in the Louisville area.

The initial work will include installing auger cast piles, which call for using large crane-like drills to create shafts filled with high-strength cement and reinforcing steel. Excavation work will also take place for the stadium’s pitch (playing surface), which will be 10 feet below the concourse level.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in late June as the land was cleared for construction. The 11,300-seat soccer-specific stadium at Cabel and Adams streets in Butchertown is the centerpiece of a $200-million, 40-acre mixed-use development adjacent to Louisville’s Waterfront Park near downtown.

Premium components of the stadium include:

  • 18 luxury suites
  • Premier Club area with accommodations for 250
  • Club and loge seating options
  • 40- by 72-foot video board
  • Eight bars in strategic locations throughout the stadium

Since its inception in 2014, LouCity has been playing home games at Louisville Slugger Field, a baseball stadium which does not allow for traditional soccer field dimensions.

“We have another year at Slugger Field, and we’re grateful for all the Louisville Bats have done to accommodate us,” added Estes. “We wouldn’t be where we are without the Bats’ help. And we want our fans to come out in stronger numbers next year as we play our last season there.”

GE Appliances Introduces ‘Shabbos Keeper’ Refrigeration Solution Endorsed by Orthodox Union, Central Rabbinical Congress and Halachic Tech USA

After years of development, GE Appliances recently launched the first 100 percent compliant refrigeration solution for the hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews who follow Jewish laws pertaining to Shabbos. Powered by ZMAN Technologies and closely supervised and endorsed by leading rabbinic authorities, including the Orthodox Union (OU), Central Rabbinical Congress (CRC), Halachic Tech USA, the Shabbos Keeper offers a stress-free solution compatible with more than 140 GE Appliances French door refrigerator models.

“While other Shabbos mode appliances are available, the Shabbos Keeper is universally accepted by all rabbinic opinions,” said Rabbi Tzvi Ortner, director of the Halacha and technology department of the Orthodox Union and founder, Halachic Tech USA. “The Shabbos Keeper by GE Appliances and ZMAN Technologies was developed to cover all electrical functions that are in operation without resorting to any extreme methods, making it completely compliant.”

One of the Shabbos Keeper’s key features is an automatic setting developed by Clifton, New Jersey-based ZMAN Technologies that uses location to determine the time of sunset. When in Enhanced Shabbos Mode (EHM), the Shabbos Keeper automatically sets the refrigerator to the Shabbos settings each week and then reverts to weekday mode after Shabbos (and Yom Tov).

Other features and benefits of the Shabbos Keeper include:

  • Simple setup and activation that is done once and programmed to 2050
  • Smart look that can be placed on the front, side or top of refrigerator
  • Interior lighting that stays lit during Shabbos
  • Automatic defrosting system
  • Automatic deactivation of door switches, sensors, internal computers, touch screens, water dispensers and ice makers
  • 72-hour power backup with automatic memory reset after power failure

“Observant Jewish households have been limited in their Shabbos Mode appliance—until now,” said Wendy Treinen, senior manager of public relations at GE “The Shabbos Keeper is available in more than 100 GE Appliances refrigerator models and is an example of how we’re offering life-enhancing solutions that improve the everyday lives for our Shabbos-observing appliance owners.”

According to a Pew Research Center survey, Orthodox Jews are the fastest-growing segment of the Jewish community. According to the latest demographic information, nearly one million of the 5.3 million Jews who live in the U.S. observe the Jewish Sabbath. An additional two million Jews around the world also observe Shabbos, including in Israel, Europe, South America and Australia.

The Shabbos Keeper is currently available through GE Appliances dealers and online at or