Mayor Greg Fischer joined Metro Council members to announce that construction is scheduled to begin on the $5 million redevelopment of historic Colonial Gardens in south Louisville.
The adaptive reuse project includes renovating the 7,000-square-foot historic Colonial Gardens building, as well as adding three new, one-story buildings for a total of 18,000-square-feet that will share a common patio and garden area.
“Giving new life to historic structures like Colonial Gardens helps give Louisville an authentic quality of place like no other city, and our unique character is one of the things that helps draw millions of tourists to our city every year. And that’s a huge boost to our economy,” said the Mayor. “I would like to thank Underhill Associates, our south Louisville Metro Council members and the Iroquois neighborhood for making this project a go.”
Citizens sought successfully to designate the iconic Colonial Gardens building, located across from Iroquois Park, as a local landmark in 2008. The city purchased the property in 2013 to help foster its commercial redevelopment.
The site’s developer, Underhill Associates, is in talks with local restaurant groups to occupy the four corner spaces of the building, located on the corner of Kenwood Avenue and New Cut Road, and a common beer garden area.
“Underhill Associates is excited to create a venue where the past is honored and new events will be celebrated. We are pleased to partner with the city on the gateway to Iroquois Park where people can meet, eat, have a drink, and play,” said Jeff Underhill, Underhill Associates. “Architect Jeff Rawlins has designed an attractive plan clustering four restaurants welcoming visitors with great views of the park and a beer garden.”
Underhill noted that the venue will be decorated with memorabilia celebrating south Louisville.
Post Construction Company is expected to begin construction on the property in early 2018, with a completion date of spring 2019.
Metro Council comments:
Metro Council President David Yates, District 25: “The decaying building of Colonial Gardens has epitomized south Louisville’s unrequited demand for economic investment for far too long. In the shadow of the majestic Iroquois Amphitheater, the two buildings illustrate the dichotomy of who our community has been and who our community can be. Today, we take another step toward restoring our vibrant, unique South end neighborhood. This public-private partnership will turn a dilapidated eyesore into the gateway of the south. I stand with my colleagues in championing this development and am eager for its success to catalyze further investment into both our economy and people. I thank my colleagues, the Mayor and Louisville Forward who have all stood with me fight after fight to ensure this project’s success. Once complete, Colonial Gardens will be a win-win for our city and the good people of South Louisville.”
Councilwoman Marianne Butler, District 15: “This is one of the largest economic development projects that south Louisville has seen in some time. I thank the Underhills and the administration for coming together to find a partnership that works for all involved. This is a development that will transform this tired corner into a vibrant community spot and show other developers that investing in south Louisville is a win.”
Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13: “This is a most exciting project for me and my family. We have three generations that danced at the old Colonial Gardens. My hope is that the new Colonial Gardens will provide dining and entertainment for generations to come in the future. Persistence has finally paid off after many years of planning this awesome public-private partnership.”
Councilman Rick Blackwell, District 12: “This public-private partnership will beautify a corner that has been an eyesore far too long. While great for residents of south and southwest Louisville, it will also significantly improve the experiences of those who visit Iroquois Park for the many races, Jack-o-lantern spectacular or shows at the amphitheater.”
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