Mayor Greg Fischer joined south and southwest Metro Council members, and representatives from Underhill Associates and the Southwest Dream Team to celebrate the ongoing progress of the $5 million redevelopment of historic Colonial Gardens, and to highlight the work being done to create a safer pedestrian crossing, additional parking, and the addition of a new TARC bus stop next to the project.
“Colonial Gardens is a great investment that connects our city’s past with our future,” said the mayor. “We want to make the new Colonial Gardens as popular as it once was, and for that to happen, we know we need to make it accessible for all our residents. The improvements made along this corridor will benefit not only Colonial Gardens, but other area businesses, residents, and visitors to Iroquois Park.”
Metro Public Works recently completed $200,000 in roadway improvements at the intersection of New Cut Road and W Kenwood Drive where Colonial Gardens is located. The improvements include a left turn lane into Colonial Gardens from New Cut Road, curb extensions, enhanced sidewalks, and on-street parking.
Additionally, paving along Kenwood Avenue is expected to be complete this fall. With the enhanced pedestrian safety features in place, Public Works will monitor the New Cut Road/Kenwood Avenue intersection to optimize the signal for traffic flow in and out of Iroquois Park.
Construction on the $5 million redevelopment of Colonial Gardens started last fall and includes renovating the 7,000 square-foot historic structure, as well as adding three new, one-story buildings for a total of 18,000 square feet. The buildings will share a common patio and garden area. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2019.
The site’s developer, Underhill Associates, is in talks with local restaurant groups to occupy the four corner spaces of the building. “Underhill Associates is proud to bring Colonial Gardens back to life. This is a vital corner for the South End which will be an example of new vitality and will be a catalyst for more redevelopment,” Jeff Underhill said.
Metro Councilwoman Marianne Butler, whose District 15 includes Colonial Gardens, said “We have waited for many years for this revitalization. We are getting a vibrant community magnet complimenting the park while offering neighbors new dining opportunities. It is a win for everyone and I encourage neighbors to patronize the restaurants for many years to come.”
Councilman Blackwell of nearby District 12 said “This project is transforming the New Cut/ Kenwood corner and I am excited to see the changes occurring each day. The infrastructure improvements create a safer pedestrian experience for all, including those who want to enjoy events at Iroquois Park.”
District 25 Councilman Dave Yates said, “It is exciting to see the investment and progress we are making in South Louisville. Through this public-private partnership with the Underhills, the Kenwood and New Cut block is seeing unprecedented rejuvenation that will encourage people across the city to want to travel to our neck of the woods. Soon we will be proud to call Colonial Gardens the gateway to the South End and its success will reverberate southbound along New Cut and Dixie.”
And Vicki Aubrey Welch, noting that she is soon to retire as District 13 Councilwoman, said “It gives me great pride to know I was part of history in bringing Colonial Gardens back to a vibrant historical venue for the heart of South Louisville. Mayor Fischer worked long and hard together with the South End Council to bring this development forward. For that I will be forever grateful.”