Saturday July 13, 2024
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photo: Stevietheman

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.”

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.”

Plans were filed last week for a $5 million redevelopment of Colonial Gardens in south Louisville.

The adaptive reuse project includes renovating the 7,000-quare-foot historic Colonial Gardens building, as well as adding two new, one-story buildings that will share a common patio and garden area.

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 space on the corner of Kenwood Avenue and New Cut Road.

“Redevelopment will establish Colonial Gardens as a key anchor to south Louisville and Iroquois Park once again,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I applaud our south Louisville Metro Council members and Underhill Associates for their commitment to making this project a success.”

Construction is expected to begin on the property in mid- to late spring 2017.

To view renderings of the project provided by Architectural Artisans, visit http://portal.louisvilleky.gov/codesandregs/permit/detail?type=URBAN&id=17COA1007

Metro Council comments:

Metro Council President David Yates, District 25: “Too long has this historic site sat vacant. I look forward to the day when the people of south Louisville can again take pride in Colonial Gardens and the economic impact it will bring to our community.”

Councilwoman Marianne Butler, District 15: “The development of the Colonial Gardens corner not only improves the quality for life for residents, it also enhances your experience when you attend a show and/or movie at the amphitheater, and will spur development all along the corridor. I applaud and thank the Underhills for investing in south Louisville!”

Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21: “The restoration and reopening of Colonial Gardens is a top priority of mine, and I look forward to continuing my work with the administration to ensure this project is successful. When it opens, Colonial Gardens will not only restore a historic piece of the neighborhood, it could be the economic spark I have long advocated for in this area.”

Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13: “It is so exciting that we are finally moving forward at this historical site, bringing long-awaited restaurants and jobs adjacent to Iroquois Park. My hope is that this will also spur other economic development along the New Cut/Taylor Boulevard Corridor.”

Councilman Rick Blackwell, District 12: “The combination of the re-vamped Colonial Gardens across from one of the city’s greatest concert venues, Iroquois Amphitheater, will be a win for south Louisville. This is another example of the positive momentum we have in the south and southwest, and we are excited to welcome people from all across Metro Louisville to see what we have to offer.”

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