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Louisville Lofts and Condos » 2007 » July
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Archive for July, 2007

Louisville, KY Condominiums and Lofts Listings

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

I’ve started to begin a comprehensive listing of condominiums and lofts in the Louisville, KY area. On the right hand side of the page, you can see the condominium and loft development listing in its formative stage.

I’ve decided to separate the listing into two categories: Central Louisville (which is basically defined as Louisville, KY before the merger with Jefferson county) and Louisville, KY suburbs (outer Jefferson county and surrounding counties, including neighbors to the north in Indiana).

Each of the entries about the condominiums/lofts will feature key facts about that development and pictures (if I have any). I hope that this proves to be a useful aid to anyone who is in the market for a new residence or is just curious about condominiums and lofts in the Louisville area. I know that I would have appreciated this information several years ago. Of course, times are changing and there are many more choices today than just a few years ago–more than 19,000 condos in Jefferson County alone. My personal preference is for a more urban area, but I’ve decided to include suburban condominium developments to ensure that I provide a full view of the current marketplace (although I still believe that I’ll be biased toward downtown Louisville and nearby areas).

Phoenix Lofts Planned for Original Highlands

Friday, July 27th, 2007

At the corner of Rubel Ave and Broadway, in the Original Highlands, Marian Development Group plans five lofts in a three story building to be called Phoenix Lofts.  It is a short walk from the coffee shops and stores of Baxter Ave and just east of the downtown Louisville area.

 The developers, Jake and Cynthia Brown, will offer four two bedroom, 2.5 Bath Lofts with underground garage, while one unit will be one bedroom, 1.5 Bath without a garage.  The lofts will feature metal staircases, tall ceilings (10-11 ft), stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, bamboo floors, and will fit the character of the neighborhood with brick/stone exteriors and walk-up stoops.  Prices will begin at $298,000.

Mercantile Gallery Lofts Open

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Mercantile Gallery Lofts

Mercantile Gallery Lofts–View from the East on Market Street (with Charnette building still under renovation on the left)

The Mercantile Gallery Lofts, a $10 million development of Todd Blue (with Jim Walters of Bravura and investor Rowland Miller) includes the renovation of two historic structures (plus a third, newer building from the 1960’s for the parking area).

As of July 23, 2007 there are 8 condos that have been sold (the project began marketing about a month earlier, in June 2007) and the condos are now officially complete and open for occupancy. The units range from $179,000 to $400,000 (with a penthouse for $850,000). The development features a first floor common area with billiards/poker table, theater room, fireplace lounge, fitness facility and laundry.

Although the project is essentially complete, buyers can still have the finishing touches of each condo customized upon purchase.

Fleur de Lis on Main Construction Progress

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

The Fleur de Lis on Main is an 82-unit development that is now under construction at the corner of Preston & Main St in downtown Louisville. The five-story development will feature street level retail space and secured, underground parking. Each of the units will be on floors 2-5 and will feature a balcony (with either courtyard or street views). There are fifteen different floor plans, from 1,067 sq. ft to 2,016 sq ft in a variety of formats. All of the units have two bedrooms, but some are lofts, some have dens and others are in a townhouse format, with prices from $240,000 to about $440,000, dependent on configuration and views. In May, the developers announced that 30% of the development was pre-sold, just prior to the end of pre-construction pricing (June 1, 2007). Based upon my review of the currently available units at Fleur de Lis on Main, about 33% have been sold as of mid-July.

The condo/loft development is being constructed in the middle of the fast developing East Main District, directly across the street from Preston Pointe and diagonally across the street from Slugger Field, baseball stadium home of the Louisville Bats. On the opposite side of Preston street are the Park Place Lofts. There are 11 (!) residential developments either built or planned within one block.

I took a few pictures to show the current construction status. The foundation and underground parking appear to be substantially complete. Work has already begun on the first floor’s steel infrastructure. Work began last year (August 2006), but appears to now be making substantial progress.
Fleur de Lis Construction from Preston StreetFleur de Lis on Main from Preston Street (July 2007)

Fleur de Lis on Main Construction–View of Underground ParkingFleur de Lis on Main–View of underground parking and first floor steel construction from alley with Preston Pointe in background (July 2007)

Reynolds Building Lofts nearing completion

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

On the south side of U of L’s Belknap campus, near the Speed School of Engineering, the Reynold’s building Loft/Condo development is taking shape. 

The Courier-Journal reported about its progress today. The 70 condos include walls of windows and private balconies. Its proximity to I-65 and the U of L campus should make it a lively place to live with easy access to other parts of the metro area.

Some of the original building features, such as the Reynold’s Aluminium company logo of St. George slaying the dragon, were preserved.   Detailed floorplans and features can be found at the Reynold’s Lofts website.

The developer, McGoodwin Co., has already sold 6 condos, although the building is still under construction. The first residents are expected at the end of July, before the U of L semester begins.

Inverness Condominiums in Cherokee Triangle

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

The Moorman Home condo conversion will likely soon have a new neighbor. According to the Courier-Journal report, a building with seven more condominiums (Second phase of the project) has a hearing scheduled for final approval.

It received praise from the Cherokee Triangle Association and Louisville Metro Landmarks Commission for a design that complemented the existing historic neighborhood.

Prices have not been set for the second phase, but the first phase prices start at $569,000.

4th Street Live! Expansion

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

One of the biggest complaints (for years) has been that downtown Louisville is dead after work. Obviously, this has a negative impact on the whole region: if the center is dead, the rest of the city is soon enough down the same path.

A couple of years ago, as part of the continued revitalization work for the downtown area, 4th Street Live! opened in the old galleria space (a downtown mall that had lingered well past its prime). I can’t really say that I’m a huge fan of 4th Street Live! (a bit too sterile and mass market friendly), but it has done its job and acted as a magnetic for the downtown area, both day and night.

As evidence of its success, The Cordish Company (owners of 4th Street Live!) have now announced a major $6 million expansion of the original project into the adjacent Starks building (20,500 sq ft on the first floor). The Courier-Journal also reported this may be a prelude to an even greater expansion (destination retail) on the old water company block.

All of this is good for condos and lofts, as more attractions stimulate even more demand for living space where there’s energy and vitality. Bill Weyland and his City Properties development group are in the process of completing the renovation/restoration of the YWCA building, just a block south of 4th Street Live!, a multi-use project with commercial space, apartments and condos. As this area continues its renewal, I expect to see many more condo and loft projects underway.

I-64 and Downtown

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

I-64 is closed for the next month. If you believed all of the hype, you would think that the world would end because of this event. In reality, it was much of a non-event. Traffic was a little worse. Travel to/from Indiana to Louisville takes longer. It’s not pleasant, but nothing earth-shattering. Even with the closure, the traffic is nothing compared to larger cities, such as Chicago.

If you live close to downtown, the I-64 closure isn’t any trouble at all.

This brings me to two points I want to make:

First, there has been a movement for some time to reevaluate the plans for two new bridges in the Louisville, KY area (one bridge downtown and one bridge on the east end). This movement, 8664, persuasively argues that I-64 through the heart of Louisville–cleaving the downtown from its historic, riverfront roots–was a mistake in judgment when the interstate system was first conceived for the Louisville area. I-64’s closure between 22nd Street and Third Street is more or less the section of I-64 that 8664 proposes be removed and turned into a boulevard along the river. The current situation is not really a fair comparison to the 8664 proposal for two reasons: (1) The East End Bridge doesn’t exist and (2) 8664 proposes a boulevard where I-64 currently travels, enabling easy access to downtown from the West End and Indiana. However, I do think that the current closure shows that traffic can still move–even with major construction underway.

Second, the disruption caused by the closure of I-64 is magnified because of Louisville’s lack of a true mass transit alternative to commuting by car. At more workplace, however, there has been positive interest shown in at least considering the bus for commuting. But, let’s face it. There are only a handful of routes from Indiana to Louisville. Moreover, the buses also must deal with the same closure of I-64 as all other vehicles. That’s not very conducive to gaining ridership.

What does this have to do with Louisville Living?

For Louisville, KY (and the surrounding region) to continue its development, it needs to improve the quality of life–especially in the urban/town centers. A vibrant center energizes the entire region.

For downtown, I-64 is an ugly blight. It’s removal would greatly improve the quality of the downtown area, creating new open space and connecting the city center to its river heritage. It would open the riverfront area for development and revitalization (especially the Riverport area just west of 9th Street) and lead to a renaissance along the river. Moreover, it would likely prove to be a financial boon–potentially saving taxpayers more than a billion dollars by making the constuction of a second downtown bridge for I-65 unnecessary.

The money saved could then be funnelled into another project to improve the quality of life for the entire region: a real transportation plan. Today’s plan isn’t much of a plan: build more roads (even though current roads can barely be maintained). A true transportation plan would encourage more travel choices (more choice=more satisfaction) to the entire Louisville community.

For example, Vancouver, Canada has an innovative transportation plan that explicity states “there should be no increase in road capacity, with the intention that other modes are preferred in the following order:

  1. Walking
  2. Cycling
  3. Transit
  4. Goods Movement (trucks)
  5. Single Occupant Vehicles

Louisville should likewise develop a comprehensive transportation plan, focused on quality of life and true transit choice.

Downtown Condos: June 2007 Louisville Magazine

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

The June 2007 edition of Louisville Magazine featured an article entitled “The Call of the Condo.” The article described recent demographic trends in the Louisville area that are leading to more interest and development of condos and loft projects around the city.

The article also focused a great deal of attention on the downtown area, since this area has been at the forefront of a resurgence in urban living and condo/loft development.

The overall article had a very positive take on the condo market and its continued development in Louisville, especially in the downtown and east of downtown areas.

In the beginning…

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Louisville, KY has begun to enjoy a resurgence in downtown living along with the rest of the country. Like other trends, Louisville just takes a little longer to catch up. This website will feature news and information about living in the downtown area of Louisville. I will be writing about downtown projects, with a focus on the livability of the downtown area.

Downtown Louisville is becoming a place to live, work and play. Louisvilleloft.com will focus especially on the living part.