LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A private developer is in the midst of tearing down more than a dozen boarded-up houses and other buildings on a nearly five-acre site near the University of Louisville with plans to build apartments for college students on the land.
Called The Lofts, the complex will have 272 apartments in two, five-story buildings on either side of a multi-story parking garage.
Land Design & Development firm head Kevin Young told The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1e5o1KG ) the apartments are expected to be ready for the 2015-2016 school year.
The development is going up on the western edge of a neighborhood known for bungalows and houses dating back to 1910. The scope of the project was scaled back after neighbors expressed concerns.
The former Tabernacle of David church, a modest, white structure, was being demolished recently. The site also includes several garages and a 16-unit apartment building that are being razed.
"This particular area has deteriorated a lot," Mary Rose Evans, mayor of nearby Parkway Village said at the site last week. "This is going to be an improvement."
The city's historic preservation staff had said demolishing the homes would have an adverse impact on the historic resources of the area and "erode the historic residential pattern," in comments in the public file at Metro Planning & Design Services.
The staff did not support the plan and suggested an alternative site design that would encourage reuse of the "existing historic buildings."
A 2012 traffic study in connection with the project done by the Jacobs firm in Goshen for Metro Public Works found that the traffic impact would be "manageable" to the "existing highway network." While delays would increase, the system "will continue to operate at an acceptable level of service," the study found. It did not recommend any improvements.
"Any time you have something that brings a lot of new people into the neighborhood, neighborhood businesses are going to get more business," Evans said.
Mark Hebert, a U of L spokesman, said in December that U of L is not involved in the project, although it has said it is willing to discuss an affiliation agreement to provide educational and program support to the student residents.
Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com