$183M Paristown development: Here’s what people think

Paristown Preservation Trust LLC is planning a $183 million mixed-use project at the Urban Government Center site.

The community got to provide feedback at a public meeting on a $183 million mixed-use development on Monday.

Paristown Preservation Trust LLC (PPT) is the new developer of a long vacant 10-acre site at 810 Brent St., formerly home to the Louisville Metro Urban Government Center. It was awarded a development agreement in December and the concept was revealed in March.

The new plans include the following:

  • A 350- to 450-unit apartment complex called Paristown Heights;
  • A dog park/public market plaza;
  • A mixed-use facility in the former steam plant that could house a post office, café, health center, storage units and public meeting space;
  • 150,000 square feet of Class A office space that would also feature a 110-room boutique hotel and condos;
  • another 72-unit mixed-income senior apartment complex adjacent to the Highlands Community Ministry property with an 8,000-square-foot child development center;
  • 20 cottages in the parking lot on Vine Street.

The developer held a charette, or public comment session, on Monday evening at Highlands Community Ministries to get feedback on the project.

Jennifer Stuecker and her mother Sharon Stuecker both live in the neighborhood near the property. They expressed frustration with how long it’s taken for something to come of the site, placing blame on both past developers and Louisville Metro. While they are hoping this project succeeds, they also felt defeated at the prospect.

“I’m 76, and I hope to live to see it,” Sharon Stuecker said.

John Grossman lived on Breckinridge Street for over 30 years, and though he recently moved away, he’s still invested in what’s going to happen to the property. He hopes neighbors and others in the city are able to put pressure on the developers to get the project done.

Steve Smith, managing member of PPT, said the main concerns he heard at the meeting regarded when the project was going to get started. The spot has been sitting vacant for nearly eight years and has passed through the hands of a few developers.

Smith has been leading several projects in Paristown, such as the redevelopment historic Louisville Leather Co. building, which now houses The Cafe, among other businesses. He said PPT is different than other groups because they know how to bring projects in Paristown to life. He said their plan has brought together a mix of elements that will serve the community well.

Greg Oakley, partner at Hollenbach-Oakley, mirrored that sentiment. He said while he understands the hesitation from neighbors, the firm is committed to seeing it through.

Another concern brought up at the meeting was traffic. Randall Webber, a member of the neighborhood advisory committee, said several people left comments regarding traffic flow in the community, population density and parking on Barret Avenue and Vine Street.

Jon Baker, attorney with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs who is representing the developer, said PPT will take the feedback gathered from residents at the public meeting and incorporate it into the guideline book.

Baker said the developer has brought on a traffic engineer to survey the area, who said the site had more visits when it was functional than it will with what PPT currently has proposed. Because of that, the developer has not and is unsure yet if they will complete a traffic impact study.

PPT is filing an application to change the zoning of the property to a Planned Development District. That allows PPT to create a guideline book that will be used as the zoning code, enabling the company to include a variety of building and design uses for commercial and residential developments.

PPT plans to bring the project to fruition with a team of organizations. Those include local developer Hollenbach-Oakley, CARMAN Landscape Architecture and a neighborhood advisory committee. Baker said the advisory committee is made up of individuals from each neighborhood surrounding the development.

“(The site) is at a confluence of neighborhoods,” Baker said. “The advisory committee opens lines of communication… and lets members of each neighborhood meet with the developer and Louisville Metro to discuss topics they’re hearing.”

The plan is still in its preliminary stages. The group is hoping to get rezoning approved by the end of 2022 with a groundbreaking in January of 2023.