Kevin Cogan has taken the next step to develop a huge mixed-use project on a cluster of properties at the triangle created by Lexington Road, Grinstead Drive and Etley Avenue, near Cherokee Park.
Cogan’s development company, Louisville-based Jefferson Development Group, has filed pre-application documents with Louisville Metro Government stating his desire to rezone nearly four acres the company owns in the triangle from commercial use to a planned development district.
“This was just a preap filing, not an official one, as we have one or more charrettes and lots of planning and thinking still to do,” Bill Bardenwerper, a local zoning attorney working on the project, said in an e-mail to Louisville Business First. “The preap allows Metro agencies to begin their preliminary technical reviews.”
According to the city’s land development code, the planned development district designation is intended to promote a variety of building and design uses and allows for residential and commercial development.
The primary project address is 2294 Lexington Road, but it also takes in 2300, 2338 and 2340 Lexington Road and 2501, 2503, 2509 and 2511 Grinstead Drive, according to the filing. Jefferson Development Group, at Cogan’s lead, has been accruing the land needed for the development for years.
The filing follows a series of design sessions held by Jefferson Development Group to unveil initial design plans and renderings for the project, which has been estimated to cost more than $200 million and feature numerous high-rises, the tallest of which could top out around 35 stories.
Robin Donhoff, CEO of Louisville architectural firm Tucker Booker Donhoff+Partners, presented an early rendering of the plan, showing that it would include a cluster of attached buildings making up one huge structure with two residential apartment high-rise buildings and a large hotel.
Donhoff said that, as designed, the project would have more than 700 apartments and about 250 hotel rooms.
Concerns immediately arose about the height of the complex and the density it would create so close to Cherokee Park and the residences surrounding the park.
Other concerns that arose during the meetings included traffic impacts, potential strain on the sanitary sewer system and stormwater runoff.
For those reasons, it’s likely the project will be challenged in the same vein that the proposed Willow Grande high-rise condominium complex, also envisioned by Cogan, has been thwarted for years by members of the Cherokee Triangle Association.
Bardenwerper in a letter submitted with the filing said plan improvements are being made in advance of a follow-up design meeting or meetings with neighborhood residents, but he did not disclose in the letter what kind of improvements could be made.
During the first design session held at Louisville Collegiate School in June, Bardenwerper said the project could accommodate a small grocery store along with other retail uses Cogan has already announced, including upscale steakhouse Le Moo, a Parkside Bikes location and a store for Kenzie Kapp, a Louisville designer who makes and sells Derby-style hats and fascinators.
A planned multi-story parking garage would wrap around the interior of the complex, topped with a rooftop courtyard and garden area that would help with stormwater runoff but also have community space and possibly retail elements, Bardenwerper said.