Louisville developer now has all the pieces for proposed Lexington Road high-rise site

March 2, 2017

This article was written by Marty Finley and originally appeared in Louisville Business First.

Jefferson Development Group has acquired the final piece of property it did not own in the triangle of properties between Lexington Road, Grinstead Drive and Etley Avenue.

The Louisville company, led by longtime developer Kevin Cogan, has proposed a mixed-use high-rise development on the site that could be more than 30 stories tall.

According to Jefferson County property records, an affiliate of Jefferson Development Group, JDG Triangle Partners III LLC, last month purchased the 0.15-acre Nu Yale Cleaners site at 2515 Grinstead Drive for $1 million.

The seller was Maloney Realty LLC, a company managed by Gary Maloney. Maloney’s family owns and operates Nu Yale. Maloney said he plans to keep the store open, and he expects Nu Yale will have a spot in the new development.

The property is assessed at about $121,000 by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator’s Office.

Bill Bardenwerper, a Louisville zoning attorney who represents Jefferson Development Group, said Cogan’s desire is to integrate the existing retail uses into the large mixed-use facility, including Nu Yale. Cogan could not be reached for comment.

Jefferson Development Group is leasing the properties in the triangle, which sit on nearly four acres, to several retail and restaurant users, including fitness company Pure Barre, upscale restaurant Le Moo, Parkside Bikes and the newly opened Fante’s Coffee. But the intention is to tear those buildings down to make way for the development.

Bardenwerper noted that there would be significant retail space in the proposed facility, which faces opposition from neighbors in the Cherokee Park area who feel it is too large for the area and the surrounding roadways.

In July, Jefferson Development Group filed pre-application documents with Louisville Metro Government, stating its desire to rezone properties in the triangle from commercial use to a planned development district.

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 for the project is 2294 Lexington Road, but the project 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.

In September, vocal opposition to the project mounted during a design session with those in the neighborhood panning the project’s height and density. Initial proposals have put the structure around 34 stories at its tallest.

Robin Donhoff, CEO of Louisville architectural firm Tucker Booker Donhoff+Partners, told Louisville Business First after that meeting that the project potentially could have 700 or more apartment units and condos, a multi-story hotel with around 240 rooms, 100,000 square feet of office space and more than 60,000 square feet of retail space. The project also has called for more than 2,000 parking spaces, most of which would be in a parking structure not visible to the public.

The investment would be $200 million or more.

Traffic was a focal point throughout that fall meeting, with residents pointing out that there already is a bottleneck at the intersection of Lexington and Grinstead during peak hours that would be exacerbated by Cogan’s development. And that bottleneck, they fear, would stretch onto nearby roads, such as Bardstown Road and Interstate 64, creating further delays.

Bardenwerper said this week that Jefferson Development Group is finalizing a traffic study that would better outline how the project can deal with those concerns and also is working on some new images of the development. He said they could be ready to file updated plans with the city within the next month and said he expects new neighborhood meetings will be scheduled to share the latest findings.