South End apartment complex to get makeover - WDRB 41 Louisville News

South End apartment complex to get makeover

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was once known as the Americana Apartments.

Located on Southland Blvd. in the city's south end, it was built in 1948 to house navy servicemen who worked just down the street at the old Naval Ordinance Plant.

Now, 66 years later, many of the fourplexes that make up the more-than 600 unit complex have fallen into disrepair, and some are boarded up and abandoned -- but if all goes as planned, in a couple of years the complex will have a new look and a new name.

It is now called Kingston Park but will soon be renamed Heritage Green.

The new owners and developers of the complex hope to begin a major renovation project early in 2015 and have it completed a year after construction begins.

"We are looking to place the buildings on the national historic register and they utilize federal tax credits in order to execute our plan for the project," said Colin Underhill of Underhill Associates.

His firm leads a group of investors who hope to redevelop the property. Most of the insides of the buildings will be gutted and new interiors built.

The new group took title to the property on Friday. The purchase price was $7 million.

Underhill says with the tree-lined streets in the neighborhood the area has a lot of potential to again become an attractive apartment complex, although the exact renovation costs are still undetermined.

"At this point we don't know exactly what we are going to spend," said Underhill. "But what needs to be done is a complete renovation of the entire property."

Over the years, the complex has been home to a number of the city's immigrants and refugees.

Monthly rent is now about $450. But Underhill says once the property is renovated, the rent will be going up.

"Obviously if we are going to invest that kind of capital into the project, we are going to create a higher value for the property," he said, "And more revenue will have to be generated, but it is still going to be an affordable property, and we look forward to having that property for all sorts of people to enjoy in this city."

Underhill Associates successfully transformed the old Camelot Shopping Center into Westport Village.

The company hopes the success there can be duplicated in the South End.

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