LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Charles Carlisle is pretty confident that 20- and 30-somethings will rent upscale apartments for around $1,500 in downtown Louisville. His company is about to $48 million on it.

Bristol Development Group, a Nashville-area company headed by Carlisle, filed plans earlier this month to construct a 7-story apartment building at Main and Clay streets at the edge of Butchertown. (DOCUMENTS | View the
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The building will have 260 apartments – mostly one and two bedrooms – with amenities including an enclosed, elevated courtyard with an outdoor kitchen and pool, a fitness center and a pet spa. There will be store and café/restaurant space on the first floor.

“We feel like there is an opening, a place in this market for that kind of development that hasn't been done there before,” Carlisle said in an interview.

Carlisle said the main the difference between the building his group proposes and other luxury residential spaces downtown – like
just three blocks up Main Street – is that the units will all be rentals.

“We believe that Louisville is ripe for this kind of development, especially a rental development,” he said. “So many of the (downtown Louisville residential projects) done in the last wave were condos, and unfortunately they came on right in the (economic) downturn.”

Rents will range from around $1,000 a month for a studio (550 square feet) to $3,000 for a three-bedroom. That's more than enough to cover a mortgage in most areas of Louisville, Carlisle acknowledged.

 “The kind of people we see moving into these communities are people who don't want that three-bedroom house, at any price,” he said. “Some people are drawn to these urban communities.”

Carlisle said in addition to millennials, the building might also appeal to people over 50 who want to down-size.

Plans for the project filed on Nov. 14 with Louisville Metro Planning & Design include some “minor changes” following a neighborhood meeting in Butchertown on Nov. 10, Carlisle said.

The site – about 1.4 acres between Main, Clay and Washington streets – is at the western edge of the Butchertown neighborhood. It includes 15 parcels owned by Trompeter Realty Group, and a few old buildings whose facades will be incorporated into the development.

While the Butchertown Neighborhood Association has not yet taken a position on the project, BNA president Andrew Cornelius applauded the addition of modern housing and density.

“We hope this will be a catalyst for Main Street to go back to more commercial and residential instead of that sort-of light industrial use” that currently prevails, Cornelius said.

A big plus, Cornelius said, is that all of the parking for the building (380 spaces, according to plans) will be off-street in a partially underground garage. It also helps, he said, that the building is right on the boundary between Butchertown and downtown – just on the other side of Interstate 65 from Slugger Field.

“I don't think they would support a 7-story development in the middle of Butchertown,” Cornelius said, referring to current residents.

Carlisle's group is already working in Louisville with the Norton Commons Veranda project.

“When we started that, we started looking at other parts of Louisville and really felt in love with the urban core,” he said.

Financing for the $48 million building is not finalized, but should not be a problem, Carlisle said. If city approvals go smoothly, work could start in “late spring” 2015 and the building could open in the fall of 2016, he said.

The Butchertown Architectural Review Committee will likely take up the plans in mid-December, said Jessica Wethington of Metro Planning & Design.
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