Multi-million dollar Phoenix Hill project gets reluctant approva - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Multi-million dollar Phoenix Hill project gets reluctant approval from overlay committee

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue Overlay Committee approved the overall concept of the new Phoenix Hill project, but its members still wants more specific details before they can fully support it.

The $52 million project includes a mixed-use development near the intersection of Baxter Avenue and East Broadway.

The Ohio developer, ‘Edwards Company,’ announced its plans after Phoenix Hill Tavern suddenly closed last year.

The project would include demolishing the tavern and transforming the 3.6 acres of surrounding land into an apartment complex, parking garage, stores and restaurants.

It's the same company that got approval to turn the old Mercy Academy complex into 195 upscale apartments.

“The Mercy one is more reliant on this one because that's an all residential project,” said Bill Bardenwerper attorney for Edwards Companies.  “So as that one has already been approved, we'd like to see this one across the goal line before we make a total commitment to that one.”

In order to move forward with the Phoenix Hill project, the Bardstown Road/Baxter Avenue Overlay Committee will first have to give the green light.

Overall, committee members support the project, but voiced some concerns that appear to be non-negotiable.

“Our concerns are making sure the scale of the overall overlay is respected,” said committee chairman John Warmack.

A district ordinance prohibits developments taller than three stories. But portions of this development are pushing that limit.

“We're trying to maintain a character and a sense of scale and comfort along the corner, Warmack said.

But Edwards Companies officials aren’t fond of this proposed change.

“I can't lose units, I can't lose retail space. If there's a way for us to achieve what they want us to achieve, I think we're fine with making those architectural alterations,” said Bardenwerper.

Committee members said they needed more information about store signs and building materials.

One Phoenix Hill resident expressed frustration over the idea of a parking garage.

The overlay committee has jurisdiction only over a small portion of the site, near the corner of Baxter and Broadway, but Edwards Company still needs full approval in order to make this plan a reality.

The Bardstown/Baxter Overlay Committee will schedule another hearing on the development within the next two weeks.

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