LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The Westport Village shopping center in Lyndon has been sold for $23.75 million to an owner who pledges a fresh start with the center’s tenants.

Atlanta-based Hendon Properties, which owns shopping centers across the southeastern U.S., closed the Westport Village sale on Tuesday, according to Jefferson County property records.

“We’re very excited about owning it and establishing good, hands-on relationships with the tenants,” Hendon Properties President Charlie Hendon said in an interview Friday.

He said the deal required the seller -- Oak Brook, Ill.-based InvenTrust Properties Corp. -- to settle a lawsuit filed in 2014 by 23 tenants over management issues like common area charges, tax charges and the upkeep of the property.

Joshua Rose, the Louisville attorney representing the tenants, said the terms of the settlement were confidential.

Westport Village was developed in the mid-2000s by Louisville’s Underhill Associates. While containing plenty of surface parking, the center has a more a walkable feel than most retail strip centers and has attracted many boutique stores.

“It’s a great alternative to the big-box type of centers,” Hendon said. “The look of it is something of a Main Street-type feel – different from a typical sort of strip center.”

Hendon said his company will now focus on leasing the roughly 45,000 square feet of vacant space, about 24,000 of which is the former Gatti’s Pizza building. The center has 168,781 square feet in all.

Hendon plans to own the center for at least five years. The company won’t hesitate to spend money on maintenance, fixing problems or fitting out spaces for tenants, but plans no noticeable changes to the look and feel of the center, he said.

InvenTrust likely took a loss on the $23.7 million sale to Hendon.

When the Underhills sold the center to InvenTrust in 2013, the deal was structured in a way that the sales price was hidden from the public record.

But shortly after the sale, the Jefferson County PVA raised its assessment of the center for tax purposes to $33.5 million, which InvenTrust fought to lower to $28 million.

Hendon said there were “a lot of bidders” interested in the property besides his company.

“We paid what we felt was (fair) market for it,” he said. 

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