Corner building in Shelby Park during construction
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Corner building in Shelby Park during construction
Corner building in Shelby Park during construction. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

An historic mixed-use commercial building has been fully renovated in the Shelby Park neighborhood. Oak Seed, a local company dedicated to restoration of buildings in Old Louisville and along the Oak Street corridor, has transformed a former ten-room boarding house at Jackson and Oak Streets into five apartments.

Last November, a fire later deemed arson tore through the building, leaving it in a state of severe disrepair. Jeff Blanchard, a partner in Oak Seed, tells us that the building has been completely gutted and restored and the group is awaiting final inspections. Two of the units are already rented.

The corner building was once a small grocery store with living space above. Jeff said the new layout is adaptable to bringing in commercial space again to the ground floor once a zoning change is achieved, which could mean the building could go mixed-use next year. Blanchard is optimistic about the building and the neighborhood:

We believe this is a great improvement for the neighborhood, in line with the kind of rehabilitation we like to do, and will hopefully re-anchor this corner building as a modern, efficient and functional complex.

We had a chance to tour the construction site in May where we snapped a few photos. It’s hard to imagine the building carved up into ten tiny units, but now the spaces are more in line with what the neighborhood needs. Oak Seed, Inc. hopes to bolster communities without displacing residents that are “integral to the neighborhood character.” It’s great to see a corner building that very easily could have been torn down put back to productive use.

 

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for the write-up on this project. Despite being underinsured for the amount of damage we sustained, we came out only 10% over budget. Many thanks to the craftsmen who worked on the rebuild, including Pete Fluhr (Accent Building & Remodeling), Stacy Douglas (Alltrade), John Gortney, and John Kidwell.

    The large first-floor space will probably remain an apartment for some time, as we are returning our focus to 530 W Oak. However, we do still intend to seek rezoning in the future (to C-R; it is presently R-6 w/ CUP) to allow for the commercial presence.

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