Construction crews are rapidly transforming the abandoned American Standard property on Shipp Avenue and Seventh Street into a massive community of student housing for the University of Louisville. The University isn’t building these neo-dorms, though; that’s being done by out-of-town developers looking to capitalize on the growing trend of college kids living on or near campus. One of two mega-dorms will be called “The Bellamy” and includes four apartment buildings with around 600 beds.
We’re happy to see that this development has some semblance of urbanity in its design. Even though it’s completely gated off from the street, the buildings push up against the sidewalk, giving the sidewalk definition. The developers have also saved the historic beaux-arts American Standard factory building for use as a parking garage. An early proposal called for tearing down the massive four-story structure for surface parking, but after outcry from the preservation community, the project now is able to attain a density not found in other apartment complexes that must rely solely on surface level parking.
Of particular interest, the garage may one day feature retail on its first floor. The Bellamy has left some space available for retail as the neighborhood improves with hundreds of college students living nearby. When the time is right, the developers will build out space and lure retailers that can contribute to the newly thriving community. That’s not to say the Bellamy won’t have anything for its residents to do.
As part of the enclosed project, an internet cafe and copy shop, ATM, fitness center, billiards room, and volleyball courts are all available to fill free time. A massive, oddly-shaped, salt-water swimming pool also adjoins the clubhouse on site. The four apartment buildings are identical with around 150 beds per building. Each unit features a balcony, high-speed internet, a full kitchen and laundry room, and comes fully furnished. Units range in size from just over 800 square feet for a two-bedroom, two-bath to over 1,300 for a four-bedroom, four-bath.
The marketing efforts on the student housing complex could also teach other condo projects a lesson or two. While the Province chose to play up the sex appeal of bikini clad girls at the swimming pool (okay, the Bellamy pulls this trick, too), both have full sales centers on site (not as nice as the Museum Plaza SC, but few are). A friendly sales staff is waiting to show you through the floor plans, interior materials, and renderings. They also have free stuff. We stopped by to ask about the project, but they wouldn’t let us leave without a free cup and t shirt (free stuff won’t win our praise, the project will, mind you).
The Bellamy Louisville also has jumped full force into 21st century marketing with a Facebook page and a MySpace account, where the complex is evidently a single, 21-year-old girl (Astrological sign Leo if you were wondering). There you can meet the Bellamy’s sisters, 21-year-old Bellamy at Milledgeville and 26-year-old Bellamy at Greenville. They all bear a very strong family resemblance.
Overall, this project is still a single use apartment complex shielded from the rest of the city, but it does so in the least obtrusive way possible. Call it suburban polite? There is no sea of parking, the buildings are densely packed together, and it offers the promise of sidewalk retail down the road. The architecture has a brick base, but is mostly wooden. The design is slightly above your typical suburban complex. Â And we’re all right with that. This part of Seventh Street has been neglected for so long that an influx of students is bound to have a strong impact on the community and smaller urban infill projects will hopefully spring up along the way. The Bellamy will open this coming July.
- Bellamy Student Apartments (Official Site)
- Luxury Student Housing Watch: The Province (Broken Sidewalk)