The sleepy suburb of Anchorage has been slowly transforming itself from interurban train-stop / summer house neighborhood into a full-time bedroom community over the past 100 years. Recently, however, town patron and pizza magnate John Schnatter has been transforming the town’s main drag into a real town center with a definite sense of place. Over the past few years, Schnatter’s Evergreen Real Estate has built and renovated several structures near the corner of Evergreen Road and Station Road, sparing no expense to create an authentic turn-of-the-century architecture, designed by Dan Fultz, Architect of St. Matthews.
Schnatter had originally envisioned an urban town center, a miniature version of the Highlands, but the neighborhood, always cautious of change, rejected initial proposals. The project was scaled back to retain more village qualities: a grouping of quaint, individual structures around a small square rather than a streetscape with an urban edge. The end result is quite pleasing and, while not urban in the traditional sense, definitely exemplifies a town center on the village model. The architecture and scale of the project is also highly refined as Evergreen Realty was more interested in creating a quality product than turning a profit. Stone masonry, copper details, granite curbs (even in the parking lots), brick sidewalks, and lush landscaping lend an upscale feel to the development, fitting considering the tenants Schnatter is looking to attract.
Currently, only a bank branch has opened in the development, the slowing economy is to blame for the other empty buildings. The flagship tenant of the new town center is a proposed steak house to be called Anchorage Prime, but the restaurant is likely to be located in the last building of the development not yet under construction (rendering below). Schnatter has said recently that he still plans to open the restaurant, but is waiting for a better economic outlook for such an upscale eatery. Also in the plans are a coffee shop and an ice-cream shop likely to be located up the hill (photo above) where the renovated interurban station, a new two-level building, and the renovated Hayes house sit.
The Ville-Voice Eats has even speculated that we may see one of John Schnatter’s new Calistoga Bakery Cafe concepts at the location:
Could we see a Calistoga Bakery Cafe there? That’s the concept Schnatter is backing with his own money, so don’t be surprised. Getting support from locals for a chain restaurant, however, surely will be dicey. There’s only so much commercial development Anchorage folks will take before they revolt. They pay big money for privacy and solitude, and I can’t criticize their desire to keep the peace.
The old interurban station (right building in top photo) was once home to an upscale restaurant that never took off. Then the station was still at the bottom of the hill with a rotting foundation. As part of the new development, the station was moved to its new location and completely reconstructed.
The architect, Dan Fultz, had at one time located his offices on the second floor of the station. He has a long relationship with Anchorage, designing many houses in the neighborhood, most notably John Schnatter’s own home nearby. Overall, the new Anchorage town center will offer not just a focal point to one of Louisville’s most historic neighborhoods, but finally a centralized sense of place where residents can find a heightened sense of community with the ability to walk to some of their daily needs.
- Schnatter plans steakhouse, ice cream shop for AnchorageÂ (Ville Voice Eats)
- City of Anchorage (Official Site)
- City of Anchorage (Wikipedia)