A group of four investors has been quietly working to revitalize the Limerick neighborhood adjacent to Old Louisville. Shine Properties has already finished renovating two historic shotgun houses on Seventh Street and Zane Street and is now tackling its largest project yet: a two-story commercial building on the corner of Seventh Street and St. Catherine Street.
The brick structure had been in terrible shape before the investors came across it. Water damage had weakened the interior walls, and some of the floor had to be replaced from rot. The exterior of the will be completely tuck-pointed and the commercial store-front will be restored to its original configuration. The building dates to the 1800s and was reportedly once a bread bakery. Plans are evolving, but the ground floor could again contain retail space and the upper floor could possibly be a two-bedroom apartment or an office.
Shine Properties consists of real estate agent Matthew Gilles, architect Mosley Putney, Gregg Rochmann, and Jonathan Bevan. Mosley has designed the group’s renovations so far. Gregg and Jonathan moved to Louisville only two years ago from the northeast after seeing the potential of the city first hand. Shine’s goal right now it to revitalize Limerick and bring back a community to an often overlooked historic neighborhood.
Matt Gilles explained that many derelict buildings in the area are in desperate need of work. Sitting boarded up, they serve as “rat traps and fire hazards”, but purchasing them for renovation or redevelopment is often hindered by complicated deed structures. Upon finding a now renovated shotgun house on Seventh Street, Matt knew he wanted the house before even seeing the interior. He says working with properties in such terrible shape from the outset can be frustrating, but rebuilding Limerick is worth it.
The team doesn’t want to work on the neighborhood alone, either. Shine Properties hopes to bring Limerick to a tipping point where additional investment from others, both developers and individuals, can become commonplace. They also hope to bring the highest quality product possible to the area. Matt says as a real estate agent, utility bills are of top priority to buyers and renters alike. The two houses already rehabbed include energy efficient systems like tankless hot water heaters, bio-foam insulation in the walls, and 14-inches of ceiling insulation. These extras cost more, but are worth it in the long run, Matt said.
Limerick is lucky to have found a development team so dedicated to the neighborhood. Shine Properties plans to be there for the long haul, too, and see the neighborhood into better times. This involves more than just fixing up abandoned buildings. One simple way the team contributes to the community beyond renovation work is keeping the area clean. Workers pick up not just their own trash but any litter they see around their project. Shine Properties knows that neighborhoods trash reflects badly upon everyone and wants to create a clean and safe area for their projects.
- Shine Properties (Official Site)
this is the type of development that will make louisville a more attractive place to live- not top-down projects like 4th st. live!
Limerick is a jewel in this community with much to offer. It is close to so many ammentities like transit and jobs, affordable, and diverse in population. It has a great history of being a working class, integrated neighborhood.
Another great aspect is that it provides opportunities for folks to lighten their impact on the earth. To renovate an old home, close to your job, and use its amentities, it is easy to live green here. When I moved here 3 years ago, I was able to sell our second car because we didn't need it. I would encourage anybody considering a move to the downtown area to look at Limerick. There are some great houses that can be fixed up like the Shine guys are doing on 7th.
Good work, Shine!
My husband and I just purchased 1038 S. 7th for those very reasons, he works downtown and we are drawn to the uniqueness of this area. Does anyone know how to get history on this specific property? I am intrigued to know who lived there since it was built in 1900.
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
Congratulations on your new Limerick home, Bethany; it’s definitely one of the most centrally located neighborhoods in the city. In terms of researching the building’s history, perhaps you could check the land records from the County Clerk or possibly old city directories. Anyone know a better way to research who lived at a particular address in the city?