A large abandoned industrial plant occupying a slender 7-acre wedge of land between south Fourth Street and the railroad tracks near the University of Louisville is under demolition to make way for a planned mixed-use project called Belknap Crossings that has been on hold for several years. A public meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. tonight at the Country Inn and Suites on Crittenden Drive and Central Avenue to discuss the most recent plans proposed by Preston Thomas Properties and 5G Studio of Dallas, Texas.
Andrew Owen, one of the developers behind the project at 2501 South Fourth Street, was reluctant to reveal details ahead of the meeting, but noted the project is moving forward as part of a RFP submitted two years ago to the University of Louisville’s off-campus dorm expansion.
Owen previously told Broken Sidewalk that the plan called for a mix of uses including residential and retail. Initial concepts called for potentially keeping part of the 200,000 square foot industrial structure nicknamed the “big green giant” that was once used for metal fabrication among other uses. While contaminated with asbestos and solvents, Owen said the site cleanup would not be prohibitively expensive. Belknap Crossings was awarded a $600,000 low-interest loan in 2009 to assist with the remediation efforts including removing underground tanks. In the end, however, Owen said the salvage value of materials in the old building dictated clearing the entire site.
Several years ago, the developers asked California-based (fer) Studio—architects behind Gill Holland’s Green Building—to help conceptually master plan the site. Doug Pierson, principal at (fer) described the site as “a great location poised for redevelopment” with the potential to bridge the South Louisville/Lucky Horseshoe neighborhood with the University of Louisville. Owen said the conceptual drawings produced at the time were part of a design exercise and the latest designs were produced by 5G Studio.
We’ll have more info on the project after tonight’s meeting, but if you managed to attend, please fill us in with a few details in the comments.