811 East Market Street. (Branden Klayko)
811 East Market Street. (Branden Klayko)
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The Louisville Metropolitan Business Development Corporation (METCO) has awarded its latest round of loans totaling $337,767 to six local businesses, and four of them will have direct results on four building facade renovations across the city.

On East Market Street, a $50,000 facade and $5,000 accessibility loan will help owners Chris and Anne Fuller to renovate 811 East Market (above). The duo plan to restore the building’s original facade from beneath its current faux-stone cladding. Hopefully that also means bringing back the old storefront and the potential limestone columns that may or may not be underneath. New handicap-accessible restrooms are also planned.

640 South Fourth Street. (Branden Klayko)
640 South Fourth Street. (Branden Klayko)

Aaron Frisbee, Larry Bisig and George Dumstorf III received a $50,000 facade loan to fix up Bisig Impact Centre at 640 S. 4th Street.  Among the planned repairs is a new glass storefront system, paint, and marble panels. You might remember when we poked fun at the building’s rather nontraditional column bases, but we’re hoping this update will help the structure blend better on the sidewalk with nearby retail in Theater Square. Ideally that might mean bumping the storefront back out to the edge of the building, but we’re not sure if these updates involve moving or simply replacing the storefront.

412-420 West Oak Street. (Branden Klayko)
412-420 West Oak Street. (Branden Klayko)

Joseph Impellizzeri will be using a $50,000 facade and $10,000 accessibility loan to renovate 412-420 W. Oak Street between Fourth and Garvin streets which are currently in a state of disrepair (above, below). Plans include a new brick facade and glass storefront and new handicap-accessible restrooms. Old Louisville has been trying to transform the 4th and Oak corridor into the neighborhood’s retail center, but efforts have been slow-going. These easily-updated simple commercial buildings can begin to transform a corridor much faster than new construction. Here’s hoping the new facade will be filled with character.

412-420 West Oak Street. (Branden Klayko)
412-420 West Oak Street. (Branden Klayko)
1058 Bardstown Road. (Branden Klayko)
1058 Bardstown Road. (Branden Klayko)

Finally, Tommy and Sally Clemons, owners of the Highlands Tap Room, received an oddly specific $30,017 façade loan to renovate 1058 Bardstown Road just north of Grinstead Drive where the bar will soon relocate. Improvements include new windows, paint, and awnings. The building’s brick facade appears to be fairly new and was added by someone who doesn’t know much about historic design as evidenced by generic metal window lintels that offer no visual cues as to how the brick is actually being held in place. While we’re not sure if it’s part of the plans, it would be great to see that one-parking-spot curb cut eliminated on Bardstown in favor of a new front patio.

1058 Bardstown Road. (Branden Klayko)
1058 Bardstown Road. (Branden Klayko)

Two other loans were also awarded. $100,000 went to Preston Farms Popcorn at 1000 Zane Street in Park Hill that will help purchase additional equipment to expand production. Children of Excellence School House Rock also received $42,750 to help start a new daycare at 3017 Hunsinger Lane in Hikes Point.

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Branden Klayko

5 COMMENTS

  1. I’m excited to see that a part of Old Louisville not completely populated with rich white folks is getting some assistance. Typically, St. James Court gets a lot attention and money (as it should because it is important and beautiful and needs preservation) but there are other parts of Old Louisville that often get overlooked despite being just as valuable. 4th and Oak is already a retail center to those who live in this area. We have a bank, dollar store, Rite Aid, Chinese restaurant, salon, beauty supply store, urban gear shops, bodega, a thriving music venue, and a gay bar all centered around 4th and Oak. I feel that the one thing keeping this area from flourishing is a nice grocery store. An abandoned supermarket wastes behind the dollar store and rite-aid. The tiny 2nd street Kroger can’t meet all of its patrons needs. Either moving the Kroger to this better situated and larger location or introducing some competition would serve the neighborhood well and would draw downtown dwellers to this area of town.

  2. In my opinion these subsidized loans should be reserved for areas that lack significant retail activity or adequate property values to inspire private sector investment. The Bardstown Rd project seems to be an inappropriate use of limited gov’t resources.

  3. The curb cut is gone and there will be front patio with a landscape buffer between it and the sidewalk. New double hung windows with transoms and a side ramp/deck area connecting the front and back. Brick nd siding will be painted and awnings installed.

  4. Drove down East Market Street today and the faux-stone facade is already gone. I didn’t get a great look at the store front but the limestone columns still appeared to be in place, though there was some obvious damage. Though the facade has yet to be restored, having that ugly covering off has already immensely improved the overall look of the block.

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