Highlands residents speak out against proposed high rise condos

An artists rendering of the Willow Grande project (Source: Jefferson Development Group)
An artists rendering of the Willow Grande project (Source: Jefferson Development Group)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Some people who live in Louisville's Cherokee Triangle do not want a proposed high rise condo building there. WAVE 3 broke the story of the Willow Grande project over the spring.

"It's a beautiful building. For downtown, another part of town. But, not here is all we're saying," Tim Holz, a Cherokee Triangle resident said.

Holz and several of his neighbors who live in the Cherokee Triangle are speaking out about a proposed high rise condo building.

"We're opposed to this plan, because it would be too tall," said Cherokee Triangle resident and Cherokee Triangle Association President, Peggie Elgin.

The proposed building is 17 stories tall to be exact.

"It's too wide from side -to-side and from front-to-back," Elgin said.

The building is a project owned by Willow Grande, LLC with the Jefferson Development Group. It would be located where the Bordeaux apartments are today, on Willow Avenue at Baringer. The building would have 22-26 units with 11 ft ceilings in an old world style.

"Style does not matter, size is what matters in this case," said Cherokee Triangle resident, John Fendig. "The building is not true to the Triangle."

There are three other high rises in the Triangle. One even 20 stories tall.

"Those buildings are recognized as unique," Fendig said. "They were established before the plan was put in place."

The plan meaning a zoning and neighborhood layout put in place in 1989 which limits building size.

"We are perfectly happy with him developing whatever would fit within the current zoning on this site," Holz said. "We're saying don't change the zoning."

The project owner said they have applied for a zoning change. If it's approved, some of the people who live in the neighborhood fear

"The floodgates will open and it will clear the way for high rise apartment developments like the 17 story structure to pop up throughout the Cherokee triangle," Elgin said.

Kevin Cogan, the owner of the Willow Grande project, with the Jefferson Development Group released a statement saying:

"The city's landmarks commission endorsed and approved the findings of the architectural review committee saying it fits logically into the Willow area. We think the project is the right thing for the city of Louisville. We think it complements the existing structures on the willow corridor."

The Louisville Metro planning and design services mandated a meeting for residents to voice their concerns about the project to the developer. That meeting was held Thursday evening.

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