200 loft apartments to replace Schnitzelburg antique mall - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

200 loft apartments to replace Schnitzelburg antique mall

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Jeff Underhill Jeff Underhill
John Booker John Booker
Drawing showing the new concept for the antique mall site (Source: Underhill Associates LLC) Drawing showing the new concept for the antique mall site (Source: Underhill Associates LLC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Stakeholders in the redevelopment of a Schnitzelburg antique mall announced plans on Thursday to convert the property into hundreds of loft-style apartments.

Underhill Associates LLC has teamed jointly with Goss Avenue Antiques and Interiors owners John and Steve Booker to redevelop the three story property into 200 apartments.

"This is a building built in 1889 as a cotton mill," began Jeff Underhill of Underhill Associates. "We are going to redevelop it into primarily residential high-end loft units."

Underhill said the joint venture between the redevelopment firm and the Booker brothers will optimize use of the current property while taking advantage of its prime location within a corridor between downtown Louisville and the Highlands.

"We're going to celebrate a lot of history of the building, the architecture of the building, with many of the features that make this a unique property," said Underhill. "The big beams, the wood floors, exposed brick, beautiful windows; we're going to make it very modern."

The property at 946 Goss Avenue has been in the Booker family for the past 45 years. It has been home to Goss Avenue Antiques & Interiors for the past six years but housed other antique ventures over the past three decades.

"This is a great future for the building that we love," said Goss Avenue Antiques & Interiors owner John Booker. "We're thrilled to have this partnership come together."

According to Booker, the family's furniture distribution business was slowly being phased out.

"We had about two thirds of this building empty," explained Booker. "We have our antique mall operating on the first floor, which has done great, but again it's only taking up about one-third of the building."

Booker said his family had to come up with a plan to salvage the company and property.

"Partnering with the Underhills to develop apartments here was just a great plan of action," said Booker.

The multi-million dollar redevelopment project will be conducted in phases, with the close of the antique mall and start of construction both expected at the first of the year. Within 18 months, developers expect to have tenants living on the premises. Within two years, Underhill said he expects the entire project to be completed.

While the project aims to modernize the property while preserving its cotton mill history, developers said the daycare currently on site will remain in place. However, the future of the antique mall and the restaurant it houses are less certain.

"We are looking at potentially a theme-restaurant here on the site," said Underhill.

"We're really hopeful that we'll be able to relocate and find a new home for it hopefully nearby," began Booker. "A lot of that is still in the works. We're trying to build the dealer support to make the move. Hopefully all of this is going to come together and everybody will have a win-win situation when all is said and done."

Booker said between two-thirds to three-fourths of the mall's current 130 dealers will need to agree to move before plans will be finalized to relocate the antique mall.

Once complete, the redeveloped property will feature a variety of amenities.

"Those amenities are going to include a generous amount of green space and patios," said Underhill. "We are contemplating a pool and potentially bocce ball courts, bike racks, a fitness center, community gardens and such on the site."

"I think it's going to be great for the community, for the city, for everybody involved," said Booker.

Underhill cited collaborations with the city of Louisville, Pimsler Hoss Architects, Inc., and environmental assessments by Lazarus Group LLC over the past 18 months to get the project off the ground.

Stay with WAVE 3 News on-air, online at wave3.com and on mobile via the WAVE 3 News app for future updates on the Goss Avenue Antiques & Interiors redevelopment process.

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