LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On the "Peek at Portland" tour, dozens of spectators were able to explore eight sights and see the historic neighborhood, from a different vantage point. The goal of "Peek at Portland" is to get people to consider the Portland area as a place to live, work, and invest.
The revitalization of the neighborhood is being spearheaded by Developer Gill Holland who is the developer behind the revitalization of Nulu. Holland, along with a group of investors, plans to pump $22,000,000 into the Portland.
He is moving his office into the Portland Christian School and pushing for the renovation of numerous residential and commercial properties. The complete project is expected to take at least ten years to finalize.
John Owen is with the Portland Business Association. He said, "Now everybody is playing catch up. They are discovering what we already knew."
As with all revitalization initiatives, there is the underlying fear of gentrification. Owen said if Portland thrives, both longtime residents and newcomers will benefit. "There is a way for the people who are here and the new folks to coexist," he said.
Tourist Megan Kociscak had never been inside of a Portland building until the tour. After seeing what the community has to offer, she says she would consider moving to the neighborhood. "There's just a whole lot of potential down here because there are so many buildings that seem to not be being used right now," she said.
Habitat for Humanity CEO Rob Locke said, "Habitat has built over 80 homes here in the neighborhood but there is a whole lot of excitement with the investment that Gill Holland is making."
Contractor Gregg Rochman said the ultimate goal is to restore Portland to the place that it once was. "Bring the neighborhood back so that it is thriving again, so that there are businesses that are here," Rochman said, "so that there are coffee shops, so that there is retail operations, so that there are offices here, the manufacturing is brought back."