Germantown continues to undergo rapid change - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Germantown continues to undergo rapid change

Bradford Mills Lofts (Source: WAVE 3 News) Bradford Mills Lofts (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Germantown Mill Lofts (Source: WAVE 3 News) Germantown Mill Lofts (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Justin Brown (Source: WAVE 3 News) Justin Brown (Source: WAVE 3 News)
John Gonder and Ruthanne Wolfe (Source: WAVE 3 News) John Gonder and Ruthanne Wolfe (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Since the days of the Studebaker and ‘55 Chevys, Germantown has come a long way.

There are three mill buildings that define the neighborhood. All three are evidence of the changing times.

The newest of the three is Bradford Mills Lofts, located on Oak Street. The Lofts are a brain child of Justin Brown’s company, Marion Group.

“My grandparents owned houses down here, my dad still tells stories about running around on these streets going to get donuts down at the little shop,” Brown said.

Brown said they are a Germantown family trying to build homes for those who are looking to become one as well.

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“From an investment point of view, it’s a great spot to be,” Brown said. “I encourage others to come on down here, but there is a real personal connection with this neighborhood.”

Further south, located directly next to the train tracks, there’s a similar picture with Germantown Mill Lofts.

“It felt like it was time,” Jeff Underhill said. “For the Germantown, Schnitzelburg area to take off.”

Underhill Associates is the developer of the lofts off Goss Avenue. Their effort to preserve the old and the beautiful does not go unnoticed.

“To be able to capture and display the history of this building but also to make it modern, contemporary at the same time has really been fun,” Underhill said.

Germantown Mill Lofts is mostly residential. Unlike Germantown Mill Lofts, is John Gonder’s Hope Worsted Mills on Kentucky Street. The only people who live there are Gonder and his wife, Ruthanne Wolfe.

“I had gotten a taste for being a multi-tenant building,” Gonder explained as he was describing his vision from when he bought the mill back in the 90s.

Right now, they rent the space out to businesses. Gonder and Wolfe said they enjoy the variety of tenants they get this way. However, the real reason behind wanting to purchase an old building was environmentalism, a cause Gonder had always been putting forward in his life.

“The amount of energy and resources that have gone into this building,” Gonder said. “I couldn’t save it if I saved every tin can, aluminum I ran into in my life.”

“We’re restoring two great old buildings, kind of bringing back their glory for them,” Brown said.

The cars that roamed the streets back when these mills were operating are now considered classic. However, the spirit of wanting to preserve history never gets old in Germantown.

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