Change in plans for old city property sparks controversy

Highlands property sold to developers by city resold without improvement

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Metro Councilman Brandon Coan (D-District 8) wants to know why two historic city buildings on Bardstown Road that were sold to a developer for $425,000 in 2016 were recently re-sold for more than double that amount, with no signs of development.

"I believe there's a very serious violation of the business arrangement that was made and that's what I'm concerned about," Coan said.

The century old buildings, once a city police station, were supposed to be developed into offices and a tap room for a company attempting to relaunch Sterling Beer. A spokesman for Sterling said the company backed out of the project to look for another home.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Sterling Beer moving back to Louisville

A new development partnership bought the buildings and brought different ideas for using the property including a mini-storage facility and apartments.

"We were looking at this as office space and then we looked at some dynamics and said an Airbnb would be a good choice here," managing general partner Jeff Sleadd said.

Coan said the change of plans goes against what the city envisioned when it originally sold the property.

"I don't have any ill will or bad wishes against anybody," Coan said. "I think the best scenario for the city, for the neighborhood, for the community, is for us to get a project that is substantially similar to what we bargained for."

Lead developer John Hollenbach declined to answer questions.

"I really can't comment at this time," Hollenbach said. "We look forward to the redevelopment of the properties on Bardstown Road with a mix of uses that are complimentary to the neighborhood."

Developers will discuss their plans at a public meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 19 at the Highlands-Shelby Branch of the Louisville Public Library.

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