Apartments, retail space planned for Tafel Motors property

Updated: Apr. 11, 2017 at 8:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's one of the busiest spots in St. Matthews, now occupied by a beloved local business. But, an application filed with the Codes and Regulations department seeks to change that.

Plans are in the works to move Tafel Motors from 4156 Shelbyville Road to a location further east in Jefferson County and build an eight-story apartment complex in its place.

Jon Baker, an attorney for Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs, which is representing the developer, Investment Property Advisors or IPA, said floors two through eight would be apartments with underground parking. Parking would also be added in front for retail space, which may include a restaurant on the first floor.

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IPA has built several similar developments, like Cardinal Towne on the University of Louisville's campus. Their focus for the new project is young professionals and families. The building will have 276 units, offered in one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Baker said market studies have revealed a need for more housing in the popular St. Matthews area.

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Tafel plans to possibly expand to the Old Henry Road area.

St. Matthews Mayor Rick Tonini said he and council members heard about the project last month during a meeting that was held for neighbors at Beargrass Christian Church.

The biggest hurdles for the planned eight-story, 15,345 square-foot project may be its height and being located in a high traffic area.

Jon Baker said the developers want to work with the neighbors.

"There will be an opportunity for more public involvement and public comments, and we're certainly looking forward to those opportunities to take in the concerns of the neighbors and seeing if we can't fit in harmoniously with everybody," Baker said.

The mayor said the toughest part for St. Matthews will be losing such a great corporate citizen in Tafel Motors, but he understands that the dealership needs more space to grow.

The project is in the early stages. Baker said they are still a few weeks away from getting artist renderings of the project.

Ultimately, the project must have final approval from the eight-person St. Matthews City Council.

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