LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Four new restaurants and a beer garden will be the anchor attractions at the newly restored Colonial Gardens development when it opens in the spring of 2019.
The intersection of New Cut Road and West Kenwood Drive, right across from an entrance to Iroquois Park, was once a social hot spot. But it sat unused and dilapidated for years.
In 2014, the city bought the property for $1 and turned it over to local developer Underhill Associates.
Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer, several Metro Council members and Underhill representatives announced the timetable and next steps in the project. The event was such a celebration that the Iroquois High School Band kicked off the ceremony.
"Giving new life to historic structures like Colonial Gardens helps give Louisville an authentic quality of place like no other city, and our unique character is one of the things that helps draw millions of tourists to our city every year," Fischer said. "And that's a huge boost to our economy."
Neighbors and nearby business owner said they are thrilled for the long-awaited announcement. The building has been vacant for years.
"Year after year, storm after storm, nobody's taken care of it obviously," Jimbo's Bar-B-Que owner Nikki Barringer said. "So it's just gotten worse."
"I feel like we're ready for a change," neighbor and Jimbo's employee Dottie Chamberlain said. "That's just an eyesore over there and it's been that-away."
While more restaurants could mean more competition, Barringer said she doesn't see it that way.
"Actually we welcome it. All it's going to do is bring people to this area," she said.
The restaurants and the other businesses that will be part of the project have not yet been determined.
Underhill is working to make those decisions.
"Underhill Associates is excited to create a venue where the past is honored and new events will be celebrated," Jeff Underhill said. "We are pleased to partner with the city on the gateway to Iroquois Park where people can meet, eat, have a drink, and play."
Underhill also said that he's excited about architect Jeff Rawlins' design. Post Construction is expected to begin work early next year, and is estimating it will take 14 months to complete.