Heritage Green rehab of former Navy housing into 560 affordable apartments celebrates its new park

While the Germantown Mill Lofts is Underhill Associates‘ highest profile development project right now, another significant multi-family housing development in South Louisville is steadily moving forward.

A typical building at Heritage Green. (Courtesy Underhill Associates)
A typical building at Heritage Green. (Courtesy Underhill Associates)

The $30 million, 560-unit Heritage Green project is a rehabilitation of a 1940s-era complex built for officers returning from World War II into affordable housing renting for $500 to $800. The site includes over 60 structures covering 29 acres next to the United States Naval Ordnance Station. It’s located just off Southside Drive and down the street from the Americana Community Center.

A historic aerial of today's Heritage Green site. (Courtesy Underhill Associates)
A historic aerial of today’s Heritage Green site. (Courtesy Underhill Associates)

Developers placed the complex on the National Register of Historic Places to gain eligibility for historic tax credits to help fund the renovations. Because of its age, the buildings are surrounded by large trees. The development group led by Underhill acquired the property in 2014 and announced formal plans earlier this year. The apartments are expected to be complete in 2016.

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Last week, the development got its very own park, the prolix Heritage Green Neighborhood Activity Center, located in the back corner of the property.

The outdoor space represents a group effort of the Louisville Redevelopment Authority, Underhill Associates, Metro Parks, and Louisville Metro Government. The park has been dedicated to the Metro Parks system, according to a press release.

“Parks and community activity centers…were identified in Vision Louisville, Louisville’s 25-year vision for the built environment,” Gretchen Milliken, director of the Office of Advanced Planning, said in a statement. “The overall Heritage Green project touches upon a number of the Vision Louisville goals, including healthy and active living and complete neighborhoods.”

Heritage Green Neighborhood Activity Center includes multipurpose fields for soccer and football, a playground, picnic area, and a half-mile walking path.

Heritage Green and the surrounding neighborhood. (Courtesy Google)
Heritage Green and the surrounding neighborhood. (Courtesy Google)

Just last month, a woman was killed a block from the development while walking home along Southside Drive highlighting the need for further pedestrian improvements to better serve Heritage Green and its surrounding neighborhood.

While Heritage Green itself is compact and fairly dense, it’s largely disconnected from neighboring uses including limited access to a post office and industrial areas to the east where residents might walk to jobs.

Such a significant investment in the area along with already strong institutions like the Americana Center should certainly position this part of the city for a more vibrant future.

[BSW]

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