The Colonial Gardens renovation is finally underway – almost. The last tenant of the historic Colonial Gardens moved out just a few days ago, which means that long awaited work on the renovation will finally be underway.
The site dates all the way back to the 1900s, and has a vast and interesting history. The site was called Sennings Park originally, and was home to the first zoo in the city in 1920. The site later closed in 1939. To learn more about Colonial Gardens and the coming renovations, read on!
More About Colonial Gardens
Before the site closed, it was redeveloped as the colonial gardens restaurant. In the 40s and 50s, it wasn’t unusual to find many celebrities and bands spending time here, including The King of rock and roll himself, Elvis Presley. Colonial Gardens has been closed and empty for more than a decade, and it was listed in 2012 as one of the 10 most endangered historic places in Louisville by Preservation Louisville.
The redevelopment of the landmark across from Iroquois Amphitheater won’t be easy, and it’s going to take some time. The $5 million project will feature 4 restaurants, although they are yet to be confirmed by the bosses behind the scheme. The project will include about 9,000 square feet of adjoining space in two new one-level buildings. A garden area is thought to be included, and an outdoor patio for dining that the four restaurants will share. They have all reportedly signed letters of intent, however, names will not be revealed until leases are signed. Underhill Associates have a 4 year old deal with the Louisville Metro to redevelop the property.
It’s a little known fact that three deteriorated northern additions of the building were recently removed by the city. Inspections determined that the additions were in danger of collapse, so they could not be renovated along with the rest of the site.
The Lease for Little Ceasar’s ran out a few days ago, so expect to see excavators, contractors, and other telltale signs of renovation pretty soon. Don’t panic: Little Ceasar’s plans to move to Auburndale Village Shopping Center on New Cut Road. This redevelopment is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Plans include renovation of the old two-level original Colonial Gardens restaurant building, which has about 7,000 square feet of space.
The property was neglected for years, before being purchased by Metro Louisville in 2013 for $430,000. Mayor Greg Fischer said the planned “redevelopment will establish Colonial Gardens as a key anchor to south Louisville and Iroquois Park once again.”
The property is expected to be a huge success for the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as help to grow businesses and the demand for jobs. Quality of life will be improved for residents, so this project is highly anticipated.
Let’s hope that the project gets underway sooner rather than later so that Colonial Gardens can return to being a place of fun – rather than the neglected building it’s been for the past 60 or so years.