The American Legion has sold its Bardstown Road proeprty and is looking to relocate. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA
The American Legion has sold its Bardstown Road proeprty and is looking to relocate. | Courtesy of Jefferson County PVA

After three years on the market, the American Legion post in the Highlands has been sold.

The American Legion Department of Kentucky Highland Post 201, located at 2919 Bardstown Road, opened in 1937 and was the largest American Legion post in Louisville, according to its website.

“There are a lot of guys who are gonna be sentimental,” said Dave Vantassel, commander of Highland Post 201. “It is kind of a landmark. Everybody knows the lodge cabin, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Vantassel, 75, said he is one of the younger men among the Legion’s membership, which at one point boasted more than 1,000 members and hosted a large annual carnival and many successful fundraisers.

Today, the members have grown older, and the organization doesn’t bring in the same level of revenue to keep the building up, he said, forcing them to sell their longtime post.

“We can’t fix it. We haven’t got the income now,” Vantassel said. “We had no choice but to get rid of that, to sell that and move on to a smaller place.”

The Highland Post 201 sold the nearly half acre of land to the all-girls Catholic high school Assumption, which sits catty-corner to the American Legion post on Bardstown Road.

Assumption bought the land and building for roughly $1.5 million, according to Robert Wang, vice president of investments and hospitality at Gant Hill & Associates real estate firm. Wang represented the Highland Post 201 and is currently working with members to find a new location for their post.

Originally, Wang was negotiating with CVS Health to open a pharmacy on the property, but a wrench was thrown in the deal when the company merged with Target and talks ended. Wang said he wanted to make sure the property went to good use, noting that developments such as a 24-hour store or gas station wouldn’t have fit.

Highland Post 201 inked a deal with Assumption on Tuesday — three years after the property went on the market. “It’s been a marathon, but I’m just glad they got it, and it’s a good feeling situation,” Wang said.

Assumption president Mary Lang told Insider Louisville in an email that the future of the building is still up in the air.

“At this time, we plan to use the property primarily for student parking. We have rented parking from the American Legion for over 20 years. Owning the property allows us to continue to provide parking close to school for our students,” she said in the email. “We have not made any decisions regarding the buildings or how we will use them for the future. The American Legion has been granted some extra time to remain on site to prepare for their move to a new location. Once they vacate the property, we will be in a position to investigate the condition of the buildings further and determine how they will best serve our school.”

Because of its location, the high school is limited in its ability to expand and lacks all the parking it needs for its students without the post’s lot.

“It’s a good deal for the school because the school is kind of landlocked and they needed a space to park,” Vantassel said. “It turned out well that way. I am happy they had a chance to get it. It is going to be put to good use.”

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Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]