Developer Andy Blieden is taking on his next big Butchertown project, and instead of just one building, he is planning to renovate nine.
When asked why, Blieden told Insider Louisville: “Because I had the opportunity. How often do you have the opportunity to have an impact on a city.”
Blieden also owns the nearly 100,000-square-foot Butchertown Market at 1201 Story Ave., which includes a number of retail shops, food-making businesses and a small bar.
His latest project consists of eight properties that he’s purchased and one he is in the process of buying. Of those, four will be renovated into rental homes, and five will be retrofitted to businesses.
He purchased the eight under the company name Butcherblock Properties LLC for a total of $500,000. Bruce McCann, owner of Coral Properties LLC, previously owned the plots.
The properties are all dilapidated and need renovation work to not only modernize them but also to restore their original features. Each of the properties was built in 1900, according Jefferson County property records.
“It is really a case of trying to bring these structures back,” Blieden said.
He expects to spend $1.2 million on just the five commercial properties, which includes the purchase prices. Blieden said he wasn’t sure what the residential renovations will cost.
“It depends on once we get in there and see what is going on,” he said.
For example, work already has begun on one future rental located 1006 E. Washington St., and Blieden has to replace a large part of the porch, something he didn’t anticipate before workers started on the project.
Two of the other residences are located at 1004 E. Washington St. and 115 N. Wenzel St. Blieden said he expects the first three rentals to become available for tenants during the last three months of this year.
The fourth rental property hasn’t been purchased yet.
The rental homes will include new appliances and likely will cost around $1,000 per month.
However, it’s the stretch from 1009 E. Main St. to 1019 E. Main St. that likely will be of most interest to people not seeking a new rental house.
Blieden plans to renovate the buildings — four homes and one warehouse — and fill them with retail shops, bars and/or restaurants.
“The idea is to have that block be something that people are really going to want (to visit),” he said.
For the commercial renovations, Blieden today was approved for four loans from the Louisville Metropolitan Business Development Corp.
Blieden said he is looking for businesses that work well together and hopes to find a way for each of the businesses to utilize a joint courtyard in the back of the property.
Although he hasn’t advertised the project before this, Blieden said he already has had inquires from interior designers and people wanting to open boutiques, bars and restaurants there.
The warehouse in particular would be great for a restaurant, he said. “It’s wide open. It’s funky.”
Now is Butchertown’s time, Blieden said, noting that Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. distillery has drawn many to the neighborhood, and that chef Bobby Benjamin’s Butchertown Grocery restaurant will bring even more when it opens this fall.
“I think Butchertown is going to blow up,” he said. “It is not a question of if (Butchertown property) will be valuable; it is a question of when.”