Cold Spring estate becomes most expensive real estate listing in Louisville

Photo of Cold Spring mansion
The original home at Cold Spring dates to 1867. | Courtesy of Kentucky Select Properties

A six-and-a-half-acre estate near Cherokee Park has been placed on the market with an asking price of $7 million.

The Cold Spring estate, located at 1801 Sulgrave Road, is currently the most expensive property for sale in Louisville, according to Kentucky Select Properties, which listed the estate.

The original house was built by Joshua Fry Speed and his wife, Fanny Hennings Speed, in 1867 at the edge of what later became Cherokee Park. The house underwent extensive renovations in 1911 to transform the simpler Victorian Speed home into an Italian Villa.

The historic house, which now includes a ballroom and a custom glass curtain wall system, was featured in Country Houses of Louisville 1899-1939 by Winfrey Blackburn and R. Scott Gill.

In addition to the main house, the property also includes a renovated, two-bedroom carriage house and the partially completed landscaping and building of a pool, pool house and spa.

“This estate embodies the elegance and architectural character of Louisville at a particular moment in history,” Joanne Owen of Kentucky Select said in announcing the listing. It “also represents a unique opportunity for a purchaser to be the next steward of both its preservation and evolution.” —Kevin Gibson

Two new affordable senior residential developments proposed

Rendering of St. Andrews Church Road senior housing
A Cincinnati company hopes to build 43 affordable senior housing units on St. Andrews Church Road. | Rendering courtesy Episcopal Retirement Services Affordable Living

A pair of affordable senior residential developments are in the planning stages, with applications filed with Metro Design and Planning Services. One is proposed for the 7700 block of St. Andrews Church Road, while the other is proposed for the 2200 block of Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

Cincinnati-based Episcopal Retirement Services Affordable Living seeks to build a senior housing development it is calling St. Andrews Church Senior Housing. The development would include 43 single-story apartment units on about 3.2 acres. Most of the area plotted for the project is zoned R-6, and Episcopal Retirement Services is requesting that an adjacent tract at 7721 St. Andrews Church Road be zoned the same to facilitate the development.

Meanwhile, Zion Community Development Corporation seeks to build 32 units of affordable senior housing at the northeast side of 23rd and Muhammad Ali. The property is owned by the development corporation and Zion Baptist Church; the two entities seek a rezoning of the property from R-6 to R-8A.

Existing structures on the site would be demolished and new housing would be constructed and designed to complement the neighborhood, including the church, which is directly across the street from the property. —Kevin Gibson

Louisville Free Public Library welcomes six new artists-in-residence

The South Central Regional Library
The South Central Regional Library is located at 7300 Jefferson Blvd. | Courtesy of the Louisville Free Public Library

The South Central Regional Library is welcoming six new artists-in-residence to its 2019 COLLIDER roster, a program that features art in several different mediums, including painting, dance, illustration, puppetry and more.

The library’s artist-in-residence program is funded by Councilwoman Madonna Flood, and it features special studio space that allows the artists to create on site, according to the library’s website. The intention is to connect the public with the artists on display. The artists come from unique backgrounds and use a variety of different processes in the studio.

Here is the list of new members on the COLLIDER roster for 2019, and a schedule of when their work will be displayed.

  • Ryan Case, painter – June
  • Maizie Clarke, illustrator – July
  • Syama Iyer, Indian classical dance – August
  • Liz Richter, Muralist/visual artist – September
  • Michael L. Jones, journalist/author – October
  • Sarah Hall, puppeteer – November
  • Ehren Reed, visual artist – December

Some of the artists also will be putting on free workshops that will be open to the public. —Jeremy Chisenhall

Louisville named a top city for first-time homebuyers

Two people smile while standing on the porch of a home.
Affordable home prices help make Louisville a good place for first-time homebuyers, according to Livability.com. | Courtesy of Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Louisville was named one of the top seven cities in the U.S. for first-time homebuyers. The list was compiled by Livability.com.

The list was based on the availability of affordable home prices, resale value, first-time homebuyer programs and quality of life, focusing on cities that are not known as high-priced markets. Livability.com cites a high Housing Opportunity Index score of 80.5 and a manageable median home price of just over $176,000.

It also notes a friendly buyers’ assistant program for first-time buyers which helps qualified buyers come up with a down payment on a first home.

The list also mentions Louisville’s general inclusive environment plus amenities, adding that the city also appears on Livability.com’s 100 Best Places to Live list. —Kevin Gibson

Kentucky Shakespeare gets grants to tour schools and juvenile detention centers

A group of people on stage
In addition to kids and youth, Kentucky Shakespeare has worked with veterans. | Photo by Holly Stone

Last week, Kentucky Shakespeare received the good news that it received two grants through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest to the tune of $50,000.

The first $25,000 grant is for its tour of “Hamlet” through schools in both Kentucky and Indiana — which in 2020 will include 35 schools.

And the second $25,000 grant will help the company to build a multi-disciplinary arts residency at Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services (YDS). Kentucky Shakespeare was the first of seven theater companies across the country to win the grant, and it will go toward providing comprehensive Shakespeare programming to boys and girls ages 10-17 in the facility.

“We believe Shakespeare belongs to everyone, and both of these grants will allow us to reach new people with the universal human stories that can connect us all,” said Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace in a news release. “The schools grant will take us back to underserved schools in rural and urban areas around the state. And the juvenile justice grant will enable us to develop and implement new programming serving youth at YDS, a first for us.”

Kentucky Shakespeare currently is performing “As You Like It” in Central Park. —Sara Havens

Report: Jewish Hospital owner getting impatient

A close-up of the words "KentuckyOne Health" and "Jewish Hospital"
| Photo by Tony Pacheco

Jewish Hospital’s owner recently threatened to withdraw its financial support from the University of Louisville to put pressure on the institution to finalize a deal to buy the struggling hospital and other facilities, according to a report by WDRB.

“About five hours before a midnight deadline on May 31, KentuckyOne Health parent company CommonSpirit Health agreed not to follow through with a threat to end the roughly $2 million per month in support it provides to the university,” reporter Chris Otts wrote.

KentuckyOne has been trying to sell the facility and other Louisville health care properties since May 2017. Jewish Hospital and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital have been losing more than $1 million a week.

For much of last year, KentuckyOne negotiated a potential sale exclusively with alternative asset management firm BlueMountain Capital, but protracted talks have not resulted in a deal. Late last year, the university jumped in and this year announced it was looking for partners to acquire the facilities, because they serve as a staging area for many School of Medicine-related functions, including cardiology, organ transplantation and neurosurgery services.

Health care experts have told Insider that potential buyers may have an interest to hold off on a purchase for as long as possible, because as KentuckyOne loses more money from the health facilities’ operations, its incentive to sell the facilities increases, which may reduce their purchase price.

Otts’ reporting, which is based on public records obtained by WDRB, appears to indicate that CommonSpirit is losing patience. The health system has agreed to push the deadline to June 14. University officials have told Insider they still hope to reach an agreement by June 30. —Boris Ladwig

In Brief

The new fully inclusive Delta Dental Miracle Playground at Fern Creek Park will play host to Miracle League of Louisville baseball games June 15. Players and volunteers can visit miracleleaguelouisville.org to learn more.

The city began enforcing its new kids’ meal ordinance Friday, June 7. Restaurants that offer children’s combo meals and a beverage for a single price must meet certain nutrition requirements or face fines of $25 to $100 per non-compliance day.

The James Graham Brown Foundation has announced nearly $3 million in grants to 11 groups to help build stronger communities and make the city and state more competitive. Winners include the Governor’s Scholars Program, Teach Kentucky, the Community Foundation of Louisville, Louisville Public Media and others.