Roughly 14 months from now when work wraps up on a new 107-unit, $26 million apartment building at RiverPark Place, developer Poe Companies will have officially invested more than $100 million to bring a new marina, a public plaza, walkways, apartments and condominiums to Waterfront Park.
“People love to live near the water and near parks. Well, this building is on the water and in the park, and it’s a great place to live,” said Poe Companies founder Steve Poe.
Poe Companies has plans to develop more than 2,000 units, a mix of apartments and condominiums, on a 40-acre section of the park as part of an agreement with the Waterfront Development Corp., which oversees the park. RiverPark Place currently has 327 apartments.
“This building will get built, and the plan is we will jump down the plaza and build basically the same building again,” Poe said, referencing the 123,601-square-foot apartment building that his company recently broke ground on.
As Poe Companies builds a structure, they wait until it looks like it will fill up before starting the design work on the next building, Poe said. The design and approvals can take 15 months to 18 months, he added, which is why development has been gradual.
Insider Louisville reported back in July 2015 that Louisville restaurant company Falls City Hospitality Group planned to open a restaurant at RiverPark Place. However, that never came to fruition.
Poe said his company is working with potential restaurateurs to open something in that space, but it won’t be Falls City Hospitality Group.
The development of RiverPark Place has been more than a decade in the making. Work on the project first started in 2005, and it took two years to get the permits and start construction, by which time the recession had arrived.
“Probably, a lot of people thought ‘I don’t know if this is ever going to get done,’ ” Poe said.
David Karem, president of the Waterfront Development Corp., praised Poe and his team for continuing to push RiverPark Place forward.
“People need to understand how tenacious Steve Poe and his people are,” he said. “They have fought and fought and fought and been tenacious to make sure this project happens.”
Councilman Bill Hollander, D-9, noted that RiverPark Place would complement other projects in development including the Waterfront Botanical Gardens and the soccer stadium.
“This is exactly the kind of development that young people who we’re trying to attract to the community and retain in the community want to live in, close to the urban center,” Hollander said. “We also have some people who are aging who want to move into this kind of facility too and downsize. It’s exactly what we need for the community and I thank Steve for doing it.”
Hollander said he would like to see a sidewalk connecting the development along River Road to Story and Frankfort avenues to create further connectivity between the riverfront and the Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods.