Hauck's Handy Store
The former Hauck’s Handy Store, along with three other buildings adjacent, will become mixed-use spaces. The neon sign will stay put. | Courtesy of Mulloy Commercial Real Estate

The former Hauck’s Handy Store, which had been on the market since the long-time Schnitzelburg staple went up for sale last year and finally closed in January, will be renovated by Mulloy Commercial Real Estate and turned into mixed-use space.

Founder and President Tim Mulloy said the original building, as well as four other buildings along Goss Avenue, will be renovated similarly. Another former property of the Hauck family, located nearby on Hoertz Avenue, will be renovated and remain as a single-family dwelling.

But perhaps the question on the minds of neighbors and potentially all Louisvillians familiar with the Hauck’s Handy Store legacy is this: What will happen to the iconic neon sign?

“Oh, it’s staying,” Mulloy told Insider, laughing. “That was part of the deal. The sign is iconic; you can’t move that sign.”

998 Goss rendering
Rendering of 998 Goss, which is in the process of being rezoned to C-1. |

Mulloy had originally listed the properties on the market but later decided to take them himself. A request was filed in the spring to rezone one of the buildings, located at 998 Goss, from R-6 to C-1 to accommodate a residential and commercial mixed-use space. The other four properties along Goss, including the former corner store, already were zoned C-1, he said.

He said the Hauck store will be renovated with the original integrity intact, as it was designed as what some call an “up and down” building, with retail on the ground floor and living space for the owners on the second floor.

The other buildings will undergo expansions to the rear to add residential space. Mulloy said a total of 14 rentable residential spaces will be created, while each of the buildings will also have street-facing retail space ranging between 8000 to 1,000 square feet.

“We wanted to keep them smaller,” Mulloy said, “although you could conceivably combine.”

A plan rendering for the property at 998 Goss, currently a “camelback”-style home, shows a flat façade with two-story commercial facing the street and residential at the back with a roof sloping away. That building will include a trio of two-bedroom apartments and a one-bedroom apartment. The other buildings are expected to be renovated and redesigned similarly.

Mulloy said no agreements have been made with vendors, nor have any official talks taken place, but the interest has been there. Once the zoning is in place, marketing for the spaces will begin.

Tim Mulloy
Tim Mulloy

“We’re just starting to look, honestly,” Mulloy said. “We’re waiting to make sure we get the zoning approval that we need.”

If all goes well, he expects renovations to start by early 2020 “at the very latest.

The small development certainly will be a change from what the neighborhood has known, but maintaining the sign and expanding the “up and down” residential and retail mix will reflect the Hauck’s Handy Store’s history, which owes to the German immigrants who developed the neighborhood starting in the middle 1800s.

Not only did the store serve the neighborhood for decades, but it also became the home of the annual Dainty contest, based on a German game former owner George Hauck played as a child. This year’s event is on Monday, July 29.

“The name Hauck is very important,” Mulloy said, calling the sign “a classic piece of Louisville art. It’s an important piece. From a pure marketing standpoint, we’d be silly to ever change it. I’m not the smartest guy in town, but I’m smart enough not to do that.”

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]