Two Louisville-based developers LDG Development and The Marian Group are set to break ground Tuesday afternoon on a $71 million project that will bring intergenerational, affordable housing and retail to a 36-acre site off Cane Run Road.
Riverport Landings will include the 108-unit Riverport Senior Living, the 240-unit Riverport Family Apartments and the 64-unit Riverport Scholar House. The scholar house will caterer to single parent families and young people who’ve aged out of foster care; tenants must be receiving educational support from the nonprofit Family Scholar House.
“It kind of harkens back to a time when you had three generations of family living in the same house,” Cathe Dykstra, chief possibility officer at Family Scholar House, said of Riverport Landings. “If we can have a neighborhood that has seniors and families of all sorts and young adults who’ve come out of foster care, you kind of create that kind of energy that makes everyone excited about the relationships they have with each other.”
Family Scholar House will offer services such as free tax preparation, career fairs and college fairs for anyone in the neighborhood, not just Riverport Landings residents.
The development also will feature a 2.5-acre community park, 18,000-square-feet of retail space and a 16,000-square-foot community service facility, where social services can co-locate.
The project is being funded through tax-exempt bonds; low-income housing tax credits; Kentucky Housing Corporation funding; traditional construction and capital loans from RedStone Tax Exempt Funding, PNC Bank and U.S. Bank; Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government’s HOME and Louisville CARES programs; HOPE of Kentucky; the James Graham Brown Foundation; Frank and Paula Harshaw; The Ezekiel Foundation; and Family Scholar House fundraising.
The impact of this large-scale project on the surrounding neighborhood will be “incredible,” said Kimberly Stephenson, vice president of development for The Marian Group, and it puts residents close to a job center, Jefferson Riverport International.
The Marian Group has proposed a similar intergenerational development with Family Scholar House involvement at the Urban Government Center in Paristown Pointe.
The inclusion of retail in Riverport Landings came out of meetings with Develop Louisville and neighborhood residents, Stephenson said.
“A) It will buffer all the multifamily, but B) it will attract more of that positive growth and development that neighborhood was looking for,” she said.
The retail will be split up between three buildings, and the developers are seeking a wide variety of potential tenants.
“We want things that are going to be positive services that are going to be welcomed by the neighborhood,” Stephenson said. “Our desire is not to have a liquor store or anything like that. We want to attract good quality retail.”
The partnership began in 2014 when The Marian Group and Family Scholar House were looking for a place to construct the fifth Family Scholar House campus, all of which include housing and a mix of services available to residents, Stephenson said. At the same time, LDG Development also was looking to develop affordable apartments for seniors on a different part of the property.
The two developers decided to band together to great a large intergenerational and affordable housing development.
There is a lot of demand for multifamily housing, Stephenson said. “I think homeownership is just more elusive for people these days, so it seems like you have a larger percentage of people who are renting for longer before purchasing their first house.”
Dykstra said there are 849 families and 1,250 children on the waiting list for housing through the Family Scholar House.
LDG Development’s co-founder, Chris Dischinger, told Insider last week that the company had 12 projects in the works in different U.S. cities, including five in Louisville, because demand for apartments is “tremendous.”
The company expects to add roughly 1,600 units to the 7,000 units it already owns and operates by the end of 2017.
In a joint statement from Dischinger; Jacob Brown, founder of The Marian Group; and Mark Lechner, co-founder of LDG Development, the developers said: “The need for more affordable housing in Louisville and throughout our country is well documented and is essential to attracting and retaining the diverse workforce needed for communities to grow. The addition of Riverport Landings to southwest Louisville not only fills a need for more housing choice, but allows a nationally recognized nonprofit — Family Scholar House — to fulfill its mission to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve lifelong self-sufficiency.”
Riverport Landings is expected to open in January 2019.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified The Marian Group’s vice president of development. Her name is Kimberly Stephenson.