Topgolf has 40 locations in the United States and the United Kingdom. | Photo by Michael Baxter

Legal representatives of Topgolf and a group of neighbors opposing the proposed entertainment complex presented their cases in Jefferson Circuit Court Thursday in a hearing that lasted about three and a half hours.

Judge Ann Bailey Smith heard the arguments, which were filed as court briefs leading up to the hearing, but took no action. Instead, she will render her decision in the coming weeks.

Now, it’s a waiting game, with both Topgolf’s attorneys and the attorney for the residents feeling confident in their cases.

“Today’s arguments showcased the overwhelming strength of the rationale behind the unanimous Planning Committee and near-unanimous Metro Council decisions to approve Topgolf at Oxmoor Center,” Clifford Ashburner, who represents Topgolf, said after the hearing. “We respect the judge and her important work and will eagerly await her ruling in this matter.”

The U.K.-based company filed applications in February 2018 to build a three-story, 62,000-square-foot structure that would include 102 climate-controlled hitting bays where customers could sharpen their swings by driving micro-chipped golf balls onto a field. The attraction would be located in the former Sears building at Oxmoor Center.

Topgolf has about 40 such complexes in the U.S. and U.K., including one in Cincinnati, and hopes to open one in Louisville.

But a group of residents who live near the proposed development spoke out against Topgolf at a series of public meetings, then filed a pair of lawsuits to stop it from happening after both the Metro Planning Commission and the Metro Council approved plans to allow it to go forward.

One assertion attorney Steve Porter has repeatedly made against Topgolf is that the initial applications were filed under the names of companies that were not certified in the state of Kentucky.

“It went well,” Steve Porter, who represents the residents, said after the hearing. “Both sides had good arguments. I think the judge was very concerned about the fictitious applicants but was not sure whether it was enough to overturn. We shall see; [there is] no timeline for a decision.”

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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]