When Brent Botts’ realtor took him to tour a Norton Commons home with his family three years ago, his reaction was immediate – look no further. “As soon as we walked in, Brent said, ‘Done, this is where we’re moving in,’ said Botts’ wife, Angie. “We love the open space layout and how you are able to be with your family no matter what room you’re in. There are not a lot of walls.”
That design layout actually became a metaphor for the diversity and community vibe the Botts have enjoyed at Norton Commons, said the couple, “open and not a lot of walls.”
The Botts family, including Angie, 32, Brent, 40, son Lennox, 18 months old, and a baby girl due to arrive around November 16, moved to Norton Commons three years ago by way of Chicago.
“We were living in the city, getting married in 2015, and we knew we wanted to start a family, said Angie Botts. “Our upstairs neighbors in Chicago had just had twins in the middle of winter and we saw them lugging the babies, dog, groceries up three flights of stairs, and it sure looked complicated. We wanted to buy a house and put down roots. We had heard great things about Louisville being a great family town,” said Botts.
In the first year in the neighborhood, the couple was busy starting a new business and gone so much they didn’t have the chance to take advantage of all the community had to offer. But when baby Lennox arrived, Angie said they were home so much more and “slowed their roll.” “We started taking advantage of the parks, shops, pools and restaurants,” she said. “Being able to walk everywhere – we absolutely love it,” she said.
In 2016, the Botts opened a private training studio and gym, Uplift Training, in the Bowman Field Hangar on Taylorsville Road. Angie manages the facility. “It’s something I’m passionate about and have always wanted to do. It’s a dream to be able to actually do it,” she said. She also has some personal training clients from the neighborhood who train with her at the Botts’ home.
In addition to being a primary investor of their gym, Brent is a football coach at Christian Academy of Louisville. As physical fitness enthusiasts, both appreciate the opportunity to walk the ¾ mile with Lennox to his preschool and back every day. “We get out of the house and get exercise in the morning and we can be together if the weather is nice. That’s something you can’t really find anywhere else,” said Brent.
With Lennox in tow, the Botts have enjoyed many Norton Commons events, such as the Concert by the Water Series, Fourth of July parade, Arts Festival, Memorial Day picnic and Sips at Sundown series. “There is always something going on,” said Brent. “That’s what’s so cool about this place. You don’t really have to travel, and when you have young kids, that’s great. You can still be active without the big production of the car seat,” he said, something that will be even more helpful when baby number two arrives just days from now.
Angie said she loves the way the neighborhood encourages families and children to interact with one another. “If you think back to when we grew up, all the kids were outside playing. But in other neighborhoods where I’ve lived as an adult, I never saw kids outside. We were lucky if we got two trick-or-treaters,” she said.
Be careful what you wish for. Last year, the Botts estimated they had 600 trick-or-treaters.
Brent said he enjoys the numerous green spaces at Norton Commons. “They draw people outside. That’s how we know a lot of our neighbors. One of our neighbors organizes a basketball tournament for kids in the neighborhood, with half the proceeds going to charity.”
Angie said she sees neighbors at their Norton Commons-owned businesses, or in the mom’s group she belongs to or just at restaurants or shops. She’s grateful to know neighbors well enough she could count on them if she needs something when the new baby comes. “I haven’t had those relationships in any other place I’ve lived,” she said.
The Botts enjoy shops and restaurants like Mercato (can’t beat homemade pasta, said Angie) and boutiques like Lulubelles, and their favorite takeout eatery, Tea Station.
Brent Botts said he and Angie are thankful for the community that is, in its own way, very old-school.
“It’s very family-oriented and you can feel that energy,” said Botts. “Coming from the city, we might have had some stereotypical ideas about suburban communities, but we just fell in love with it. It’s such a great place for kids, and it’s hard to beat all the amenities. Get your kids to put the video games down, and immerse yourself in it. It’s such a blessing.”