Thirty-somethings Casey Sparks and her husband Forrest relocated from Chicago in February 2018. Originally from Louisville, the Sparks returned with their four-year old son, Watson and one-year old girl, Lilly. After 12 years in a major city, both walkability and a family-friendly environment were important considerations for the Sparks family. They found both at Norton Commons.
Next summer, the North Village of Norton Commons will expand its family-friendly amenities even more with the addition of “The Grove,” a 2.5-acre ridgetop recreational area with a zero-entry lagoon style pool, splash park, playground, walking trails and sunset viewing green.
The development, which will break ground in fall 2018 with an estimated completion date before the 2019 pool season, is one of two new amenities planned for the North Village. The second is “Peppermint Green,” an extensive green space surrounded by a walking path and encircled by large native species trees. The green’s design took inspiration from beautiful but pedestrian-friendly areas like St. James Court in Old Louisville, said Marilyn Patterson, Norton Commons’ Marketing Director.
Hot Kentucky summers
Casey Sparks said her family is most excited about the Grove with the pool and splash park. “The Kentucky summers are hotter than I remembered. Watson cannot wait for the splash park,” she said. “We love to be able to walk outdoors, go to dinner, the park or the pool. Norton Commons does a great job of hosting family activities throughout the year like street parties and concerts. That was a major draw for us when we moved here.”
Patterson said the Grove will be a state-of-the-art recreation center and swimming amenity and the only one of its kind in a neighborhood in Louisville. “It will be a great gathering spot and provide yet another opportunity for people to get together and do something outdoors here in Norton Commons,” she said. The new pool will be the third and largest-capacity swimming facility in Norton Commons.
The Grove and Peppermint Green will be part of nearly 160 acres of planned green and civic spaces across the North and South Villages, and which already include miles of nature trails, a rose garden, a lakefront amphitheater, three dog parks, a community vegetable garden, wildflower meadow and two pool facilities.
Patterson said as always, Norton Commons’ aim is about efficient building. The new development will add another 100 trees between the two new amenity areas. “This all used to be farm fields with no trees and we have planted more than 2700 trees to date,” said Patterson. “It has gone a long way in adding to the tree canopy in this area of town. Our wildflower meadow helps local pollinators. Our community garden enables families to enjoy farm-to-table in the neighborhood. All these pieces are about helping to fulfill an enriched lifestyle that doesn’t take too much of a toll on the environment around us,” she said.
A growing community
The 200th home was recently completed in the North Village at Norton Commons, which broke ground in 2015.When completed, the North Village will stand at over 1,500 residences, and will be one of the largest residential all-geothermal communities in the nation.
Geothermal technology takes advantage of moderate ground temperatures to create an efficient system that lowers monthly utility bills while emitting less carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
“Norton Commons is thrilled to continue to engage in one-of-a-kind placemaking,” said Managing Director, Charles Osborn III. “We’re all about walkable, mixed-usage, with an eye toward the future, but never forgetting Louisville’s unique roots and history.”
Both the Grove and Peppermint Green will be unveiled to the public during the “Welcome Home Tour & Design Show,” to be held May 18 to June 2, 2019. The home show will include a dozen unique geothermal houses furnished in luxurious styles.