Many years ago, the Von Allmen Dairy served Louisville from vast bucolic pastures on the eastern fringes of the city. More recently, the historic property was a sod farm. Today, tucked into the intersection of I-71 and I-265, the land holds Old Brownsboro Crossing, a large multiuse complex of retail spaces, office buildings and medical centers, serving both local and regional markets.
When the developers first announced their plan to create a mixed-use complex on this 114-acre site, local residents were alarmed as they wanted to retain the rural character of the area. To help allay these concerns, Main Street Realty and the McMahan Group turned to GS&P's planners and landscape architects to provide a master plan that could meet the developer's needs while being sympathetic to many of the residents' fears.
According to GS&P's Jon Henney, AICP, ASLA, the solution was to organize the site into a series of unique "activity centers" while unifying the overall development through landscape design, streetscape elements and signage. A central feature of the development is a 3-acre park linked to the activity centers by a system of multiuse trails that weave through the complex, creating more green space than is normally associated with a complex of this type.
One of the team's important suggestions placed the larger structures, including several chain stores and a hospital, fronting the two interstates. As the complex moves away from the interstates toward residential areas, only smaller retail and mixed-use areas are found. Their more intimate scale, design and building materials are much more compatible with their residential neighbors.
To further enhance the community feel, GS&P incorporated landscape design, major corridor redesign and civil design to position smaller retail stores and restaurants clustered around a "town square." Here, residents can meet at a restaurant on breaks from their jobs, or just to enjoy remnants of small-town Kentucky.
While the project was under construction, the management of Costco expressed an interest in opening their first Kentucky store at this location. After determining that its inclusion would not significantly alter the developer's vision, it was decided that the structure would replace proposed medical office space overlooking I-71. Costco was required to make some previously unheard of architectural and landscaping concessions as part of this occupancy agreement.
The project, which is nearly two-thirds complete at this time, incorporates elements of a small town to soften the effects of the presence of large chain stores and multistory buildings where dairy cows once grazed in picturesque meadows. Even the old dairy farmhouse has survived this latest use of its land and sits in the center of the complex, now an upscale restaurant owned by a well-known Louisville restaurateur.
Joseph H. Cohen, general counsel for the project from its inception, hails GS&P's creative design efforts, leadership and enthusiasm. He applauds team members who "…took the lead and helped develop a viable concept and continued work through the zoning process and construction with excellent follow-up, which has resulted in a successful, progressing development."