Community

The owners of 1300 and 1306 Bardstown Road are considering selling or leasing the properties now that their plan to develop them with mini storage is kaput.

Developer Jeff Sleadd said he has been speaking with various parties about a sale or lease of the buildings.

The Louisville Board of Zoning Adjustment handed Sleadd and his team a defeat last week after public resistance to the mini storage plan. Residents in the Highlands neighborhood where the historic buildings are located have also expressed concern over the deals between the city and various developers.

“Obviously we’re disappointed in the decision tonight but we respect the community and the community has spoken,” Sleadd told WFPL after the decision.

Sleadd said he is not in a hurry to land a new deal. He said his group paid cash for the properties, a sale that delivered a large profit to the developer who previously bought them at a discount from the city.

One of the parties Sleadd has been in contact with is the Louisville Dance Alliance, whose studios are currently located in the nearby Mid-City Mall.

Josh Ford, who co-owns the Louisville Dance Alliance with his wife, said the company has two years to go on its current lease and will likely need a larger space after that.

“We are looking to purchase a space and that’s a really expensive space at this point,” he said. “It wasn’t when it first sold, and we hate that we missed out on that original deal.”

That calls into question how realistic it would be for the Fords to buy the properties. He said he is not currently in talks with Sleadd’s group, but if the opportunity were there, he would still need to figure out financing through loans or securing investors.

Ford said he envisions dance studios, a small performance venue, a dance retail outlet and even apartments in the approximately 15,000 square feet of space available at 1300 and 1306 Bardstown Road.

The asking price for the properties could be around $950,000, Ford said, though he wasn’t sure of a specific figure. That’s what Sleadd’s group paid for the properties earlier this year. Sleadd did not respond to a question about a potential sale price.

Louisville Dance Alliance was one of the frequent suggestions offered by community members in response to our call for ideas for how the properties should be developed.

“I would like to see the space utilized by the Louisville Dance Alliance, maybe they could share space with other youth artist groups like the Louisville Leopards or Louisville Youth Orchestra,” reader Scott Shuffitt wrote.

Other ideas included an artist and maker space similar to the Mellwood Arts Center, an art gallery, an antique mall or a library. One submission mentioned laser tag — a use for which the properties are already zoned.

But not everyone who wrote in thought mini storage was so bad.

“As long as the building stays with the character of the neighborhood, what’s the problem?” wrote Angie Edwards. “The Highlands already seems to have enough bars, restaurants and expensive little shops.”

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.