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The $5 million renovation of Colonial Gardens is nearing completion and we now know two of the four businesses that will locate there.

Officials announced Monday that El Taco Luchador and Union 15 will be the first tenants to open at Colonial Gardens in south Louisville in the coming months. This will be El Taco Luchador’s fourth location in Louisville. According to a news release, Union 15 is a new pizza and tap house concept. 

The Colonial Gardens building, situated across from Iroquois Park, has been vacant since 2003. Construction on the new project began in spring 2018.

“This was just a project that we had to do,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday. “It’s a great example of how public and private can come together to give new life to vacant properties and fill a need.”

Inside El Taco Luchador at Colonial GardensKyeland Jackson | wfpl.org

Inside El Taco Luchador at Colonial Gardens

The city bought the property in 2013 and has spent more than $2.4 million on the project, according to a news release.

Underhill Associates, the developer of the project, has invested $2.8 million, per the release. At Monday’s announcement, District 25 Councilman David Yates said restoring Colonial Gardens will do great things for the south end.

“When you have vacant and abandoned properties, it’s contagious and it hurts the economic impact of the entire area,” Yates said. “It’s not just about a few restaurants. It’s not just about making sure a dilapidated structure is rebuilt. It’s about saying that south Louisville is open for business.”

The Colonial Gardens building is more than a century old. It’s a former roadhouse and nightclub, and in the early 20th century, the property was the site of Louisville’s first zoo.

The renovation is expected to finish this June.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.