The development, which will occupy the block bordered by Cardinal Boulevard and Third, Fourth and Bloom streets, will include two new student apartment buildings and about 30,000 square feet of new shops and eateries, said Larry Gough of Investment Property Advisors, a Valparaiso, Ind., developer working with UofL and the city on the project.
The two, four-story apartment buildings will house a total of 539 luxury student apartments ranging in size from one to four bedrooms, Gough said.
Each apartment will be fully furnished and will include a kitchen equipped with energy-efficient appliances and granite countertops, living room with a 40-inch flat-screen television, dining area and bathroom.
A common area will house a study center, movie theater, fitness center and game room, and both buildings will have underground parking.
Qdoba, Jimmy John’s and Heine Bros. Coffee plan to open in the new complex, and a Gray’s Bookstore, convenience store, hair salon, bike shop and printing-copying shop may also be among the new retail businesses, according to Gough.
“About 65 percent of the commercial space is already leased,” he said. “We’re still looking for some key businesses.”
The project also will include the renovation of three historic properties in Old Louisville capable of housing another 30 students, he added.
“Our vision is to create an extension of both the University of Louisville and the historic Old Louisville neighborhood.”
All of the historic approvals necessary for the project have been granted, but some building permits are still pending, Gough reported. The development will be funded with a combination of private and conventional debt.
Gough’s company has undertaken four or five similar projects near other universities, including mixed-use developments next to Valparaiso University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he said.
Construction is set to begin in late August on the first, 373-bed apartment building, which should be open by Fall 2011. Work on the second, 166-bed apartment building is set to begin in Spring 2011 and to be completed by July 2012.
UofL’s students will be invited to name the new complex in a contest that will be launched after school starts in late August.
“This development will be another important piece in our master plan for Belknap Campus,” said UofL Provost Shirley Willinghanz. “We want to create a ‘college town’ feel where there are plenty of places for students to eat, shop and play on campus or right next door.”