A Portland Christian School classroom. Photo by Matt Gilles of Shine Contracting

We’ve been hearing murmurs about visions for a revitalized Portland neighborhood for years.

But today, the biggest measurable step to date has been made in advancing that vision. Gill Holland and Shine Contracting have acquired a historic property that will likely serve as a centerpiece for their revitalization project.

(Insider Louisville reported the emerging details of the project in the March 4 Monday Business Briefing including that entertainment executive/developer Holland, who redeveloped NuLu in 2008, is leading a group of investors.)

Historic Montgomery Street School

According to a news release exclusively to Insider Louisville, Jodell Seay, Executive Director of Portland Christian School, announced today that the school’s historic former campus at 2500 Montgomery St. in Portland has been acquired by Portland Stroll District, LLC.

Portland Stroll District LLC is part of The Portland Investment Initiative (Pii), a project devoted to enhancing the quality of life in the Portland neighborhood through real estate investment and improvement. Pii consists of three companies which represent the three stages and areas of focus for Pii’s vision for the revitalization of Portland.

The Montgomery Street building has a rich history and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It was built to house the Montgomery Street School in 1853 and was renamed the Emma Dolfinger School in 1929. The building is also one of only four buildings in Jefferson County to have served as a hospital during the Civil War; soliders who were wounded in the Battle of Perryville were tended to there.

Current interior of a classroom. Photo by Matt Gilles

Portland Christian School (PCS), which operates two campuses at 8509 Westport Rd. as well as its original campus at 2500 Portland Ave., housed its elementary school in the building from 1978 to 2010.

Investor Gill Holland says:

We are both humbled and very excited about the challenge and opportunity to fill up one of Louisville’s most historic buildings with a creative group of for- and non-profit companies and groups.  We believe we have some great community-enhancing ideas that we look forward to rolling out over the next couple of months and years for this property.  We aspire to continue the good work that PCS has been doing for years, and continues to do, in the neighborhood and we are excited to work in tandem with them to continue their good work in our community.

Current south side of the building. Photo by Matt Gilles

Jodell Seay of PCS stated:

As stewards of this historic property, we have been approached by a number of potential purchasers. However, we immediately recognized the vision and commitment of Gill Holland and Shine Contracting LLC, who will serve as construction manager for Pii and believe they have the best interests of the Portland neighborhood at heart.  His effectiveness in revitalizing NuLu assures Portland of a very promising future.

Matt Gilles of Shine, a licensed real estate sales associate with Gant Hill and Associates, represented the buyers in the transaction.

Shine Contracting has been responsible for some of the highest-profile historic renovations and reconstructions in the downtown area in the past couple years. It is already working on the Portland Firehouse and continuing to work on the Canoe building on Shelby Street that will house Red E App this summer. Shine is also the contractor behind the Silver Dollar on Frankfort Ave. and the Bank Street Brewhouse in New Albany.

More on this story as we learn more.