Local activist and three-time independent mayoral candidate Jackie Green isn’t backing down on his proposed bicycle-centric residential development in Clifton called Frankfort Crossing.
Green hopes to build the $3.75 million, 24-unit apartment complex at 2132 New Main Street, located near the railroad crossing on Frankfort Avenue, across the street from Weikel Avenue.
Green and his partners recently purchased a shotgun house adjacent to the lot where the development is planned to create a green space that would also serve as a buffer zone of sorts for homeowners on the street.
A public meeting will be held Tuesday night to discuss rezoning the property where the house sits from R5A to C2, where Green also will relate plans for the property and the development. The house currently has an intent to demolish notice on the front door.
Last year, Green proposed adding four stories to the existing structure at 2132 New Main, which dates to the late 1950s and formerly served the neighborhood as a post office. Currently, its tenants include Gallant Fox Brewing and a chiropractic office. The apartment development would be built on top and in a lot behind the building, which Green owns. The plan also calls for additional retail space.
Green’s application to build the complex was deferred by the Clifton Architectural Review Committee last year with the request he make changes to the planned development amid neighborhood concerns that there isn’t enough parking and that the structure would be too tall for the neighborhood, particularly in relation to the adjacent shotgun house. He said the committee asked him to lower the elevation and move most of the development back toward an alley behind the building.
But Green told Insider Louisville he has no plans to change the scope of the project, noting that many in the neighborhood are in favor of Frankfort Crossing as it was designed by Rachel Harman and Dan Spitler of Concept Architects.
“I don’t want to accommodate the wishes of the ‘no’-borhood,” Green said, describing the term as “that element of the neighborhood that says ‘no’.”
Green points to the fact the development is designed to be a community for bicyclists, and storage for up to 80 bikes is a key part of the development, along with a green roof and solar panels for power. Requests from the Clifton Arch Review Committee would eliminate the green roof and space for solar panels.
Green, who said he hasn’t owned a car since 1999, believes Clifton is the perfect neighborhood for such a development.
“It’s one of Louisville’s most walkable communities,” he said. “It’s one of the most cyclable communities.”
He believes buying the house eliminates one of the major complaints, and said the house had become uninhabitable anyway, thanks to previous owners keeping dozens of cats in the home for years. Green said he considered utilizing the house for the apartment project, but a property value assessment discounted the house entirely, which is why the plan is to demolish it.
“The smell is overpowering,” he said. “I’m anxious about the thought of even sending somebody in there.”
Green hopes gaining the change in zoning for the adjacent lot will help inch the project, which he firmly believes is a great fit for the neighborhood, forward. He said he hasn’t secured funding for Frankfort Crossing but plans to do so as his plan gets closer to approval.
“I want to get some green lights behind me first,” he said. “I would rather go to investors with green lights instead of high hurdles. We’re going forward one step at a time.”
Tuesday’s public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Clifton Campus of Northeast Christian Church.