More than $35 million retail center planned along Bardstown Road


Fresh Thyme grocery store has signed a notice of intent for a 30,000-square-foot space. | Renderings by Herschman Architects
Fresh Thyme grocery store has signed a notice of intent for a 30,000-square-foot space. | Renderings by Herschman Architects

Whitehouse, Ohio-based Devonshire REIT has submitted plans and renderings for a new 221,000-square-foot retail center on 31 acres off Bardstown Road near the Gene Snyder Freeway.

Current plans call for all retail with one 3,500-square-foot outlot dedicated for a restaurant.

The center, called Bardstown Pavilion, will cost an estimated $35 million to $40 million, according to attorney Bill Bardenwerper, who is representing Devonshire. The civil engineer on the project is Louisville-based company Land Design & Development. Cleveland-based Herschman Architects is the lead architect.

The project will go before Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government’s Land Development and Transportation Committee on July 28. Bardenwerper said the committee will set a hearing date for the project — likely for the early fall — at the meeting.

If the project receives approvals before the end of this year, construction on the new shopping center will start in summer 2017, with a 2018 opening.

Plans were first submitted to the city back in November. Bardenwerper said the developer has been doing its due diligence, including a comprehensive traffic study.

“We spent a lot of time working on that, and I think we are in pretty good shape,” he said.

Bardenwerper added that the construction of the shopping center could benefit others nearby by justifying the installation of a traffic signal across from Bates Middle School and creating a new connection to Cedar Creek Road.

Although the center hasn’t received final city approvals yet, it already has at least one tenant lined up. Fresh Thyme grocery store, which opened its first Louisville store earlier this year, has signed a letter of intent with Devonshire to take a 30,000-square-foot space in Bardstown Pavilion, Bardenwerper said.

This is only Devonshire’s second development in Louisville, and it is considerably bigger than its first — a CVS Pharmacy on Brownsboro Road.

The shopping center project was started by developer Patrick Madden, owner of Madden Development in Lexington, Ky. He remains involved, Bardenwerper said, but Devonshire bought into the project and is now the main developer.

“These real estate investment trusts are just huge nationally and growing, and they have so much cash and have appetites for growing,” Bardenwerper said. “They pay large amounts of money.”

What is unusual about this case is that Devonshire bought the development before it was built. Typically, REITs wait until a project is complete, he said.

“This is really quite a unique situation,” Bardenwerper said. “They are coming in early and doing the building and development.”