The one- and two-bedroom, high-ceilinged lofts, 12 in all, certainly haven’t lost the feel of the original space, despite the addition of modern light fixtures and appliances, washer-dryer hookups, industrial metal-tracked sliding doors and insulated, corrugated metal ceilings. Careful to adhere to national historic preservation standards, Moter even salvaged the large windows’ original metal safety grates, leaving them in spaces where current safety codes required barriers. The inventive architect found Denton-Floyd to be the perfect partner in his quest to strike a balance between luxurious modernity and classic character.
“I was able to get done what needed to be done, and done the right way,” he smiled. “They didn’t spare any expense. Economical, but still these are granite counter-tops and (top-of-the line) cabinets… They did the right things coming from an architecture standpoint, keeping the historic things and knowing the elements that they needed to spend a little extra money on. I often have to fight owners to do the fun things in a project, and I didn’t have to do that with this project.”
While the majority of the loft-style apartments showcase the instantly-recognizable, shiny basketball court floor, one of them offers a feature that is just as fun and perhaps even more unique. Three or four wooden steps lead visitors up and into the final living space, slightly raised, since it was built directly atop the gym’s original wooden stage. Another whimsical aspect of the apartment is its “staircase to nowhere,” the gymnasium’s original wooden stair which led up to the spectator balconies, now walled off at the top to create the perfect reading nook or just a clever shelf space. The carpeted apartment incl
udes the same loft space as its neighbors, with the addition of an extra window, recreated to match the enormous latticed windows that take up nearly the entire north-facing wall in each unit. “We’re hoping we’re going to get a nice view for Thunder (Over Louisville) from here,” commented Denton-Floyd Marketing Manager, Michael Rose.
As the paint was still drying on the last unit’s newly-built window frame this past Monday, Shawn Willoughby, director of business development for Denton-Floyd Real Estate Group, made preparations for eager residents to begin moving in to their new homes. All but one of the lofts, which will rent for $1,300 to $1,500 a month, were quickly leased once prospective residents toured the first model, before the project had even been completed. “It’s just been easy “ I could list 50 of these,” Willoughby enthused. “We didn’t market this at all… We did the Downtown Living Tour, so we had the model finished enough to do that, and then the rest of them were under construction and they were pretty rough, that was the middle of September. …We’re extremely exited, and I hope to have that last one leased (soon).”
While the Edison Park Lofts have nearly filled up, those who are just learning about the dynamic new Butchertown complex can still look forward to additional rental space on the property. Architect Cash Moter will soon begin work on “phase three,” a red brick, Victorian-style building that also once belonged to the Wesley House and will be transformed into two more apartments. The addition is expected to be completed in early 2013 and will offer a more classic, traditional look than the modern lofts, in keeping with its original appearance. Denton-Floyd also has plans to update the small greenspace directly behind the lofts, to establish the area as a local park. “It was the outdoor playground area for the Wesley house, and we’re going to keep it as a park for the neigh
borhood for the time being,” explained Mr. Rose. “It’s a way to give back to the neighborhood and be a part of the community, as opposed to a gated community.”
Added Moter, “It’s been kind of a labor of love, and it’s been a great experience. …They really came in here and filled a hole that Butchertown needed filled.”
Photos by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune