Future development to make Crestwood’s
future look bright
By Helen E. McKinney
Original article in RoundAbout Madison
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (November 2020) – Every day commercial and residential developments are going up everywhere. But plans for the Clore Station development in Crestwood, Ky., call for a community oriented space – a different type of development for future generations.
The development will be constructed on the Clore family farm, which consists of 482 acres. The Clore family can trace their roots in Oldham County back to Elijah Clore (Feb. 27, 1772 – June 5, 1851), an early settler of the Brownsboro/Crestwood area. The farm has remained in the family since Elijah purchased it from Alexander White on Sept. 15, 1808.
It has remained farmland over the years and is in close proximity to Exit 14 off I-71. About two years ago, the Clore family hired DPZ, a global planning firm, to develop a master plan for a mixed use development with residential and commercial components.
Although “nothing has changed of any significance,” the project has not been forgotten, said Gant Jones, a Clore descendant. “We have been refining the master plan since we had the first conceptual version from the charrette in January 2019. We now have a more refined final version for the property.”
He said that the family came to realize that with the farm situated 14 miles outside of Louisville and in a county with a great educational system, it was a prime location for development. While that makes it a great investment, Jones said “there is more to the story.”
“Our goal is to provide a development of mixed-use, with emphasis on pedestrian mobility and also provide a unique character that people will enjoy,” he said. “By building a place for community, we agree that this project is a good investment for the people of Oldham County and Crestwood.”
Initial plans called for the development to contain a mix of everything to appeal to all ages: residential units, retail, restaurant space, public preschool, grocery store, library, a pool and hotels. The family wanted to create a space that would have a variety of interests and provide a unique experience so people would want to live and play there.
After the first draft from the charrette, “we performed what is called ‘ground truthing’ to help us visualize the project on the ground,” said Jones, who is also an architect with Jones Design Architecture & Planning. “This was accomplished by using a GPS device that shows the master plan so we can see it while walking. By doing this, we were able to understand what works and what doesn’t. We also were able to identify areas of opportunities that you can’t realize from planning from behind a desk. As a result of this practice we edited the plan accordingly.”
The family also hired Gibbs Planning (the firm that provided the original retail market analysis) to review the plan. The firm’s feedback recommended some minor alterations to the town center.
“Due to the amount of planning yet to be accomplished, we are still a couple years from breaking ground at the earliest,” Jones said. He said he feels three things need to happen before this: a new zoning classification has to be created for the property, an architecture pattern document has to be developed, and designing and engineering of the first phase needs to be completed.
“Currently, we are writing the zoning classification for the project based on the SmartCode,” he said. The SmartCode was authored by DPZ and yields to more flexibility for a mixed-use development than the current PUD (Planned Unit Development). “We believe it yields to a better planned development with more of a focus on the pedestrian,” said Jones.
An architecture pattern book/document has to be created as well. “One of the important qualities of this future development will be that the built forms, from buildings to signs, work together aesthetically preventing any structure that detracts from the quality of the overall development. We hope to engage in another charrette or working session for this in the late fall to early winter.”
Currently, the projected first phase will take place along the Hwy. 329 bypass adjacent to the proposed town center. “During this initial phase, we want to display a wide range of uses from retail, restaurants and offices, to single family and multifamily residential,” he said.
Ground has been broken on the north parcel of the project above I-71. Currently, a road is being built to access a new apartment complex called Crestwood Commons, which is being built on 14 acres at the back of the property. “This complex was planned prior to our charrette and isn’t part of the Clore Station development, but it is what triggered the family to perform a comprehensive master plan,” said Jones.
The city of Crestwood has a bright future in terms of growth. Jones said, that he considers the new TARC lot in Brownsboro “to be a valuable asset to the future residents of the development.” He said he hopes it will be put on a bus route because “mass transit is very important to growth.”
He said that another study that should take place regionally is one that would consider various pedestrian and bike connections from Clore Station to and through Crestwood and the county. “We really want this development to be a part of Crestwood and not feel separated. A promising possibility for pedestrian connection is KIPDA approved funding to study ways of downsizing the 329 Bypass.”
Jones said the bypass was originally planned to be a regional connection to English Station Road, but after Waldeck Farm became a historic landmark, the project ceased. What was left behind “is a 200-foot right-of-way that is overkill for what has become a city street. With this study we are hopeful that the road will be altered to something more comparable to Hurstbourne Parkway between Brownsboro and Westport, with green islands for pedestrian refuge as they cross, landscaping and wide sidewalks – all of which will benefit our development and the city of Crestwood.”
Jones has been involved with another economic growth project since 2009 consisting of seven acres of land adjacent to The Maples Park. The city of Crestwood purchased the park site and commercial and residential properties adjacent to the park, which Jones foresees as “another opportunity to establish a central identity for Crestwood.”
The initial study called for the commercial area to have a promenade stretching from the intersection of Hwy. 329 and Hwy. 22 back to The Maples Park. The promenade’s design purpose is to cognitively and visually extend the main circulation of Hwy. 22 from the intersection of Hwy. 329 into the park. Bordering the promenade would be retail and office space and possibly restaurants that line the park’s edge. He said the idea is that restaurants will have the opportunity to participate in the park as their patios can cascade down into it.
Tying this seven acres into the city frame work and to Clore Station would make Crestwood more of a desirable place to live, work and play, according to Jones. He said the goal for Clore Station has always been “to provide a quality mixed-use development that would be enjoyed and appreciated by the community. And if that brings more opportunities for Oldham County residents, then we are happy about that.”