Upscale Apartments Attract Younger Crowd to Middletown
Kirsten Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org 11:34 a.m. EDT June 13, 2014
The new Meridian on Shelbyville apartments, which include amenities such as granite countertops and frieze carpeting, have attracted young professionals. (Photo: courtesy of Hills Properties)
Several upscale apartment complexes in various stages of development near Middletown are attracting young, single professionals to a part of town that has "not historically been a magnet" for the demographic, Louisville Metro Councilman Jerry Miller said.
Meridian on Shelbyville, a 304-unit apartment complex about a half-mile west of the Snyder Freeway, is currently under construction.
Touting itself as a "luxury apartment," Meridian offers renters "finishes you would find in a custom home" but typically not in apartments around the city, said Maria Lashells, director of marketing and training for Hills Properties, which developed and owns Meridian.
The kitchens have granite countertops, the floors are covered in frieze carpet, and designer paint coats the walls, she said.
Although construction on the $27 million facility won't be complete until next spring, about 50 of the units — which range in rent from $890 to upward of $1,395 a month — are already occupied, Lashells said. The complex has attracted some "empty-nesters," but the majority of renters are young professionals, which Lashells likes to call "the HGTV crowd," referring to the network dedicated to home-improvement and gardening shows.
"When I watch that channel, and I look at people who are looking at homes or their first apartment ... I think that there's a natural tendency to think, 'I have to have brushed nickel. I have to have stainless steel appliances,'" she said. "So that's what we've created in our apartment homes."
Young professionals also are attracted to the flexibility of renting instead of owning a home, Lashells said.
Down the road — about two miles from Meridian, just east of the Snyder — construction is wrapping up on LC Idlewild, a 360-flat complex that offers its residents organized events for socializing with neighbors and a full-service bar and restaurant on site. The complex is currently leasing.
Louisville Metro Planning and Design also has approved plans for Claibourne Crossing, a gated apartment community in the Old Henry area, and has issued building, electrical and sign permits to developers Jefferson Development Group, Planning and Design spokeswoman Jessica Wethington said.
Hills Properties, which also developed the Shadow Ridge apartment complex near the Paddock Shops, owns property off Taylorsville Road and plans to break ground on a facility similar to Meridian sometime next year, Lashells said.
Miller said the Middletown-Eastwood Trail, a multi-use path connecting the two areas, has helped attract a younger crowd to the Middletown area.
"The thought of being able to come out, get on your bike, ride three miles and be in one of the greatest parks in Kentucky, I think is pretty attractive to people," he said, speaking of the Parklands of Floyds Fork.
It's also a low-crime area with easy access to interstate highways, he said, and the increase in younger residents is stimulating development of stores and other businesses in the area.
"We should start construction this year on the western end of the Middletown-Eastwood Trail, so I think when people see that, everything's going to click, and the momentum will continue to build," Miller said.
Reporter Kirsten Clark can be reached at (502) 582-4144 or on Twitter by following @kirstenlmclark.