Louisville Magazine

JUN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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70 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 6.19 CITY Guide It's easy to meet people in Shelby Park. On a warm day, neighbors collect on front porches or landscape the snug rectangle wedged between their front door and the sidewalk. No wide carpets of grass here. No retreating behind privacy fencing for social hour. •is isn't the suburbs. About 3,300 residents •ll a compact, orderly grid of streets that act as a thick frame to a 16-acre park, a communal backyard with enough of a tree canopy to humble winds roaring past nearby I-65 or downtown or somewhere east into a whisper of a breeze. It doesn't take great eƒort to connect with neighbors. •at's how it's always been, long-timers say. And years ago, it wasn't uncommon to have one family —…grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins — divided among three or four houses on a single block, children often parading to and from the former St. Vincent de Paul elementary school on Shelby Street that closed in the late '80s. According to four-year-old census •gures, median household income in Shelby Park was just over $19,000, and nearly half of residents in the neighborhood lived below the poverty line. Nearly 80 percent of households were renters and eviction rates were (on some blocks) as high as six times the national average. Despite being small, Shelby Park has routinely tallied 200 to 300 drug-related crimes every year, and many neighbors expect to hear occasional gunshots in the park. Today, stand anywhere in the neighborhood for just a moment. You'll Home renovations, lots of investor interest. The small, friendly Shelby Park neighborhood is "on fire" lately. Change is inevitable. Many hope it's not too drastic. likely hear a saw buzzing or spot someone crawling up a ladder to strip siding. Big-bellied green dumpsters dot the neighborhood. "We Buy Houses" signs pop up on telephone poles, though some here make a hobby of ripping them down, worried those investors will recklessly swoop in and out for quick money. Because here's another thing you'll hear in the neighborhood: "Shelby Park is on •re." I hear it from real estate agents and developers, even a few residents. "Investors are in acquisition mode," one agent says, mentioning a shortage of move-in-ready homes in the city's urban core. •at's what many young families and singles want. One house in Shelby Park recently sold in six hours. •is old neighborhood — sandwiched between Smoketown and Germantown and shaped a bit like a gumdrop on its side — has the right bones. One developer who bought a 1,300-square-foot house on Camp Street in 2017 for $56,000 recently put it on the market for $209,000. Another developer picked up a 1,100-square-foot property for $24,000 on East Ormsby in 2017 and one year later sold it for $160,000. Empty storefronts that once housed carpet and appliance stores, a motorcycle repair shop or nothing at all now host a co-working space and a coƒee roaster, and a bourbon bar is on the way. An old candy and tobacco warehouse will soon debut as the year-round Logan Street Market, with 30 vendors including a cheese shop, bubble tea shop, and a brewery, plus restaurants and a small market with produce and a few household staples. According to data from the Jeƒerson County Property Valuation Administration, the median property value in Shelby Park has gone from about $74,000 in 2015 to $123,000 in 2018, a 67-percent increase. Shelby Park has long been a neighborhood with impressive racial diversity (considering Louisville's mostly segregated neighborhoods), with about one-third white and two-thirds African- American as of the 2010 census. •e 2020 census will capture how much of a shift Shelby Park has experienced in recent years. But data from the American Community Survey show that between 2010 and 2017, population in Shelby Park grew by 21 percent. •e white population rose by 40 percent. •e black population

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