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Old 01-02-2016, 09:35 PM
 
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Hello I will soon move to Louisville Kentucky in February to start a new job at the end of February which is located in downtown Louisville. I'm in my late 30s and currently live in Merrionette Park, Illinois. I have found a realtor in Louisville and have been interested in the Old Louisville area as a place to live as it seems ideal for someone like me who would want to walk to work if it is possible. We have a 9 year old so I'm also looking for a good school area as well. Our Realtor has discouraged us from Old Louisville and would like to show us some places in our price range in the eastern part of Louisville. What are your thoughts on Old Louisville? From what we have seen, parts seem sketchy and other parts seem charming however the charming parts seem well out of our price range. Is the area safe? How long would a walk take to and from downtown Louisville? Any other recommendations? We are also considering the Indiana side but I really want to be able to walk downtown as we only have one car.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:32 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Can you afford private school? Louisville / Jefferson Co does busing to the extent that even the best urban neighborhoods have poor public schools. Also you are buying? What's your price range and desired home size?


The southern parts of O L (generally south of Ormsby) is nicer than north. There aren't many homicides but there is a lot of car break ins especially off the busier streets. It's an urban neighborhood with a mix of rich, poor, students, etc. The architecture is outstanding. I lived at a busy corner in O L for a few years and had my car broken into or vandalized several times and had 2 bikes stolen. But had I lived a block away off the more private St James Ct that probably wouldn't have been a problem. The problem is you want to walk downtown but the best part of O L is 1+ mile to downtown and the northern part is the least safe part and is mostly parking lots and light industry. There are lots of bus lines going downtown.


The eastern areas the realtor mentioned was undoubtedly the Highlands and Clifton / Crescent Hill. They have a lot more restaurants and shops than OL, they're also more pricey.


In terms of housing cost, car insurance cost, and available public schools I'd recommend the best parts of New Albany for urban housing.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:37 AM
 
6,295 posts, read 13,173,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckBeChitown View Post
Hello I will soon move to Louisville Kentucky in February to start a new job at the end of February which is located in downtown Louisville. I'm in my late 30s and currently live in Merrionette Park, Illinois. I have found a realtor in Louisville and have been interested in the Old Louisville area as a place to live as it seems ideal for someone like me who would want to walk to work if it is possible. We have a 9 year old so I'm also looking for a good school area as well. Our Realtor has discouraged us from Old Louisville and would like to show us some places in our price range in the eastern part of Louisville. What are your thoughts on Old Louisville? From what we have seen, parts seem sketchy and other parts seem charming however the charming parts seem well out of our price range. Is the area safe? How long would a walk take to and from downtown Louisville? Any other recommendations? We are also considering the Indiana side but I really want to be able to walk downtown as we only have one car.
You are an urbanite from Chicago....do NOT let the realtors steer you to a boring Schaumburg like suburb.

Indeed, Highlands and Clifton/Crescent Hill are safer am more upscale, but also $$$.

If you know what you are doing and or ok with a few issues here and there, you are fine in Old Louisville. It is not like people are randomly gunned down in L=Old Louisville, but, from time to time, you may be hear about a shooting, usually thug on thug or dealer on dealer, on the edges of the neighborhood. Old Louisville has a crime profile like the west part of Wicker Park, near Humbolt Park. Or think of the far west loop near United Center 5 years ago. Certainly a beautiful area, and there are more restaurants (and a new brewery opening soon) than you might think in Old Louisville. There is a nice Kroger and plenty of coffee shops south of UofL campus. The area is growing with new apartment complexes all around its edge, but at its core, which is ST James court, there are beautiful upscale houses.

This same type of house can be found in Cherokee Triangle, a subsection of the Highlands, but it is also waaaay more expensive. That said, that area is a bit more walkable...in Cherokee Triangle you can walk to Valumarket grocery, the movies, and a gazillion restaurants and coffee shops. Think of Lincoln Rd and Lincoln Park in that area, but smaller of course. There are 3 good bus lines which have frequent service to dt on Bardstown Rd should you live on say, Willow Ave, Everret Ave, Patterson Ave, etc. Are you wanting to buy for sure? What is your price range?

JCPS schools have some of the best around, and some of the worst.

https://apps.jefferson.kyschools.us/...oolfinder.aspx


Use this to find your school based on your house...most people get their "home" school despite what the scare mongers tell you. There is busing, and there is a small chance your child gets bused to a not so good area to "equal out" mostly racial and economic quotas.


Bottom line, you really need a good tour of Louisville. I would be happy to show you around. Just PM me when you arrive.

This area in Nulu may interest you...

The EDGE

It is in a more up and coming area, a litle more well kept, and is within 2 blocks of hospitals and also a great retail and restaurant strip on east market street. Once I-65 rehab is done, there will be improved bike paths that are dedicated into dt. There is even a bus which I believe is free called the main/market circulator which is less than 2 blocks from these city homes.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:49 PM
 
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Old Louisville probably has the best walking infrastructure and most density but the demographics (a lot of poor old people in the towers, relatively poor people on the edges, and lots of students) mean that there really aren't so many amenities. Walking to downtown from south of Ormbsy is like a twenty minute walk. It also suffers from kind of being isolated from many of the things you would want to go to. The Highlands or Clifton might be a better choice. They are more expensive but there are advantages. They're safer (not that Old Louisville is extremely dangerous but property crime is quite common and you must have your wits about you at night and it's best to not go alone) and closer to nicer grocery stores and more retail and activities. There are many structural reasons why Old Louisville hasn't been able to really come into its own, which is a shame because of how beautiful and walkable it is.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:38 PM
 
Location: I is where I is
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Old Louisville isn't the best part of town. It's definitely not like the West End( which is the bad part of town) but it has a decent amount of crime, but alot of the crime in that area is car break ins and things of that nature. It's also filled with a lot of college kids.

The east end is definitely the desirable location. Especially the highlands, Cherokee, crescent hill, etc...
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:49 PM
 
6,295 posts, read 13,173,944 times
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Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
Old Louisville probably has the best walking infrastructure and most density but the demographics (a lot of poor old people in the towers, relatively poor people on the edges, and lots of students) mean that there really aren't so many amenities. Walking to downtown from south of Ormbsy is like a twenty minute walk. It also suffers from kind of being isolated from many of the things you would want to go to. The Highlands or Clifton might be a better choice. They are more expensive but there are advantages. They're safer (not that Old Louisville is extremely dangerous but property crime is quite common and you must have your wits about you at night and it's best to not go alone) and closer to nicer grocery stores and more retail and activities. There are many structural reasons why Old Louisville hasn't been able to really come into its own, which is a shame because of how beautiful and walkable it is.

But there ARE more amenities than you think:

http://www.oldlouisville.com/restaurantstaverns.htm

This list seems older..some of these places have closed or been replaced by new places. It is also not exhaustive. For example, Baraka is one of the best ethnic spots in the city. It is run by somali immigrants. You will not care there is no Chipotle in Old lOuisville bc for 10 bucks you can get an authentic chicken suuqay rice dish there. In a few months, a very hip microbrewery will open next to 610 Magnolia.

Old Louisville is FAR from dangerous. Seriously, talk to a realtor who knows the area like Jacob Mercier, or any of the realtors who have for sale signs listed down there and you will see it is not what people make it to be.

Unfortunately, this is where Louisville shows its southern colors....people say Old Louisville is dangerous, not because it is, because I guarantee the crime rate is no higher than any edge urban neighborhood in a big city...for example, Hyde Park in Chicago is considered "ghetto" by yuppie north side chicagoans whose ideas are racially motivated. They haven't driven or walked street by street like I have.

Old Louisville is very racially and socioeconomically diverse....there are 1 million dollar single family mansions a half a block from market rate section 8 apartments. But seriously, take a walk up and down 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th streets, south of oak. There are no "towers full of old poor people." And at least half the residents own their homes as a single family home. Almost none of them are from KY or grew up in Louisville. Move to Old Louisville and you will meet Californians, New Yorkers, Chicagoans, etc. Almost all the "poorer" people in the area are long time african american locals, students, or gay people.

Again, if you like the diversity of Hyde Park or Humbolt Park in Chicago, you will love Old Louisville. It is also the only area in Louisville that has the extreme density found in a big city like Chicago....if those parts of Chicago "scare you," then so will Old Louisville (to be honest most parts, especially St James, Belgravia, and much of 2nd, 3rd, and 6th streets south of oak are better maintained than much of hyde park).

There are some small corner grocers for the basics, but the majority of your shopping you will need to drive to a Kroger...there is one north of Old Louisville in sobro, about a mile north of St James court, on the way to downtown. This Kroger is known colloquially as "Kroghetto." Most long time white Louisvillians will not go in there, even though it has been recently renovated. I must say their selection, especially of produce, is not good. 1 mile south of St James court is a much better Kroger that is newer, and basically built with a suburban look next to Churchill Downs, UofL's football stadium, and Churchill downs.

PM me and I will give you the real tour of the area.

Last edited by Peter1948; 01-03-2016 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:10 PM
 
6,295 posts, read 13,173,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubedeathk View Post
Old Louisville probably has the best walking infrastructure and most density but the demographics (a lot of poor old people in the towers, relatively poor people on the edges, and lots of students) mean that there really aren't so many amenities. Walking to downtown from south of Ormbsy is like a twenty minute walk. It also suffers from kind of being isolated from many of the things you would want to go to. The Highlands or Clifton might be a better choice. They are more expensive but there are advantages. They're safer (not that Old Louisville is extremely dangerous but property crime is quite common and you must have your wits about you at night and it's best to not go alone) and closer to nicer grocery stores and more retail and activities. There are many structural reasons why Old Louisville hasn't been able to really come into its own, which is a shame because of how beautiful and walkable it is.
Too bad there is not a single tower in Old Louisville that is not student housing. You are making it sound like there are projects in Old Louisville. There is nothing close to that, albeit some blocks have probably 10% section 8 buildings (old mansions retrofitted to 4 plexes). Anymore, most the section 8 has been confined to a few blocks of sobro, and the area formerly known historically as Limerick (topic for a whole other thread)

The towers of which you speak are in the "no man's land" known as sobro (think of Trenton Oak, Baptist towers, a couple run down broadway management 1920s towers at york st, etc), which is a urban renewed away area north of oak street full of parking lots, some low density mid century light industry, and a few cultural institutions (Pres HS, Spalding University, Simmons college, and just east of there, a large gay hotel and bathhouse). Unfortunately, one must pass through this "dead zone" to get to the retail in downtown.

Old Louisville has a strict definition:

south of Oak st, East of 6th st, and North of Uofl campus, and west of Flyd st.

The problem with old louisville is go west of 7th street, pass the railroads, and there ARE projects. Off ship ave, across the railroad tracts, 1000 or more new student housing units have been built. There are some problems with petty crime in that area. Old Louisville's main crime issues are car break ins, NOT violent crime which happens of course, but rarely, and never to anyone randomly to my recent knowledge. 4th and oak is a high bus traffic corner, and tends to attract some drug dealers from time to time. No different than many street corners in Chicago. South of Olf Louisville is UofL which is safe. East of old Louisville was historically a "bad area" known as Shelby Park. Not anymore. Go east on Ormsby into Shelby Park and you will find many homes being rehabbed and the area cleaning up, although it has a ways to go. Certainly not the "hood." The hood in Louisville is west of 9th street.

Again, take it from someone who has walked every block down there, not just someone who hears about an occasional arson or crime on the news, drives through a few times and sees some people who look different than them, then makes grand generalizations.

Old Louisvillians love their neighborhood more fiercely than anyone around. Do not take hearsay from a forum here. Go explore the area yourself. Go check out all the neat events and talk to local homeowners. Old Louisville has its share of problems, and it isn't Mayberry, but it is not dangerous. You just have to use city smarts.

http://www.oldlouisvilleholidayhometour.org

http://www.oldlouisvillespringfest.org

http://www.oldlouisvillegardentour.com

http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com

Outside of students, some gays and african americans, you will not find many native Louisvillilians in old louisville. And that is ok by me. They will all point you to the "east end" which is code word for "white and wealthy."

Last edited by Peter1948; 01-03-2016 at 10:19 PM..
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Louisville, KY
86 posts, read 91,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckBeChitown View Post
Hello I will soon move to Louisville Kentucky in February to start a new job at the end of February which is located in downtown Louisville. I'm in my late 30s and currently live in Merrionette Park, Illinois. I have found a realtor in Louisville and have been interested in the Old Louisville area as a place to live as it seems ideal for someone like me who would want to walk to work if it is possible. We have a 9 year old so I'm also looking for a good school area as well. Our Realtor has discouraged us from Old Louisville and would like to show us some places in our price range in the eastern part of Louisville. What are your thoughts on Old Louisville? From what we have seen, parts seem sketchy and other parts seem charming however the charming parts seem well out of our price range. Is the area safe? How long would a walk take to and from downtown Louisville? Any other recommendations? We are also considering the Indiana side but I really want to be able to walk downtown as we only have one car.
Greetings and congratulations on the new job opportunity.

There are some very good and valuable opinions already posted by others, but if my 2 cents are worth anything, I'd say avoid Old Louisville. That area is indeed cheap and has some really cool older victorian style homes, but it has it's fair share of crime and is full of students from UofL due to how close the school is and how many of those old homes have been transformed into a bunch of studio apartments on the inside. I couldn't begin to tell you how many students on UofL's campus have talked about being robbed, had their car windows smashed open and belongings raided, etc. While I don't think this is complete justification to rule out the area and deem it as unsafe, I still believe that there are better places to move a family if budget allows. Your budget will play a huge role in the area you move to, but I would certainly say that walking to work seems a bit unrealistic here unless you live in the metro area, which is also hit or miss. As stated, the NULU area seems to be up and coming and is a real neat area, but the metro area definitely still needs some work in my opinion. I love the idea of urban city living, but personally wouldn't feel too comfortable there just yet. If your budget allows, I think you need to check out the highlands for sure (do note-very expensive area) and St. Matthews/Frankfort Ave area. Those are both areas with tons of awesome eats and shops within walking distance, but you definitely could not walk to work. Don't rule out Southern Indiana, either. New Albany, Clarksville, and parts of Jeffersonville have really progressed over the years and is beginning to be a big contender against areas within Louisville. Also, the Southern Parkway area by Iroquois Park is really cool. It's not far south of Old Louisville at all, as a matter of fact, third st (Old Louisville) runs into Southern Parkway. Prices can be hit or miss there from what I've seen, but it's a nice area. Ultimately, like Peter said, you need to take a weekend and come down here and simply tour it. See what you like and gives you the best "vibe" for your family. Again, my opinion on the whole walking to work is..ehhh. May be worth it to budget in a 2nd car if your finances allow it.

As for the school system-brace yourself for a headache. The school system here is very odd. It works off a cluster system, which means you have your homeschool (Closest to your home), but then have to pick a 2nd choice within the cluster, and some of the other schools in the cluster are all over the city. They do this for multiple reasons including race, test scores, bringing students from areas with high scoring schools to schools in areas with low scores. This could mean that if your homeschool is full, then your son would have to get on a bus quite early in the morning, and go to a depot with other buses from the area, switch buses to the bus that will go directly to the school. My little brother was stuck doing this in kindergarten before he was able to get into his home school, and it resulted in him being on the bus from 3:45pm after school until sometimes 5:20pm or later depending on traffic. It's definitely a scary thought having a young one be on a bus so long and held responsible for switching buses and what not. Bus drivers help guide the students to the right bus and to my knowledge exert all efforts to make sure nobody gets lost, but still, even as just a big brother, not a parent, it scared me. If you have the ability to take your son and pick him up from school, whether it be you or your wife, that can make it a little easier on your son. I had to do the whole depot bus switch ordeal all throughout school until I got my license in high school. There is also a traditional program which are public schools that you have to apply to get into, and they feed into the better middle schools/high schools also within the traditional program. This will still probably result in a long bus ride, as this is what I did (I was in the traditional program), and it's very hard to get into it on the elementary level, but once your son is getting ready to head into middle school, it's a good option to apply for and seek out if you end up in a Louisville neighborhood.

Hope my lengthy 2 cents is helpful. Best of luck to you and welcome.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:46 PM
 
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TY for all the advice. We would like to stay under the $300K price range but willing to go up $10k to $20k if we find a home we love. We are also looking to rent as a short term solution as well. We expect to live in Louisville for at least 3 years as my husband's contract will run out in 2019. Our Realtor has recommended that we look in the Seneca Park area and others have highly recommended the areas near Sawyer Park; however, I would like to live closer to downtown since we only have one car and my husband will need it to get to his place of employment. We may have to bite the bullet and buy a cheap vehicle but I want to be able to walk to work and to shop. Old Louisville seemed like it could offer this but I have received a lot of mixed reviews from those who work at my future workplace. Public transit does not seem as a good option so this will be interesting. We want to keep our expenses down and keep our kid in public school but we are not closed to the idea of putting our kid in private school if need be. Other questions, do locals spend time downtown often - it seemed more like a ghost town after dark when we visited or is the hip spot Bardstown and Baxter road where we noticed many restaurants?
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:00 PM
 
94 posts, read 75,946 times
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Originally Posted by LuckBeChitown View Post
TY for all the advice. We would like to stay under the $300K price range but willing to go up $10k to $20k if we find a home we love. We are also looking to rent as a short term solution as well. We expect to live in Louisville for at least 3 years as my husband's contract will run out in 2019. Our Realtor has recommended that we look in the Seneca Park area and others have highly recommended the areas near Sawyer Park; however, I would like to live closer to downtown since we only have one car and my husband will need it to get to his place of employment. We may have to bite the bullet and buy a cheap vehicle but I want to be able to walk to work and to shop. Old Louisville seemed like it could offer this but I have received a lot of mixed reviews from those who work at my future workplace. Public transit does not seem as a good option so this will be interesting. We want to keep our expenses down and keep our kid in public school but we are not closed to the idea of putting our kid in private school if need be. Other questions, do locals spend time downtown often - it seemed more like a ghost town after dark when we visited or is the hip spot Bardstown and Baxter road where we noticed many restaurants?
Seneca park is substantially less dense and diverse and if you are drawn to Old Louisville it's pretty much the opposite. Sawyer Park area is basically textbook suburbia so not what you are looking for. Walking from Old Louisville to Downtown is a bit of a walk but the bus on fourth street is one that runs like every fifteen minutes and is super easy. There are also bike lanes that go straight downtown and would make the commute quite easy. I'd look at Cherokee Triangle before Seneca Park. The life in downtown is mostly limited to the T shaped area of Main Street and Fourth Street. I hate to say it but it is substantially less busy during the evening, really any time outside of the lunch hour, though when there are events going on it is far from a ghost town. Downtown does draw a lot of people but just not in the numbers as Baxter, though unless you are young and enjoy a rowdy crowd I can't really say its the sort of place I like to be on a weekend night. Downtown is more upscale along West Main.
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