One of the primary missions of Access Ventures is to see communities thrive. We believe that investing in commercial and residential real estate, in an underserved low-income neighborhood benefits the residents who are otherwise overly burdened by the high cost of rent in dilapidated houses and with limited retail and commercial activity. Access Ventures also believes that investing in small local businesses and commercial rental space in those same neighborhoods can further improve the image of a community and make it more inviting while providing jobs and supplying a much-needed boost to the economy.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia published an article on their website by Helen Dunlap and Carl Vogel, community economic development consultants with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) MetroEdge. In the article, Revitalizing Commercial Corridors, they discuss how their research and case studies showed that early “soap and water” clean up “projects not only make a more appealing place but unite local stakeholders and create momentum for an ongoing campaign.” They say it is an integral starting point.

Why Shelby Park?

Shelby Park is a small community centered around the historic Frederick Law Olmsted park named after Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, and gives the community its namesake. The park is home to an original Carnegie Library and it now serves as the Shelby Park Community Center. The Shelby Park community is nestled between 4 other small communities and bordered on the North by Kentucky Street, on the East by the railroad tracks near Logan Street, on the South by railroad tracks near Meriwether Avenue, and on the West by Interstate 65. Shelby Park only occupies an area of 0.42 square miles. For the past several decades, it has been plagued with increased crime and vacancy of properties – the latest number put residential vacancies at 324 units in this small urban neighborhood.

Commercial Properties

Access Ventures believed that Shelby Park was primed to experience similar growth to neighboring Germantown. We have bought and restored over a dozen residential and commercial properties over the last four years and have invested in small businesses in the area through Scarlet’s Bakery, Good Folks Coffee, and The Park. We believed that some simple cleaning and beautification efforts could go a long way to reshaping the image of a small deteriorating community like Shelby Park.

The Park Coworking Space Louisville
The Park

Located in Shelby Park, The Park is a members-only shared workspace and coworking community. The Park is dedicated to ending all of the frustrations of working the old way in an office. It is a space that caters to passionate people, and it is an open place for people of all kinds; we believe in community. Access Ventures purchased and renovated an abandoned repair shop and turned it into a co-working space. We organized volunteers and provided contract work for people in the neighborhood to assist with its renovation.

Scarlet’s Bakery

739 Oak is a dynamic project in the Shelby Park growth pathway at the corner of Oak and Shelby. Once a pharmacy and private residence, the property has been redeveloped into Scarlet’s Bakey, a beautiful bakery on the ground floor, and suite-style offices for entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, on the second floor. Once vacant for over a decade, 739 Oak was completed in 2015 and has been a catalyst for reinvestment and revitalization of the surrounding area.

Good Folks Coffee

1151 Shelby once was a pool hall and woodshop in Louisville and it is now the home of Good Folks Coffee, a wholesale coffee roaster, in the heart of Shelby Park. Once part of the vacant fabric that made up this corridor of properties, 1151 Shelby was completed in Summer 2015 and has been filling the air around Shelby Park with the sweet smell of roasting coffee ever since. It houses a commercial roasting operation and lab space for training clients and baristas from across the country.

Back when Louisville’s St Vincent’s Catholic Church was a thriving Catholic parish in the early 1900’s, 1155 Shelby was a local department store and critical part of the neighborhood life within Louisville’s Shelby Park neighborhood. Access Ventures purchased this property in 2014, but it took over a year to stabilize the building as it was on the brink of collapse. After renovating the entire building, it is now home to our corporate offices and a new event space on the first floor that will open later this year!

Every investment we make into a business or community must be something we are proud of, something we ourselves support, and something people will love. If you are involved with an organization, initiative, or real estate that you believe fits our mission, we’d love to meet you and learn more! Send us a message with more information about your organization or property.

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