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A New Direction

Crestwood, Ky.’s Clore family
to develop 482-acre farm

The project to feature a residential and commercial mix

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (May 2019) – The Clore family has lived in Oldham County for 200 years. Even though the family farm will become a multi-use development, which was announced in January, descendants plan to keep contributing to a history that will turn the farm into a community oriented space for future generations of Oldham Countians to enjoy.

The tentative master plan was revealed in January, but Gant Jones, a Clore descendant, said that such a plan has actually “been in the works for the last 40 to 50 years. We all knew it would one day be developed. We decided not to pursue other routes but rather make it something special.”
The farm presently consists of 482 acres. The family has been approached several times with offers to buy it, but no deal was ever stuck. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” said Gant. “We want it to become something to be proud of and beneficial to the community.”
The acreage, located on both sides of I-71 at the Crestwood Exit 14 exit, will be developed to contain a little bit of everything: residential units, retail, restaurant space, public preschool, grocery store, library, a pool and hotels. The idea is to create a place that has a variety of interests to provide an experience so people will want to live and play there Jones said.
A week-long charrette was held the week of Jan. 14 in La Grange, with family members coming to town from all over the country to contribute ideas, as well as members of the transportation and housing industry. The master plan was revealed to the public at the end of the week on Saturday, Jan. 19.
The Clores chose DPZ to create the master plan. Jones said they believed this firm was more flexible on the different types of features included in the plan that would produce a “much better result.” The firm was able to blend ideas together to produce a plan, of which the family approved, and one he and believes will appeal to the public.

Photo by Don Ward

From left, Gant and Clay Jones pose in front of their mother’s homestead at the Clore family farm in Crestwood, Ky. The house and nearby barn will remain intact despite the new development around it.

“We looked at a lot of different planning groups,” he said, even considering a firm from Cincinnati. “We tried to go local.” He said the family believes DPZ will “try to make a very nice development. They also have a mature understanding of the regulatory components needed” for quality control, he said.
In deciding what types of development would be included in this project “the family commissioned market studies for both housing and commercial opportunities,” said Matt Lambert, a partner in DPZ. The housing study was conducted by Zimmerman-Volk Associates (ZVA). The commercial study was completed by Gibbs Planning Group (GPG).
“We have worked with both firms for decades, and both have been involved at Norton Commons (in Prospect). They specialize in determining what is the right fit for walkable, mixed-use communities, especially in identifying segments of the housing market that have been underserved by development,” Lambert said.
“The housing study provided an optimal mix of housing types, and the site plan determined what the property could support. The commercial study determined unmet demand in the local market, which was distributed in coordination with neighborhoods and housing through the site plan.”
At DPZ “we believe housing segments and commercial development should be mixed together in the form of traditional neighborhoods and towns. Rather than building commercial in one area, apartments in another, small houses in a third, and large houses elsewhere, we integrate multiple market segments into a close-knit community, within walking distance of services and parks.”
Such a traditional format directs apartments, townhouses and smaller houses to be located near commercial areas and parks, where they contribute to the customer base and provide the most value from the amenity.
“Overall there is an interplay between what the market, the site’s characteristics and the master plan will support.”
Lambert said, “We plan to balance market support and community character. What is really in high demand are places with character. Success at Norton Commons shows a desire for both housing in a neighborhood format and commercial in a main street format.”
The Clore project has features similar to Norton Commons but will not be a repeat of that development. DPZ designed Norton Commons as well.
Jones, along with his sister, Ann Clore Jones Duncan, and brother, Clay Jones, are the children of Carla and Bob Jones. Carla and her brother, Lee, can trace their Clore ancestral line back many generations 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, and Lee Clore still lives on the farm. The Clore family homestead, which dates to the 1830s, and the adjacent barn will remain intact throughout the development, Gant Jones said.
As early as 1808, five Clore brothers – Benjamin, Elijah, Lawrence, Solomon and James – traveled from Culpepper, Va., and settled on a 2,000-acre tract. They brought three sisters with them: Elizabeth, Anna and Sarah. Elijah was married to Frances Wilhoit (Feb. 27, 1782 – March 21, 1830) on May 9, 1800, in Madison Co., Va.
Before moving to Kentucky, the Clore family had enjoyed a comfortable planter’s lifestyle. They settled in Oldham County near former Virginia neighbors – Wilhoits, Snyders, Yagers and others. Elijah’s father, John Clore Jr. (1749 – 1824), had purchased property on the Ohio River near that of his son. Elijah’s great-grandfather was Michael Clore, a native of Germany.
Over the years, the farm has remained a farm, being used primarily to raise tobacco and cattle. Crestwood Commons, a 218-unit luxury apartment complex, has been approved for 14 acres of the property. Stephen Edwards is the developer and has also created the Oldham Oaks apartment complex in La Grange.
This development is what “basically triggered us to go get planners,” Jones said. “We want to make sure that going forward, all is planned out and everything fits in.” He said that Crestwood Commons is adjacent to the project and technically not a part of it right now.
The master plan dedicates 150,000 square feet to retail and restaurant space. About 1,500 to 2,000 residential units would be included in various forms: condos, cottages, homes, town homes, etc.
“We’ve found a demand for traditional housing formats that have been abandoned by most conventional developers, such as four and six-unit apartments, duplexes, and small cottages,” Lambert said. “The region, and Louisville in particular, has a rich history of diverse housing types arranged thoughtfully, not least to mention those along Olmstead’s parks.”
The master plan requires a zoning change to Planned Unit Development, so the next step involves developing further zoning, said Jones, in which “we would write our own zoning.” This has been done with Oldham Reserve, Norton Commons and a development off of Hwy. 393 in Buckner.
Lambert said this type of development will be suitable for all ages to enjoy. “Walkable, traditional neighborhoods provide desirable places to live across the age spectrum. Children and their families enjoy the freedom that distributed neighborhood parks, neighborliness, and slow, safe streets afford. Singles and young professionals appreciate walking to social activities, along with housing types that suit their lifestyles. Older adults enjoy places to engage with young people as well as people their age, and are afforded greater freedom by walkable neighborhoods particularly when driving becomes difficult.”
Jones said it will be about four years before ground will be broken on the project. He said it could take that long to complete the engineering and zoning plans, and finalize the master plan before any actual construction work could begin.

“A project this size typically takes 15-20 years to complete, once started,” said Lambert. All involved believe it is a good fit for Oldham County, he added.

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