Here’s some evidence that the economy is turning — they’re packing them in at Homearama at Norton Commons, where 21 homes (16 already sold) are on display.
The two-week showcase of homes in the East End has been host to hundreds of visitors since opening July 16. Last night was no exception, as a break in the heat seemed to bring out a big crowd, and there was a lot of waiting to go up and down stairs in every house. There’s nothing like Norton Commons — the architecture is meant to bring back memories of Louisville neighborhoods of the 1920s, but the houses themselves are filled with the most modern of amenities.
More than once I heard someone say a house reminded them of something in the Highlands or Crescent Hill. The designs reflect the accommodating of modern lifestyles, too. The first house on the tour is a “live-work” space, designed so that owners operate a business on the ground floor and live in the upper two floors. Another home has a complete living space in the lower level, with the idea the owners will rent it out as an apartment.
Walking around what is attempting to be a self-contained town, I imagined living here. No, there’s no big-box retailers, but those are a few miles away in Springhurst. Inside Norton Commons, there are plenty of small retailers, a few restaurants, services such as doctors and fitness facilities. There’s parks and even a pool. I imagine residents would have little reason to leave most days. We had a nice dinner at Karem’s Grill & Pub, which was filled inside and out.
My favorite home was “The Metropolitan” designed by architect Greg Burrus. It’s 3,745 square feet on 3 floors, featuring a dramatic second-floor porch overlooking the street. A consistent sand color throughout creates a vacation-home feel, and in the lower level features the largest projection TV (130-inch) I’d ever seen.
Homearama, produced by the Home Builders Association of Louisville, continues through July 31.