Louisville West End - Portland Investment Initiative

23 Replies

I am familiar with Gill Holland's efforts there and continue to see headlines with businesses that are moving there.  It is hard to argue with Gill's success in NuLu, and the opportunity to get in early on the potential for such a significant transformation for an area is definitely exciting.

I agree with Marina though and will not be investing there anytime soon.  Given where the neighborhood is at now and the demographics of the area I'm not interested in owning any residential property there, even with the help of a property manager dealing with the day-to-day issues.  I think right now commercial real estate would be more attractive.  I think it will take a few years after businesses start to move there (most of these don't seem very retail-oriented, at least at their Portland location) before the areas' population demographics start to improve enough for a residential investment.

I know a lot of people trying to invest commercially and residentially.  I applaud their efforts, and tempted to join the fray myself.  

I feel the same as the group here.  From my experience with Portland, it is still too violent to settle down.  I don't think NuLu had the same issues.  It will be an amazing transformation if it happens.  

Saying all that, I would be willing to partner with someone to mitigate some of the risks the area might have.  

I agree with the group as well. Not much to add other than its tough to get excited about areas like this when you can do so well in other areas of the city that have much less risk. I guess if you have the funds to go long in areas like Portland you may see a good return later. 

As Theron mentioned I too wouldn't be opposed to the area if there was a way to mitigate the risk. I am always looking for opportunity....

You are considering investing in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville from Texas?  My impression is that currently most properties would require a significant amount of time and attention to manage.  It seems like some of the hype over the neighborhood has died down a bit to me. 

Originally posted by @William R. :

You are considering investing in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville from Texas?  My impression is that currently most properties would require a significant amount of time and attention to manage.  It seems like some of the hype over the neighborhood has died down a bit to me. 

 Its an option.  I'll be back in Louisville in a few years.  Just curious if there was any noticeable change. 

I watched NuLu develop and just waited.... 36 months later and little shotguns that I had been looking at for 40K we're going for 100+, still in poor condition.  I promised myself I wouldn't wait this time so I have a chip on the table as of late last year.  I bought a commercial lot and a house and an extra lot next to it that are also zoned commercially.  The house is rented out sec 8 and brings $800 a month.  It was cheap at 25K but needed another 12k to make it solid.  It's literally 100 paces from the new coffee shop and bakery commissary on 17th (or is it 16th) street.  When I drive by there now there's almost always someone getting coffee or a $2 cookie.  Blows my mind...  And that's not the only coffee shop, there's another one around the corner attached to the art gallery and live event venue.  I believe the Louisville Ballet just bought a building there for their new headquarters too.  

My advice would be to spend some serious time in the neighborhood driving the streets so you know what's what, where the sketchiest areas are, etc.  It's most definitely happening, albeit slower than NULU.  


 - Chuck

@Chuck B.

I'm having someone look at a property for me in Portland tomorrow.  I'm trying to find properties as close to the art gallery and coffee shops as possible.

How long have you had that rental?  What has your experience been with the tenants and section 8 on this particular property?

I took a drive through Portland the last time I was in town and was not at all impressed.  As others have mentioned this might be a good long-term play (I'm thinking 10+ years) but don't expect $40K shotguns to be selling for $100K in the same condition 3 years from now.

NuLu was an extension of downtown that had fallen under hard times.  It is within (safe) walking distance to the downtown core and on most commuters way home from work.  It was a densely built up part of town with some great historic residences and tons of massive old commercial buildings just waiting for a makeover.

What I saw when I drove through Portland was a LOT of rundown, low income housing with the potential to be nice, cleaned up low income housing.  The main area being revamped is hard to find unless you already know where you're going and it's really out of the way for most of the people with significant expendable income.  The area may support coffee shops with transactions in the single digit dollar amounts but I don't see it attracting the types of restaurants, bars and shops that make NuLu an appealing place to work/live/visit.

NuLu took off because of the awesome restaurant and retail scene that came in.  I don't think Portland will support these types of businesses.  People that are going to pay $300K for a 1BR condo or $1500/mo in rent for a 1-2 BR apartment want huge open loft-type spaces, lots of cool stuff nearby and easy access to downtown/interstates.  While Portland may have a few large buildings that fit the bill, the majority of housing is tiny shotguns which are not really trendy.  NuLu was perfectly set up for a turnaround and still took 3-5 years to really take off.  I don't think Portland will ever compare to NuLu and wouldn't expect investment returns to compare either.  That being said, if you can get $800/mo in rent to "wait and see" on a $40K shotgun near the core then there shouldn't be much sleep lost if you don't get crazy appreciation.

@Jeremy Jackson - the tenants are a nice young couple with two good kids.  I quite like them but I like all of my tenants as I vet them thoroughly before leasing to them, including home visits.  I knew going in that I would need to do some work on that house but it was fully renovated and insulated from the inside sometime in the last 15 years or thereabouts so I also knew it had a good foundation to build on. 

@Michael Seeker I agree with a lot of what you said and I don't think Portland is going to be the next NuLu at all but I do think it's going to be more than it is today... Affordable residential gentrification.  I can see these little houses getting snapped up, renovated and stabilized with solid renters and what cost someone 40 to 60 doubling in value in the next 3-5 yrs.  Path of progress and all that.   Now, with that said, I put my bet on commercial land even though it's rented residentially right now.   The area around 26th north of Portland is one thing and what's happening in the far east side of Portland is another.  Which will see the fastest/best appreciation?   

@Chuck B.

I had a partner look at a house yesterday but it needed too much rehab for the price.  I'm keeping my eye open, specifically in the area where the art gallery and new coffee shop is located.

Portland has its fair share of bad apples and problems.  However, it's close to downtown, properties are still dirt cheap, the neighborhood is rich in history as are some of the structures.  For those reasons, I'm willing to take my chances.  Just waiting on the right property in the right location.

Have you had any issues with flooding?  Is flood insurance required?


Ok, so I would like to propose a meet up to discuss a potential partnership with members in this thread. Almost everyone here has said they are interested in Portland and would considering investing there if they had a partner. Gill Holland is buying up property left and right. They recently bought the old metal recycling center as well as other lots in the area. There are a lot of new businesses in the east Portland area.  http://wearepii.com Pii has multiple LLC's purchsing homes, commercial buildings, land, etc. I'm a local Firefighter and I'm in that area all the time. There is even a new construction on Portland ave, I think it is a concept home for their new "shotgun" design or green home. If you haven't been through that area in a while take a drive and look around. Things are changing....with the amount they have invested in that area, I don't see them going away or giving up anytime soon. Here is one possible opportunity http://www.kcrea.com/listing/29834767/2130-Portlan...

I don't have this under contract yet, that's why I'm here. Looking for ideas, thoughts, intersest, partners, etc. I know it has already changed from 18 to 15 properties and the new price is $300k. Scott the agent, has said the owner of these properties does not have an affiliation with Pii, however Scott Howe does. 

Not all the properties are fixed up and rented out, I have minimal info from Scott so far has has been out of town. But before I proceed, I would like to hear what you all think and to see if there is interest in this deal and or partnering on other property in Portland. 

I'm fairly new, we like this package deal. But right now we are getting ready to start a flip and don't have the capital to do this alone. I know there is still a lot we need to know about the properties before anything is set in stone but if anyone is interested lets see if we can get a group together to talk.

Thanks @William R. @Michael Seeker @Jason James @Chuck B. @Marina Sud @Justin H. @Jeremy Jackson @Account Closed

@David D'Errico - good thoughts on putting this together.  I cannot tell from the listing what properties are included in the package and therefore it's hard to say what level of interest I would have.

Feel free to show me an email or PM if/when you get additional info on the properties as well as what additional capital beyond purchase price is needed to stabilize and what the rents would look like once stabilized.

It is a bit disconcerting that people are already cherry picking the better properties out of the package and I'm sure many people interested in the area have already passed on these before they put it up on KREIA.  But that doesn't mean there isn't any potential, just maybe not as much potential as other options.

Originally posted by @Robbie Ghosh :

Hey, All.  Curious to know if you ever ended up investing in the Portland neighborhood.  Its been a couple of years.  What is the outlook now?  I am trying to help a first time investor/client land in the right area.  Thanks for your help.

@David D'Errico @Michael Seeker

I have not invested in Portland and do not plan on looking at anything there in the foreseeable future.

Yes I have started investing in the area.....we have 5 units 

2/1 purchased for $19k + $2000 in repairs rents for $600

2/1 purchased $13k + $5k In repairs

Rents for $650

3/1 in (West-End) purchased $25k + $10k in repairs rents $900

Duplex 2/1’s purchased for $5k worth more,  plan to invest 40-50k not rented yet renovations to begin soon 

We haven’t really had any major problems, standard rental headaches..... 

Outlook has changed some.... more businesses more renovations on homes In the area are prevalent..... Pii is investing quite a bit in the area.... commercial district is seeing a lot of improvement and making it’s way down Portland and Bank st toward 26th

Can’t say I would recommend it to your client if he is a new investor, just some things that come with the area that new investors may not want to deal with 

I also bought a 4/1.5 in portland last year.  It has been a headache... much rougher area than other parts of town I've been in. I found needles multiple times by my trash cans in the alley, I was solicited by a prostitute and had a crazy guy break in tell me it was his house and to get lost.  This was all in my 2 month renovation.  I've not had any of that sort of stuff further south.  It is rented now section 8 and cash flows excellently, but I'm not doing it again.  If I lose this tenant I think I will just sell.

If anyone’s looking to unload their properties in Portland, feel free to contact me. I’m not looking to make millions out there, just trying to be one of the few caring landlords in the area and hopefully give some folks an opportunity to own and benefit from the revitalization. Thanks all and thanks to anyone who’s done work to help the neighborhood out. My family goes way back in that neighborhood though we haven’t lived there since the 50’s and it’s a part of town I care about.