21st Century Parks

Statement from 21st Century Parks Endowment regarding changes to Oakland Hills development

The 21st Century Parks Endowment’s changes to the undeveloped areas of the Oakland Hills development plan expand the amount of greenspace and create more connectivity and accessibility to park amenities. It can be a model for environmentally sensitive development on the edges of The Parklands.

Oakland Hills was originally planned and developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and already has approved sewer capacity, road connections, and a large number of approved lots for continued development.

21st Century Parks is interested in what happens around The Parklands and, in the case of Oakland Hills, it was strongly in our interest to have an outstanding development there, consistent with the park next door.

To that end, 21st Century Parks, Inc. purchased 126 acres of potential development land, removed it from Oakland Hills, and added it to The Parklands. This occurred before the Endowment’s purchase of the development, and created a strong natural buffer by eliminating a large developable section and protecting part of the landscape within the park boundaries.

Later, Oakland Hills ran into challenges, like other developments after the real estate bubble. Maintenance and upkeep standards declined under the previous owner.

At that point, we were concerned that a failed subdivision could be a bad neighbor. We saw an opportunity to create a new and thoughtful gateway between the park and the surrounding neighborhood. We also saw an opportunity to improve the environmental planning by bringing the same planning and development quality that created The Parklands to a challenged project.

Finally, we saw the opportunity, through quality leadership and development, to create earnings, through the 21st Century Parks Endowment, to help with the operation and maintenance of The Parklands, which receive no tax-dollar support, and are open 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk, and free to all.

The Parklands can shape the growth of our city in the same way the Olmsted Parks shaped our city’s growth a century ago. Diversity in housing types and price points, and connectivity between parks and surrounding neighborhoods are what make great areas of Louisville, like the Highlands and Cherokee Triangle, so livable today.


By the numbers:

Original Oakland Hills plan: Current Oakland Hills plan:
668 total acres 668 total acres
319 acres of open space (48% of development) 416 acres of open space (62% of development)
736 building lots 688 building lots; up to 350 apartments
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