KentuckyLouisvilleNulu / Downtown

Homes for Sale Downtown Louisville / NuLu

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No discussion of all that is great and thriving about Downtown Louisville would be complete without mention of “NuLu.” NuLu is short for “New Louisville,” and refers to the East Market District of Downtown Louisville. This burgeoning section of town runs from East Main Street to the north, down to East Jefferson Street to the south, bound by the Highway 65 downtown corridor to the west, and the Highlands’ Baxter Avenue to the east.

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realtor Eric Seltz describes NuLu as “the ideal opportunity for those who desire a more urban lifestyle” – meaning upscale restaurants, art galleries, specialty shops within walking distance from home, and low-maintenance condos. “There’s a variety of price points and something for everyone here,” he adds. Sometimes real estate agents describe NuLu to their clients as “Louisville’s Brooklyn” or “Louisville’s Greenwich Village.”

Find Your Home In An Exciting Area of Rapid development…

Louisville’s East Market District has been a place of regional commerce since the early 19th Century, when herds of livestock traveled along Market between the Bourbon Stockyards and the Ohio River. The first home in the area went up at Fourth and Market in 1804. During the 1820s, area residents engaged in horse racing. By 1852, the entire street was home to “retail grocers, provisions dealers, and clothiers.” Levy Brothers, Bacon’s, and Loevenhart’s were major retailers during the era of the great department store. Today, you can still see much of NuLu’s historic past in the carefully preserved historic architecture, as well as the modern structures erected using historic design principles and materials.

Like many urban economic centers in America, Market Street fell into decline during the 1960s and 1970s when residents began their exodus to the suburbs. However, the creation of the East Market District Association ensured that this area would not languish. Interest in downtown revitalization during the 2000s intensified, as Dr. John Gilderbloom of the University of Louisville spread ideas on the importance of having walkable urban communities.

Main Street has seen private rehabilitation projects totaling more than $76 million a year. Philanthropist Gill Holland is credited with coining the term “NuLu” and spearheading much of the development in recent years. After spending some time in NYC and studying how cities like Austin or Charlotte were evolving, Holland began his local ventures by fixing up his office space at 732 East Market Street. This fantastic structure now known as “The Green Building” for its adherence to U.S. Green Building Council standards. Holland says he loves this part of time for the “creative energy, the depressed real estate prices, and the amazing quality of life.”

“You’re seeing just one building after another being renovated to either retail space, housing space, or combinations of the two,” explains Realtor Eric Seltz. Main Street has been a flurry of real estate activity, with rent-to-own spaces and mixed-use developments in recent years. Fleur-De-Lis is one popular condo development offering amenities and parking. 
Thanks to the passion of business leaders and developers in this part of town, Louisville has retained a “unique sense of place” that respects history, but looks forward to the future. As Holland describes it, “Louisville is developing and growing, but doing so sustainably and without losing authenticity.”

Live in NuLu and access the best dining in the city!

If you live in NuLu, you’ll be right next-door from the best Louisville restaurants, including:

  • Decca – locally sourced food and expert wine pairings by talented chef Annie Pettry in a warm atmosphere
  • Feast BBQ – pulled pork, brisket, baby back ribs, smoked tofu, mac & cheese, bourbons and draft beers
  • Garage Bar – casual neighborhood venue for Chef Michael Paley’s wood-fired pizzas with local ingredients
  • Harvest – farm-to-table cuisine with ingredients baked, cured, smoked, and preserved in-house
  • Mayan Café – Mayan fusion cuisine from Chef Bruce Ucán using traditional cooking techniques
  • RYE – casual dining, rich ingredients, interesting food combinations from local farms, paired with cocktails
  • Wild Rita’s – authentic, diverse Mexican food and tequila
  • Royals Hot Chicken - Spicy Southern-fried chicken from Nashville with scratch sides, milkshakes, and craft beer
  • Grind Burger Kitchen – Some (okay, most) might say that this is the best gourmet burgers in the city!

Shopping local is easy when you live in NuLu.

East Market Street is your one stop shop for a variety of boutiques, selling everything from home goods, jewelry, and antiques, to Kentucky-themed gifts, chocolate, and clothing. Stop by Revelry or Scout to find unique treasures from local artisans. Skip LUSH and pick up locally made bath products from Peace of the Earth. Snack on caramel-covered marshmallows called “Modjeska” from Muth’s Candies or the best chocolate chip cookie in the city from Please & Thank You. Peruse an amazing collection of antiques in an 1880s schoolhouse at Joe Ley Antiques. Design your next kitchen with Barry Wooley Designs, pick up solid mahogany furniture from Red Tree, or shop the latest in floral and interior décor at Mahonia.

Enjoy a vibrant arts scene and play in your own backyard!

NuLu is home to many of the city’s best art galleries. The Speed Art Museum is, in fact, Kentucky’s largest art museum. The PYRO Gallery and Zephyr Gallery offer a great collection of mixed-media pieces. Photography lovers will enjoy the Paul Paletti Gallery. Be sure to stop by the Flame Run glass studio and Steelskin Studio for sculptures. The FAF Gallery and Swanson Contemporary bring in works Louisville locals have likely never seen before. The Garner Narrative Contemporary Fine Art offers a collection of personal stories told through art. A walk around the neighborhood will produce dozens more places worthy of exploration.

Art viewing is not the only activity in these parts. Sports fans can catch a Louisville Bats game at Louisville’s Slugger Field -- voted the “second-best Minor League Baseball Park in America.” The Louisville City FC soccer matches also take place here. In 2015, the team finished second-place and had the second-highest average attendance in the league. NuLu has ping pong tournaments at Garage Bar, indoor rock climbing at Climb NuLu, and axe-throwing competitions at Flying Axes.

Cool cultural festivals in NuLu include the NuLu Fest at the end of September, the NuLu Bock Beer Fest in March, and the summer block parties. Another great way to explore this neighborhood is to hop aboard a ZeroBus from 5-11 p.m. on the first Friday of every month for the “all-in-one art show, shopping adventure, and street party.”  

Contact someone from Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty for advice and assistance finding your home in NuLu. You may also visit for more information on this desirable slice of Louisville, KY.

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