15 Mar Upcoming Events At Norton Commons With Marilyn Osborn Patterson
If you have never been to Norton Commons, you may be surprised to learn about the many fun community events packed into this small but growing new urban neighborhood. Our guest today is Marilyn Osborn Patterson, the Marketing Director for Norton Commons. Marilyn has been the marketing director and event planner for Norton Commons for nearly four years, and she is responsible for planning all of the events and activities throughout the community as well as coordinating their advertising campaigns.
Today, she joins us to dive into the details of what’s to come in the upcoming events taking place in Norton Commons throughout the Spring and Summer this year, including the Spring and Fall Home Showcase events, Norton’s Children’s Hospital Home raffle event, and dozens of other special, family-friendly events that are free and open to the public this year.
“We’ve got Elton John and The Beatles coming!” – Marilyn Osborne Patterson
Topics Discussed On Today’s Podcast:
- Norton Commons Easter Festival
- Weekly Farmers Market and which vendors are expected to attend.
- Norton Commons Art Festival & Spring Home Showcase
- Sun Down Street Party
- Movie on the Lawn Events
- Hot Country Night Event
- Music by the Water Events
- The Race Against Time 5K Race to benefit Progeria Research
- Blues & Soul Singing Event
- Home & BMW Raffle to benefit Norton’s Children’s Hospital
- Norton Common’s Fall Home Showcase
- Sneak peeks at what’s to come for Norton Common’s Fall events lineup.
Connect with Norton Commons:
Upcoming Events Podcast Transcript:
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Hey there everyone, welcome to another episode of the custom homebuilder podcast with Jason Black, the president and owner of Artisan Signature Homes, Louisville’s best-known and most accomplished custom and luxury homebuilder. Jason, good to see you. Looks like we have a special guest today, Marilyn Osborn Patterson, the marketing director of Norton Commons. Good day to both of you.
Jason: Good morning, yeah I’m happy to have Marilyn joining us today. We have a packed episode today. We’re going to talk all about all the awesome spring and summer events coming up in Norton Commons.
Marilyn: I’m excited to be here, thank you for having me.
Jason: So Marilyn, why don’t you kick this off here and start talking about… or maybe tell a little bit about yourself and what you do with Norton Commons and then we’ll get into some of the events coming up.
Marilyn: Okay, well as Greg noted, I’m the marketing director here at Norton Commons. I’ve been here for gosh, almost 4 years. I not only serve as the marketing director but I also plan events, coordinates our advertising campaign. I also interestingly am in-house legal counsel, so depending on what day it is, I will wear a different hat. For the purposes of this podcast, I’m the Marketing Director and basically the cruise director here at Norton Commons. We’ve got an awesome events calendar planned for the spring and summer.
Greg: Well, you sound pretty confident but I want to tell you before we get going, and Jason is looking at me at like what is coming up, the pressures on because every time we do a podcast and Jason talks about Norton Commons, it’s always about how much community is involved and what’s going on and how you can get out and just walk 200 yards and something is going on. Proof is in the pudding, you better bring it today, right?
Marilyn: He’s not lying, I promise.
Jason: The cool thing about, you’re an oddball today Greg because you do not live in Norton Commons. Marilyn and I both do happen to reside in Norton Commons. So we’re living and breathing what we’re getting ready to talk about.
Marilyn: That’s right.
Greg: You guys want to go chronologically?
Jason: Yeah, let’s start out with, what’s the first event coming up?
Marilyn: We get the calendar started pretty early where actually the day before Easter, we’ve got an Easter festival we want to call it. It’s not just a hunt. It’s not just see an Easter bunny, it’s all kinds of events and it’s cosponsored with the YMCA here in Norton Commons. You all might know that we’ve got a full-service YMCA here in the neighborhood. It’s phenomenal. Well, they’re really tied in with the community and they’re joining forces with us on this Easter festival and we’re going to do multiple egg hunts, fitness activities. You got to have that YMCA tie-in.
We’ve got the Easter Bunny making a special appearance. We’ve got actually family dance time. We’ve got all kinds of crazy events lined up for this two-hour Easter festival on April 15th, so that is the very first event, the very first outdoor event I should say. That is just in a couple weeks so we’re hoping the good weather holds out and because Easter is so late this year, we may not be wearing our winter coats which is clutch.
Jason: Yeah, I’m hoping we’ve made it through February without any major snowfalls so hopefully March and April we’ll bring great weather for the Easter event.
Marilyn: Agreed, agreed.
Greg: When you’re putting a list like this together, how far in advance do you have to start planning these events? Because it sounds like from both of you but mostly Jason in episodes past, there’s always something going on. Just planning this stuff, and we have several more events to talk about but how far out are you planning before you even put out a flyer or some kind of events calendar?
Marilyn: As soon as the last event of the year is over, or even before in some cases, which is our holiday open house, it’s always the first Saturday of December, we’re already planning next year. I started booking bands for the summer’s concert series in October of last year. I didn’t mean to do that. I kept telling the bands to wait, please wait, give me a couple more months, let us breathe, but in order to get good talent, in order to get a lineup that everybody really, really loves and leaves you wanting more, I had to start very early. It is a 365 process.
Jason: Great, so tell us are these events strictly for Norton Commons residents or they open to all? Who can come to these events?
Marilyn: I’m so glad you asked that. No, all of our events on the spring and summer events poster that we will be posting to this podcast I understand, are open to the public. Anything on this list is going to be open to the public. It’s absolutely open to everyone to enjoy. In fact, most of the time they’re free, they’re always family-friendly. I encourage you to come and check them out at no cost and really it’s a great thing to do if you’re looking for something to entertain the kiddos. Check our events calendar. You never know, we’ll probably have something going on. Most of our events are open, free, family-friendly and you should certainly check them out.
Jason: Cool, so what’s up after the Easter egg extravaganza on April 15th?
Marilyn: Well then we start in mid-May with our farmer’s market. We’ve got this awesome precious little farmer’s market. I shouldn’t say little. It started as a minimarket and it’s growing and growing. Right now, I think we’ve got seven or eight vendors and those seven or eight vendors have a wonderful variety of produce, meats, wildflowers, honey.
Actually, there’s a soap milliner that comes out, so we’ve got a great selection and that starts May 17th. Our farmers market is every Wednesday and it’s every Wednesday afternoon. So you can hit it coming home from work, it’s from 4:30 to 6:30 in our town center. You’re driving home, stop off, get some fresh produce, make the family a great home-cooked meal. A lot of farmers are from the Crestwood-La Grange area. It is truly local farm to table type produce and products.
Jason: I can attest to the farmer’s market, I’ve stopped by many of times and grabbed some fresh fruit or veggies. It’s a great selection, it’s a great opportunity to support the local folks and eating healthy as well. So come check that out.
Marilyn: For sure. At least two of our vendors are organic, which I know that’s a big deal to a lot of folks. We’ve got organic local fabulous produce. That’s May 17th that starts and then this is the event that I’m most hung up on right now because I’m deep in the throws of planning for it. That’s our art festival and spring home showcase. That’s going to be May 20 and 21st. It’s right near our town center and last year we had over 55 vendors, all local artisans and crafts people and this year, it’s growing. I think we may get up to 70 vendors.
I’m going to have live music, food trucks. We’re going to have a beer garden, so something for everyone. There will actually be a kids craft booth so you can bring the kiddos and they’ll be entertained for hopefully a half hour or so, but you can certainly watch the live music and check out the many, many talented artisans that will be at the art festival.
Greg: Where in Norton Commons would that be?
Marilyn: That’s just going to be right here in the town center so really close to Jason’s office. I hope I’ll see you in there. It will be at the intersection of Norton Commons Boulevard and Meeting Street. That’s our little town square. We’ve got a big flag denoting the town square there. That’s Saturday and Sunday but that’s not all. Saturday night, the 20th is our first Music By The Water concert which you know if you’ve ever visited one of those, they’re really amazing. It’s kind of Louisville’s best-kept live music venue secrets.
Jason: Until after this podcast airs!
Marilyn: Uh-oh, the secret’s out. I mean, our amphitheater is an outdoor open air amphitheater. It seats about 2500 to 3000 people. You bring your own picnics. We do have food trucks. You bring your own coolers. It’s just really a great opportunity. It’s kind of tailgate style really and the live music is of a caliber… now I’m planning the show so I’m a little biased, I think the live music is a really solid caliber as well. That’s on May 20th.
Jason: Do you know any of the food trucks you had? Have you lined those up yet?
Marilyn: I’ve lined up a couple. We’ve got so far, I’ve got Mark’s Feed Store food truck coming out which you all know Mark’s Feed Store Barbecue, that’s a Louisville original, it’s fabulous. They’ve got a great food truck as well and then Boudreaux’s Snoballs, which is like New Orleans style… he says they’re not snow cones. They’re very different because they’re straight from New Orleans and it’s this very, very Louisiana style sweet frozen dessert. We’ll see what that is. That’s going to be at the first concert. I’ve got to line up at least two more trucks. In the past, we’ve had Red Top Hot Dogs, we’ve had Longshot Lobsta which is lobster rolls and they’re fabulous.
Jason: They are fabulous, yes. That why I was asking who is coming!
Marilyn: Yeah, I never thought I would eat lobster out of a truck. As it turns out, it’s delicious.
Jason: It’s the way to do it. The cool thing about the amphitheater is, when you’re walking the neighborhood the day before or the night before, you see people start setting up their tents like the day before getting their spot on the amphitheater.
Marilyn: They should do.
Jason: Come early and even if you don’t, there’s plenty of room for everyone.
Marilyn: That’s right.
Greg: How long has this series been going on because it sounds like it’s … is it …?
Greg: Third-year and it’s taking off?
Marilyn: This is third-year. Mm-hmm (affirmative). And ’14 was our first year but we didn’t have the amphitheater cover. We built that in ’15 and it’s just grown ever since. I think our biggest … we had the Crashers out, the Louisville Crashers which is a well-known local cover band that’s reached rock star status. We had over 3,500 people for that concert last year. It was phenomenal, so as Jason said, come early, set up your goodies.
Jason: And stay long…
Marilyn: Yeah, get ready to party.
Jason: Well if you guys have not or if you’re not familiar with Norton Commons or if you’ve not seen the amphitheater, we’ll throw a couple picks up on the podcast link on my website and just give you a couple of visuals of how cool the setting is. It’s really one-of-a-kind here in Louisville for sure.
Marilyn: I totally agree. That will move us into our sundown street party which is also famous, or infamous, depending on your take but that’s a street party right here in the town center. It happens every single Thursday, pardon me, every other Thursday and it’s hosted by Tea Station Chinese Bistro, they set up a beer tent and they have live music and it’s right out there in the middle of the street. You can bring your kid, you can bring your dogs, just don’t bring outside food or alcohol. It is a free event every other Thursday starting at about 6 p.m.
Greg: Again for everyone, not just local Norton Commons so I’m allowed to show up at these?
Marilyn: Please do.
Jason: And if you can’t come to this one, the Tea Station, my family loves the Tea Station. They deliver, we eat there all the time and their food is, it’s spectacular food and very consistent so I encourage you guys to check out Tea Station if you’ve not been there before.
Marilyn: Yeah, the free delivery is actually sometimes a bad thing because I think I order it about three times a week. It’s kind of embarrassing.
Jason: We’re guilty too but definitely worth the taste. Is the road shut down, it’s a good safe environment for the kids?
Marilyn: It is.
Jason: People drive up in their golf carts, kids bring their tricycles and bikes and they just have a good time, it’s a great family fun atmosphere for everybody.
Marilyn: Absolutely. Next on the list after the sundown street party on June 1st is our very first Movie On The Lawn. We do those, traditionally we’ve done them once a month June through August. Now this year we’re adding another one but we’ll get to that shortly. The June movie will be on June 9th. It’s always a kid friendly movie. This one is Sing, so Sing is that kind of animated movie, it’s a lot of sing-along. Kids are absolutely going nuts for it.
Greg: Of all ages.
Jason: Including Greg Fleischaker…
Greg: That’s right. We’ve totally seen it. I’m not ducking that one.
Marilyn: Okay, good. Good. I have not but my nephews who are little, approved it so I figured that it was safe to put on the list.
Jason: My kids who are going off to college approved it.
Marilyn: Good, good. That is on the ninth and you just come bring your blanket, bring your picnic if you’d like. We often times have frozen treats for sale that people can buy while they’re there and the kids, they really enjoy it.
Jason: Do you have the food trucks at this one or they’re just encouraged to use all the local restaurants?
Marilyn: We’re encouraging use of the local restaurants. Like I said, we’ll have somebody selling frozen treats most likely but it’s kind of, because it starts at dusk… Dusk in June is 8:45 which is after most kids’ bedtime. We have not engaged a food truck in the past.
Jason: So yeah there’s plenty of, I mean, Citizen 7’s right out there, it’s a great taco place and they’ve got a great bar there, a lot of good restaurants right around that town center. I think there might even be a new one opening up, that should be opened by then, the Wild Ginger if you like sushi, so a lot of great entertainment venues to eat at while you’re checking out the latest movies.
Greg: You said there’s one a month, right?
Marilyn: That’s correct.
Greg: You want to just run through the movies…?
Marilyn: The movie? Sure so June 9 is Sing, July 7 is The Secret Life of Pets.
Greg: Seen it. I’m just going to vouch for all these movies. I’m looking at the list.
Marilyn: August, we deviate a little bit because normally they’re very much kid movies. Now this was, this is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd. Just go ahead and put that on record. This is kind of for-
Greg: In the show notes, we can link to your fan page, your Harry Potter fan page if you’d like.
Marilyn: Perfect. We may need to do that. Fantastic Beasts got such good reviews this year, we decided to add a fourth movie plus this might engage an older crowd that we normally, you might scare away maybe, because these are kid friendly movies, but this is very much an all-ages show.
Then fourth, I’m sorry Fantastic Beasts was August 11th and then finally last but not least, Beauty And The Beast live action version which everybody is looking forward to, Emma Watson, I don’t know anyone else in the movie but that’s all you really need to know, Emma Watson.
Greg: It’s getting rave reviews, right?
Marilyn: Yes. it is.
Jason: I’ll chime in. That’s what my favorite Disney movies so I’ll be looking forward to the live action version of that one.
Marilyn: Yes. We’ll be playing that so let’s hope the good weather holds out in September. I’m sure it will.
Greg: I’ll give you a little movie critic, or critique, on the Fantastic Beasts. My son loved it. My daughter who’s not really into sort of the scary, scarier, not a huge fan, so sort of, it’s appropriate for everyone, but if your child is on the …
Marilyn: Little kid side, okay.
Jason: Maybe that would be a good time to go to the Commonwealth Tap maybe get you a drink and adults can go stroll down and watch the movie!
Marilyn: There you go. Actually interestingly, I’m trying to put Fantastic Beasts at the amphitheater but I’ve got to find a projector big enough, powerful enough and a screen big enough to make it because the amphitheater is so huge, so most of our movies are right here in the town center and mom and dad could sit at Citizen 7 and enjoy a beer while the kids watch Sing, but because Fantastic Beasts is a little bit more all ages, little older or whatever, I wanted to do it in the amphitheater but having trouble finding the screen big enough so if you know of anyone…
Jason: So putting out the signal here …
Marilyn: Putting out the signal.
Jason: If you’ve got a big TV screen in your backyard …
Marilyn: Super big, super big.
Jason: What size when we say super big?
Marilyn: Oh gosh, it’s got to be like 20 x 20, and a projector powerful enough to match.
Greg: It’s not the Bat Signal, it’s the Jason Black Signal, right?
Jason: There you go, there you go.
Marilyn: There you go.
Jason: So a lot of good movies going on, okay, that’s awesome.
Marilyn: Yes. Yes. I guess let’s go back to June, we were halfway through the month.
Greg: I’m sorry.
Marilyn: No, no, no that’s fine. That’s fine. You got to keep me on task though because I’ll get all kinds of sideways here. June 24, we’ve got a themed tonight. That’s hot country nights featuring the Jimmy Lehoux Band, they’re coming in all the way from New Hampshire. Which who would think a country band from New Hampshire but that’s what these guys are. The individual members are from all over the country and they have convened for whatever reason in New Hampshire, so they’re coming down there on tour this summer and they’re going to stop by our amphitheater on the 24th. Then we’ve got a real treat in the Southern Sirens. They are younger ladies, I would say, late 20s early 30s.
Jason: They were here last year, right?
Marilyn: Yes, but they’ve added new members to the band, so it’s like this expanded chick group that just sings awesome country …
Jason: That was probably one of my favorite performances last year was… I’ve never heard of them before and I was sad when they were over. I mean, it was truly an awesome performance.
Marilyn: Me too. I totally agree so they’re going to be headlining with their expanded band and they’re going to just I think rock our socks off.
Jason: They sang some cover music just a good variety of stuff so definitely put that one on your calendar for, when was that June 24, I believe.
Marilyn: Yes. July, other than the movie on the seventh, is a little quiet because a lot of people go out of town but we do have the street party so don’t forget about that every other Thursday, the farmer’s market every single Wednesday. Then our Music By The Water concert, another theme tonight, this is English Invasion on July 29. We got Elton John and The Beetles coming!
Jason: Man, you guys must have a good budget this year.
Marilyn: I know. The budget has expanded.
Greg: You’ll get over 3500 people, I think.
Marilyn: Exactly. We’ve got Joe D’Amato. He is a regional guy who performs as Elton John, then The Rigby’s who they are well-known performers as the Beatles. They perform at Abbey Road on The River, they’ve been at 4th Street Live!, they’ve been to the track so they’re going to be very, very entertaining. The Rigby’s played here two years, no, no three years ago and that was one of our biggest shows the first season, so I fully expect an awesome night. I’m going to try to get a big Union Jack to hang up behind them and will just go at the English theme fullbore.
Jason: I’m glad we’re getting this out early so people can mark their calendars and really they are events so it is fun to plan your summer nights around these and bring your friends and neighbors and invite some new folks that maybe have never come to Norton Commons before.
Greg: When talking about your neighbors, I forgot her name now, but Château Bourbon was on one of your earlier episodes, I’d like to see her schedule sort of lineup with this, I bet it’s shockingly, I bet she sells out pretty well on some of these events, right?
Marilyn: I bet she does.
Jason: Yeah, we’ll have to see, for sure. That moves us into August, I believe.
Marilyn: To August, that’s right. We’ve of course got the movie on the 11th, but then the street parties and farmer’s markets will take us right into August 26 which marks two special events. The first is our very first, now we’ve hosted 5 k’s in here before but this is one that we are cosponsoring. This is the race against time and that benefits Progeria research.
There’s actually a young man, his name is Zach, I can’t remember his last name but the local media here follows him. He’s only kid in Kentucky with Progeria. That’s a disease that makes children age incredibly rapidly. Zach comes out, he carries the torch. We all are going to run or walk as the case may be, a 5K, basically the route goes around the entire perimeter of Norton Commons, it’s a great route and if you’re not a runner, as I am not a runner, I will be, maybe jog in this, may be walk in it, I don’t know. But it’s for a good cause so you can’t resist, right?
Greg: That’s right. That sounds like a win-win and maybe as Jason keeps mentioning, maybe you can stop off in a couple places and pick up a little breakfast item or something and get back out there and walk and finish it up.
Marilyn: That’s right, yes, exactly so that’s in the morning. Then we’ll celebrate that evening with a little blues and soul singing featuring the Tyrone Cotton Band and Soul Street. The Tyrone Cotton Band is a great, great local blues and rhythm artists from Louisville, but he’s traveled all over. He’s toured in Europe. He’s toured all over the United States and he’s bringing out his full band. He’s going to open up the show and then Soul Street is this like 10 piece, they’ve got brass, they’ve got all kinds of fun things, they’re from Indy so we’ve got two really talented artist performing that night.
Greg: It looks like you try to have two groups on each of your concert nights, is that, is there a… ?
Jason: There’s opening act and the main event.
Marilyn: That’s right, no, no. You hit the nail on the head. You got an opener and headliner and really I try to tell my artists, it doesn’t matter, some artists only want to headline or the other way around and I’m like, “Look it doesn’t matter, the crowd is fabulous, they stay the whole time.”
How I try to arrange it is somebody a little bit more mellow at the beginning and then we ramp up the parties as the evening goes on so hopefully I mean, people dance, people stay the whole time. We’ll look around at 10:30, we’ve got to shut off the music at 10:00 because we’ve got folks that live close but at 10:30, you look around and people are still hanging out, enjoying each other, having conversations and really just enjoying the neighborly atmosphere there, so that’s the thought pattern there, you get a couple of bands, you just try to increase the party atmosphere…
Greg: The energy.
Marilyn: Yes, the energy as the night goes on.
Jason: Perfect, perfect.
Greg: I have to say, I’m really… It’s fun to come here and talk to Jason and how much he loves Norton Commons. It’s interesting to see someone else come in and talk about the party atmosphere and the energy and the events, so it’s not just all right great, Jason’s talking a good game over here. It actually happens. If people come out and spend a little time, there’s actually stuff happening here and it’s not just what we say on the podcast. To your point earlier, I’m looking at Jason when I say that, to your point earlier people need to come out and give these concerts a try even if you’re not thinking about moving to Norton Commons, come on out.
Jason: Especially they’re free so you can be entertained and inevitably, you’ll know people out here, I mean with couple thousand people. Just come hang out and enjoy. It’ll be worth your time.
Greg: That’s right, it’s still Louisville, you can’t be around a couple thousand people and not bump into people you know.
Marilyn: Exactly. Exactly. As you said, you do not need to be interested in purchasing a property to come out here of course, that’s fabulous but the restaurants, the shops, the various businesses are all … Many of the restaurants and bars are award-winning out here.
Jason: Let me put you on the spot, how many restaurants do we have now?
Marilyn: We’ve got 10 dining and drinking establishments. That’s what we have and I think without seeing my listing in front of me, I think, we have seven full-service restaurants and then we’ve got a bar, a coffee shop and a gelato, the gelato shop down the street.
Jason: Cool, so yeah exactly, you don’t have to come out and purchase a home, although I would love that, we just come enjoy and hang out so plenty of good walking trails and lakes and all that to enjoy while you are here visiting Norton Commons. So that wraps us through August, correct?
Marilyn: Yes, it does. We just got a few more on the calendar. We actually do have, I’ve got a pretty full October too, but we just, one thing at a time… We just went through September and that’s where we cut off our events poster because we find that folks, maybe you’re planning for summer, let’s wait to look ahead to fall.
September 9th is our very last Music By The Water concert. It is another theme tonight, it’s called Southern Shindy which is actually a southern word for shin-dig. I’m really trying hard for those theme names. That’s Southern Shindy, we’re going back to the country and the Southern music, with Throw It Down and Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown. That will start at 6:30 just like our other ones and it will be the very final one of the season so be sure and come out for that. Artie Dean Harris has played out here before and he is phenomenal. He’s a really … He calls himself southern party rock and it really is fun. It’s a high-energy show.
Greg: These groups have to like it enough, because you’ve mentioned several, this is not going to be the first trip so they must like it enough to want to come back.
Marilyn: Absolutely. We hear from a lot of artists that it’s their favorite venue locally to play just because of the atmosphere and the crowd and the energy with which the crowd is watching the shows. We try for variety’s sake to switch it up so we don’t have somebody coming both years in a row, we’ll do it every other year, but for instance with the Southern Sirens, they added another band member, they opened last year, they’re going to headline this year. So we switch it up. We tried to create variety where we can.
Jason: The sound too, it is an amphitheater, so it’s kind of nestled down in a little hollow by the lake and the lake is the background. It really does have a good sound to the ears for all you music guys or audiophiles that like a good tune. It really does sound good.
Marilyn: Yes, that’s what we’ve heard too from our sound techs specifically. They will comment on the great audio that the amphitheater has.
Jason: Perfect. So what’s left in September?
Marilyn: What’s left, we’ve got our Beauty and the Beast live action movie on the 15th but on the 14th, we partner with Norton Children’s Hospital, there’s a, you may have heard of the hospital raffle for the, they call it the Hospital Home. They raffle off a home and a BMW, the home, of course, is in Norton Commons. We’ll be doing a sneak peek there, that’s to benefit the hospital.
Jason: This is going to be my year to win! I have not won that house yet. Usually it’s valued over at like half a million bucks. Are the tickets still 100 bucks this year?
Marilyn: Yup, they’re $100.
Jason: So for $100, you get a chance to win half a million dollar house, so pretty good odds there.
Marilyn: It’s a cute house and I think they sold over 8000 tickets last year which, considering your odds, playing lottery or anything else really, those are pretty good odds. Again, it’s to benefit the local Children’s Hospital so why not?
Jason: Where do you buy a ticket?
Marilyn: You buy a ticket through the Norton Commons sales center or you can buy it through Norton Children’s Hospital’s website.
Jason: The cool thing is, not only do you get to buy a ticket but the home’s furnished, come out tour check it out and see some of the latest homes design trends when you’re out there.
Marilyn: Correct, and actually, this is going to keep.. that sneak peek of the hospital home will kick off our Fall Home Showcase. The Fall Home Showcase is going to be one big organized open house of all of our spec product available. We’ll get special maps made up. We will get signage and balloons and directions made up so no one’s getting lost.
Jason: Literally, all your spec homes that are …?
Marilyn: All of our spec homes that are I would say, 30 days to finish or more completed than that.
Greg: This is a big development, right? That’s a decent number. If someone likes homes and likes touring them…
Marilyn: It’s like 20ish usually. Last year, I think we had 21 homes on our spring home tour here. I should’ve mentioned, I’m very remiss right now, Susan Graff would not be happy with me. We have a Spring Home Showcase on May 20 and 21. I got so bogged down in the art festival that I forgot about that!
Greg: Just blame it on me. I asked you to talk about movies!
Jason: I had to note that one’s near and dear to my heart. We were going to come back to that, wasn’t the let you get off without talking about anything related to housing.
Marilyn: Good, well we’ve got two home showcases, a spring and fall home showcase. Of course we’ll have different product available ready in the spring versus the fall so come out, it’s free. It’s open. All you do is walk around. It’s low-pressure, no one is bugging you. Some of the builders will be in the house if you want to ask them questions but again it’s a very low pressure atmosphere where you can just check out new construction in the Norton Commons neighborhood which we know folks are curious about what does that actually look like there.
Jason: We jumped into all the events and I’m going to backtrack here and maybe give folks just a high-level view of what Norton Commons is maybe, how many homes there are, how many residents there are. Can you give us just a little background on Norton Commons, Marilyn?
Marilyn: Sure, yes okay so Norton Commons is Louisville’s only New Urban Development. We are located in East Louisville. We encompass an area about almost 600 acres and currently we’ve got about 1200 homes built. That, I believe looking at my census is 3500 to 4000 people right now. When we’re all finished which we think will be a decade-ish, maybe less, hopefully less, if Jason builds lots of houses…
Jason: Keep building, keep building.
Marilyn: Yeah, that’s right. We will have 2880 homes which will be about 10,000 people. It will be the size of a small city so Norton Commons is modeled on a small town model. Everything is walkable, streets walkable, sidewalks are walkable, town center, really walkability is one of our tenants here and one of our major focuses because we believe that the neighborhood is sustainable when you can leave your car at home and walk to your restaurants and your shops and hopefully eventually grocery store or your farmer’s market or whatever the case may be.
Greg: As the development grows and the number of homes grow, you talked about restaurants and other businesses, do you have an idea of how many of those you’d like to get to? I mean is it the same kind of proportion that you have now so they keep opening up as homes keeping built?
Marilyn: Yes, I would say as the development moves forward, we have had more and more commercial interest. I will say if you look at other new urban neighborhoods across the country, Norton Commons has been one of the best examples of a successful commercial village within a new urban setting. It’s vibrant, it’s dynamic.
At present, we have over 60 businesses that are very active, that include retail, restaurant, services and so on and so forth. As the neighborhood forges forward, I would think that our commercial development will as well. We have plans for a town center in the North Village. We have already had inquiries from businesses that you know the names of, that want to have a satellite location out here or a second or third or fourth location as it may be in some cases.
Greg: We’ll have to have you come back in a few months to divulge the names and maybe do the rest of the calendar, the second half of this year’s calendar and a teaser.
Marilyn: There you go. We do have very exciting things in the works for the commercial village. The idea is you’ll never have to leave. We don’t approve gas stations, you’re going to have to leave to fill up your car with gas but if you live in here, I ride my bike to work so maybe you don’t need a car.
Jason: Yup, there are many days that I don’t leave the neighborhood which is all right by me and Marilyn, you mentioned, we went through the spring and summer events, can you give us a hint of what’s coming up in the fall?
Marilyn: Sure, sure. I can. We’re bringing back the very, very popular night sky viewing party with the Louisville Astronomical Society and Gheens Planetarium. We’ll bring out those super high-powered telescopes and look at planets and stars, and we’ll have guides pointing out constellations and giving us a lecture and basically sky viewing. That’s a really cool thing. It’s very popular, kids love it. Adults love it. It’s been awesome.
Also in October will be our Fall Festival, that will be the last Saturday in October and that’s a three hour event with mini-train rides, food trucks, beer garden, trick-or-treating, costumes, a DJ, all kinds of fun stuff for kids of all ages. I know we’ve got a couple of block parties scheduled for October. We may throw in another concert.
Greg: Wow, it sounds like it never ends.
Marilyn: It doesn’t.
Jason: What about, I thought I heard mention of a food and wine festival? Can we talk about that?
Marilyn: Yes, thank you for mentioning that.
Greg: I’m sorry we’ve run out of time and we’re going to …
Jason: Hold on, you’re going want to hear this Greg!
Marilyn: Well, we were contacted by USA Today over the winter and they were looking for a location to roll out a food and dining event. This is a high-end event with celebrity chefs Mario Batali and somebody else that I cannot recall the name right now.
Jason: Greg might know. He’s a closet foodie over here.
Marilyn: Is he? All right. Well I’m not such a closet foodie. I love to eat so this is right up my alley. They’re going to have, they’re going to partner with not only their celebrity chefs but local chefs as well. This will be a ticketed event in our oval park where you can purchase a ticket and come get food and wine tastings from various restaurants and distilleries and wineries for a period of about 4 or 5 hours.
There will also be a VIP section where you can actually meet some of the celebrity chefs. This was one of 12 cities I believe where USA Today was rolling out this event. We were a finalist. It was us or Valhalla and they asked us!
Jason: Tell us again the date of this event.
Marilyn: Now that’s the 21st, let me check my calendar, I’m pretty sure that’s October 21. The tickets are not available for that yet but they will be very soon. They promised me the website is going to be up and running I think by the end of this month. I believe tickets are going to be around $75 for the regular admission and they’re going to be $125 for VIP.
Greg: So Jason you and I are going to meet up and do a podcast on what do you say October 21st?
Greg: You might be at the …
Marilyn: At Oval Park?
Greg: Yeah, absolutely. Microphone’s walking around-
Jason: Maybe we can have special guest joining us…
Marilyn: There you go.
Greg: There you go.
Jason: We could talk about what the chef’s like in their kitchen.
Greg: That would be interesting.
Marilyn: Oh perfect.
Jason: Good stuff. Anything else you want to add Marilyn that we have not covered? I know we’ve covered s wide array of topics.
Marilyn: We did.
Jason: Greg hopefully you’ll put a lot of good links up in the podcast and pictures and schedules and everything so folks can reference that as well.
Greg: There will be plenty of room in this episode for pictures and show notes and links so yes it would be full of resources, absolutely.
Jason: Well Marilyn, thanks again for joining us today and maybe we can bring you back again when we have some more great events to talk about.
Marilyn: I appreciate it. It’s been a pleasure. One final thing, if folks will follow our social media, it’s at Norton Commons KY, that’s our Facebook page, our Instagram name and our Twitter handle as well. That’s the best way to stay up-to-date and you’ll get reminders about these events and other exciting developments, like new businesses in the neighborhood. Follow us on social and stay up-to-date with the latest.
Jason: If somebody wants to get a hold and have questions about events or what food trucks are going to be there, is there a number or someone for them to contact?
Marilyn: They can contact our office. The number there is 502-425-3900. They can either ask for me, Marilyn Patterson or probably our administrative assistant would know as well but feel free to ask for me. I will answer your questions as best I can.
Jason: Great and we’ll drop links and all that information in this episode as well.
Marilyn: Awesome. Thanks guys.
Jason: Thank you all.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Louisville Custom Homebuilder Podcast. If you’re looking to build a home, and would like to reach out to Jason with any questions about the process or maybe just your individual needs and desires, please visit the website at artisansignaturehomes.com. We appreciate your time with us today and look forward to bringing you another episode soon.