SOUTHGATE, Ky. — Developers have cleared one more hurdle in their quest to transform the former site of the Beverly Hills Supper Club into a residential community, officials announced Monday, when the purchase agreement for the land was finalized.
Construction is set to begin later this month on Memorial Pointe — an 80-acre, $65 million community that will include 85 single-family homes and 200 luxury apartments — at the former club site in Southgate, where 165 people lost their lives in a 1977 fire that became the deadliest tragedy in Tri-State history.
The development will also include a memorial to those who died in the fire, as well as maintained green spaces and access to the nearby Highland Country Club. The memorial will sit on U.S. 27/Alexandria Pike and will include the names of those who died and other historical markers recounting the events that transpired more than 40 years ago.
The land has sat vacant for more than four decades.
"As excited as we are about moving forward on Memorial Pointe, we will never stop looking back to remember those who lost their lives at Beverly Hills and those they left behind," said Bill Kreutzjans Jr. of the Edgewood-based Ashley Builders Group.
The project faced resistance and was halted last fall after nonprofit group Beverly Hills Supper Club Respect the Dead, LLC filed for a temporary restraining order. In November, leaders from both sides reached an agreement on how the development would proceed.
"I wanted to make sure nobody ever built on top of the Cabaret room, where 165 people perished. Took their last breath," said Leslie Dischar Henry, whose mother, Rosemarie, died in the fire. "Along with my mom. That was my ultimate goal."
Ashley Builders Group and Vision Realty will allow family members of both victims and survivors to pay for a fountain that will be constructed near the location of the Cabaret room, but no portion of any building will be built where it once stood.
"It was like weight was lifted off my shoulders," said Henry. "It's finally, I know what it's going to be. I know what to look for."
A larger memorial in the form of a park will also be built at the base of the hill near Alexandria Pike.
In a news release, Southgate Mayor Jim Hamberg expressed his support for the project.
"For those of us here at home, this purchase and the proposed development writes a new page in the property’s storied past," Hamberg said.
He said the $65 million project is likely the largest development that's happened in Southgate.
Developers said they expect construction to begin by late August.