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Swiss Hall may become condominiums

After a failed attempt to turn Swiss Hall into a restaurant, beer garden and entertainment venue, the former lodge for a local Fraternal Order of Police Deputy Sheriff may still get a new life.

On Dec. 20 last year, Swiss Hall, located 719 Lynn St., was purchased by Swiss Village LLC for $800,000, according to county land records.

The property transfer documents were signed by Jeff Underhill, who is identified as the sole owner of Swiss Village. Underhill is a partner in the local development company Underhill Associates, which built Germantown Mill Loft and is renovating Colonial Gardens, among numerous other projects.

Swiss Hall was home to the Fraternal Order of Police Deputy Sheriff’s Lodge 25. | Courtesy of KCREA


According to a letter sent out to nearby residents by land use attorney Bill Bardenwerper, the new owner wants to rezone the property from R5 to R6, a higher density zoning, to allow for 40 condominiums on the 2.69 acres. The project would split between a renovated 12,260-square-foot Swiss Hall and patio homes along the perimeter of the property, the letter states.

When reached by phone, Underhill said the redevelopment is a personal project outside of Underhill Associates.

He was approached a while back about possibly building housing around Swiss Hall, which another developer planned to turn into a music hall, but he turned down the opportunity because he said he didn’t think a music hall there made sense. Against the Grain’s then made plans for a beer hall and venue there, but when those fell through and the property went back on the market, Underhill said he decided to take a look at it and wanted to develop a plan that would complement the neighborhood and be acceptable to the surrounding residents.

Underhill said he wants to “make it into the residential that it was probably intended to be,” noting that his goal with projects is to say “how can we enhance other parts of the area and participate in improvements around here.”

The project will include a courtyard between the three-story Swiss Hall and the units on the perimeter. The additional buildings proposed on the property will be two stories, and the 40 condominiums will be mostly two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a few large one bedroom units, Underhill said.

The units will have patios, front porches and garages, he said. They are still deciding whether they will sell the condominiums outright or offer at least some for rent to own.

The neighborhood meeting to present the preliminary plans is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at Eastern Parkway Baptist Church, 601 Eastern Parkway. —Caitlin Bowling