Remembering Beverly Hills Supper Club fire as new development takes shape

Survivors remember 165 lives lost in 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire

SOUTHGATE, Ky. (FOX19) - Thursday is the 43rd anniversary of the Tri-State’s deadliest tragedy, the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire.

Survivors of the May 28, 1977 fire that killed 165 people and changed Kentucky fire regulations forever held a memorial at the site in Southgate.

“Seems like yesterday," said survivor David Brock. "It’ll never change. I’ll never forget this as long as I live.”

The club was nationally known as a showplace, making that tragedy that much more infamous, he said.

“Everyone knows where they were at on May 28th, 1977. They know,” Brock said, once describing the heat of the fire “like a freight train.”

Now, more than four decades later, there are plans to turn the site of the former club into a $65 million residential development with a memorial.

The project is called Memorial Point and it’s slated for 80 acres along U.S. 27 in Southgate, according to a news release.

Construction could begin as soon as 2021 and continue in phases over five years, according to a news release.

Plans include 100 to 200 apartments, 89 homes starting in the upper $300,000, a for-profit 79-unit assisted living facility and a memorial to the victims.

“It has been 43 years since that tragic night, and there have been a number of proposals over the years to develop the site,” Southgate Mayor Jim Hamberg said in a news release.

The wreckage left behind by the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News archive)
The wreckage left behind by the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News archive)

“I’m excited that we waited for the right project and the right developer. Ashley Builders Group is a top-notch, family-owned Northern Kentucky company that has a tremendous reputation for developing quality projects. They have worked well with the city and we look forward to proceeding with the development of Memorial Point. The City was encouraged by Ashley’s plans for a fitting memorial, which City Council wholly supports."

This will be the second project that Ashley and Vision Realty have partnered on, the first being The Kent Lofts in Bellevue, Ky. Vision Realty was founded three years ago by Matt Olliges and Jeff Hudephol, both of Fort Thomas.

The memorial will include:

  • the names of the victims
  • a list of local first responder units that responded to the fire
  • a list of the federal and state fire safety regulations that were implemented as a result of the fire
  • maps of the site in 1977

A marker honoring the victims will also placed in the park that will developed as part of the residential project at the top of the hill.

Members of the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire Group have expressed support for the project and appreciation of the plans for a memorial, according to the release. Upon completion, it will be donated to the city Southgate.

Hamberg said a memorial committee will be formed that will include members of the survivors.

Memorial Point also will maintain greenspace and include a park as well as connections to Highland Country Club, which is across Blossom Lane from the site.

Access to Memorial Point will be from U.S. 27 and from Blossom Lane.

Memorial Point will rise on 80 acres along U.S. 27 in Southgate and include an assisted living facility.
Memorial Point will rise on 80 acres along U.S. 27 in Southgate and include an assisted living facility. (Source: Provided)

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