P3 project on UK campus breaks ground on $34M mixed-use parking, innovation center

Rendering of new facility for parking, retail and university innovation at the corner of Winslow Street and South Limestone.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group broke ground recently on a mixed-use parking facility in Lexington that includes over 900 new parking spaces and over 23,000 s.f. of innovation and retail space. The project will revitalize the property that formerly housed Kennedy’s Bookstore and Fazoli’s (located at the corner of South Limestone and Winslow Street).

The P3 (public-private partnership) project is the first step in accomplishing UK’s vision of transforming this critical entrance to campus into a hub for innovation that will better serve the needs of students, faculty, staff and the community. The university anticipates that the project will anchor its programs in applied technology and creative development within a larger “innovation district,” where UK will partner with the City of Lexington to invest in the adaptive re-use and re-imagination of this historic area.

“There is a tremendous opportunity here to leverage the momentum we have as a university to expand what we are doing in partnership with the community, make progress on the university’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP), and serve our campus while looking toward the future of innovation, creativity, problem solving, education and research,” said Eric N. Monday, UK’s executive vice president of finance and administration.

Jason Perry, president of Signet Real Estate Group, said, “We are excited to partner with the University of Kentucky to deliver this forward-thinking project and achieve its vision for this corridor into campus. This facility will help address the university’s parking demands while transforming the edge of campus into an innovative destination for students, faculty, staff and the Lexington community as a whole.”


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The ground floor of this mixed-use facility will house the innovation center and retail components. Plans for the university’s innovation center, which will serve students, the UK campus and the greater Lexington community, are underway and may include application development, technology partnerships, design thinking studio space and e-sports initiative components. The innovation center and retail area will be managed in partnership between Signet and UK, and the parking will be managed as part of UK’s campus operations.

Financing for the project, provided by Signet in collaboration with UK, closed in early July. “This project is a true example of a public-private partnership where the collaborative efforts by all project stakeholders helped achieve optimal results. We work on higher education projects across the country and this stands out as a testament to what can be achieved through a P3 structure,” said Spencer Hyatt, vice president of Signet Real Estate Group.

The project is due to be completed by fall 2020.

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