FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday congratulated the University of Kentucky and its partners on breaking ground for a high-tech building at UK’s Coldstream Research Campus, a $15 million development to provide office and laboratory space for early stage, high-tech companies.
Known as “The Core – Collaboration. Research. Entrepreneurship.” the new facility will be an entry-level resource for companies looking to locate on the research campus. The project is supported by a $500,000 matching grant through the Product Development Initiative (PDI), a statewide investment program created to help communities supplement site or building improvement projects.
“An important part of securing a brighter future for Kentuckians is our ability to establish Kentucky as a premier destination for high-tech businesses,” Beshear said. “The addition of The Core at UK’s Coldstream Research Campus is evidence that PDI is one of a number of tools that can help us do just that. This new research lab will be a gateway for innovative startups looking to take that next step in their development. I want to congratulate everyone at UK, as well as their partners, on this significant step forward to ensure the sustained success of businesses in Kentucky.”
The building includes a wet lab space and working space with nearby interstate access for companies and entrepreneurs traveling to facilities throughout the region. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2022.
“When we think about strengthening our economy — particularly following the challenges we’ve faced over the past year — we believe that partnership with the city and the business community is the best way to move forward,” said Eric Monday, UK executive vice president for finance and administration. “This space will create new opportunities for businesses to establish themselves here in Kentucky, create jobs and contribute to economic growth. We look forward to continuing in our role as the University of, for and with Kentucky.”
Kentucky Technology Inc. (KTI), a subsidiary of the UK Research Foundation, will lease approximately half of the building’s 40,000 square feet, with plans to sublease to qualifying high-tech companies. The facility is expected to house startups incubated at UK, as well as other companies relocating to Kentucky.
“KTI’s experience as a master lessor and support from our board provided a strong anchor tenant, which enabled this project to move forward,” said George Ward, president of KTI. “The Core will provide an opportunity for more early stage high-tech companies to flourish in Lexington as they grow well-paying jobs and create new products that improve people’s lives.”
The facility is being developed through a partnership with Woodbury Corp. Rick Woodbury, the company’s chairman, said the partnership with UK will help support sustained growth of high-tech companies in the region.
“Woodbury Corp. is honored to bring its 100-year history in commercial real estate to work with the University of Kentucky on the Coldstream Research Campus, and provide a home for Kentucky Technology Inc.,” Woodbury said. “Like other research parks that we partner with, we foresee continued growth and success at this campus that will surely establish it as the premier location for technological innovation in the region.”
Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said the project helps boost the community’s status as a hub for innovative companies.
“Coldstream Research Campus is an important key to economic development and growth in Lexington,” said Mayor Gorton. “The partnership we’ve built with the University of Kentucky to develop this area creates a live, work, play and innovative environment. Lexington will continue its growth as a hub for high-tech development, and The Core is going to be a critical part of our move forward.”
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development established PDI in 2019. The investment program provides competitive grants to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments to supplement site and building improvement projects. The initiative aims to create jobs and corporate investment by enhancing the quality and quantity of Kentucky’s available sites and buildings. As well, it encourages collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders to help new and expanding businesses quickly find suitable locations in Kentucky.
“This is a great next step in bringing additional development and well-paying jobs to Lexington.” said Matt Tackett, president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development. “In advocating for and assisting communities, utilities and the state in attracting development, I always underscore the importance of preparation. The PDI program continues to prove itself as an incredibly effective tool for moving the state forward and UK’s work at Coldstream exemplifies just that.”
Learn more about UK’s Coldstream Research Campus at UKY.edu/coldstream.