Since 1950, Kennedy’s Wildcat Den was the bookstore students went to at the University of Kentucky, but the business closed at the end of the winter semester in 2017.
Since the closing in 2017, the University of Kentucky partnered with Signet Real Estate Group, a private real estate company, to turn the former bookstore on the corner of S. Limestone and Winslow Street into a large-scale parking garage with retail and “innovation” space.
In August 2019 the University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group officially broke ground on the $34 million dollar project, which includes over 900 new parking spaces and over 23,000 square feet of innovation and retail space.
“Its going to be critical in making progress on the transportation master plan, but it’s so much more than a parking project,” said Melody Flowers, UK Executive Director of Strategic Analysis. “This is a mixed use opportunity to transform this critical property at the entrance to our campus with the use of ground floor retail and university innovation space.”
The “innovation” and retail components of the facility will be located on the bottom floor. The innovation center will serve UK’s campus, and the Lexington community, through plans for application development, technology, design studio space, and more.
Jason Perry, president of Signet Real Estate Group, said, “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.”
The P3 (public-private partnership) project is set to be completed by Fall 2020.
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