Lexington Business News – March 2021

Lexington Business News – March 2021

New signs were installed at Henry A. Centennial Park in downtown Lexington.

Lexington Business News – March 2021


For Sale?

The city of Lexington is considering the sale of three buildings, including the LexArts building on Mill Street. ArtsPlace is one of three targeted properties, along with Morton House on N. Limestone and Old Fire Station #2 on E. New Circle, to be sold after a Lexington council subcommittee reviewed over 600 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council-owned properties. The subcommittee included Vice Mayor Steve Kay, Councilwoman Amanda Bledsoe, Councilman Richard Moloney and former Councilman Bill Farmer Jr.

The committee voted unanimously in late January to allow city officials to begin discussions with LexArts about the purchase of the Mill Street Property, which LexArts currently leases. The city will also begin discussions with The Nest about purchasing Morton House.

According to Bledsoe, the subcommittee will continue to look at other buildings and property in the coming months to determine the best use of some properties.

CORE Collaboration 

Known as The Core  (Collaboration. Research.  Entrepreneurship), UK’s forthcoming $15 million facility at the Coldstream Research Campus  will provide office and laboratory space for early stage, high-tech companies. It 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.

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. 

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.

George Ward, president of KTI says 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.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said the project helps boost the community’s status as a hub for innovative companies. “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.”

“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. 



Applications for Leadership Kentucky 2021

Leadership Kentucky is now accepting nominations and applications for the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2021. The nomination form is available online and applications are due mid-March.

Dynamic duo: Wrigley Media and UK sign partnership

Wrigley Media Group and the University of Kentucky have formalized a partnership to present the UK brand. Through 2024, Wrigley Media is the primary creative video services partner for UK.

Master of Science in Marketing

The Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky is launching a new Master of Science in Marketing (MSM). The program, approved by the UK Board of Trustees and pending approval by the Council on Postsecondary Education, begins in fall 2021.



Junior League of Lexington’s 2021 Board of Directors

The Junior League of Lexington announced its new Board of Directors for 2021, which includes:

  • Jessica Stigall, President: Stigall is a Member at Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC. 
  • Erin Jones Roth, President-Elect: Roth is President/CEO at Telford Community YMCA.
  • Christie Workman, Marketing/Public Relations: Workman is an Assistant Regional Director of Philanthropy at University of Kentucky College of Engineering.
  • Sarah Robinson, Recording Secretary: Robinson is a Senior Marketing Director at CBL  Properties.
  • Betsy Davies, Corresponding Secretary: Davies is an Assistant Regional Director of Philanthropy at University of Kentucky College of Engineering.
  • Janet Luo, Treasurer: Luo is an Associate Attorney at Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC.
  • Amanda Black, Membership Chair: Black is a Marketing Administrative Coordinator at Alltech.
  • Vanessa Grossl, Headquarters Chair: Grossl is a Policy Analyst at The Council of State Governments.
  • Pamela Felts, Horse Show Chair: Felts is a Teacher at Anderson County Schools.
  • Mallory Wood, Holly Day Market Chair: Wood is a Certified Professional Coder at Central Kentucky Radiology, PLLC.
  • Kimberly McCay, Sponsorship Chair: McCay is a Community Programs Loan Specialist at USDA Rural Development.
Keeneland’s Vice President of Racing

Central Kentucky horseman and bloodstock adviser, Gatewood Bell, has been named Keeneland’s new Vice President of Racing.

New leadership for Valvoline

Valvoline Inc. announced the appointment of Mahmoud (Mack) Sharaf to serve as the company’s Treasurer and chief liaison to the investment community.

YMCA of Central KY elects new board chair

Leslie Flynn has been named the new chair of the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s board of directors. Flynn succeeds Al Isaac who continues to serve as an executive committee member after completing his term as chair. 

The board of directors also announced six new members and two advisory board chairs for the 2021-2023 term. The YMCA welcomes Chair Leslie Flynn, Private Banker, Central Bank & Trust Co.; C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA Advisory Board Chair Mike Heath, CEO/Senior Partner, Heath Healthcare Consulting; and YMCA Black Achievers Program Advisory Board Chair Johnnie Johnson, Vice President for Admissions, Transylvania University.

The six others elected to serve on the board of directors for the 2021-2023 term are Carla Blanton; Jonathan Caldwell, Valvoline; Miranda M. Scully, Fayette County Public Schools; Andrew Smith, University of Kentucky; Billy Spears, Lexmark; and Delaine Thiel, Lexington Catholic.



Annabella’s Sweet Boutique opened on West Main near the Jefferson Street corridor, located across from what will become Town Branch Park once the project is completed.

LexLive, the entertainment complex at the corner of High and South Broadway, prepares to make its long-awaited debut in the spring. The complex features 10 movie screens, a bowling alley, three bars and an arcade. With The Kentucky Theatre indefinitely shuttered, LexLive may open as Lexington’s only downtown theatre.

Local Lex Market is opening on Southland Drive in March, featuring handmade and handcrafted items from small business crafters throughout Kentucky.

The Nail Shop will debut at The MET in early spring.  When Kim Hunyh opened the first Nail Shop location in Brannon Crossing in 2019 she wasn’t necessarily planning a second location, but says, “My goal has always been to open a location downtown, in the heart of Lexington where innovation and diversity come to life.”
The MET development is part of Community Venture’s growth plans for downtown Lexington. The development includes DV8 Kitchen and Manchester Coffee Co., which both also plan to open in the spring. 

Revive Sauna Studio is coming to Chevy Chase in the spring.



Indoor Football

The KFC Yum! Center and Indoor Football League’s (IFL) Louisville Xtreme Football team have announced a three-year rental lease agreement between the team and the venue’s operator, ASM Global, including eight home games at the multi-purpose arena between April and August 2021.

Keeneland’s Spring Meet

Keeneland plans to allow a limited number of fans to attend its 2021 Spring Meet, to be held April 2-23. For this year’s Spring Meet, Keeneland will make available a limited number of pre-sold ticket packages including dining, Grandstand reserved seating, and general admission.

A “pro partner” of MLB

The Lexington Legends recently joined the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which is considered a “professional partner” of MLB, but ALPB teams are not affiliated with MLB organizations.



Commerce Lexington Inc. hosts a SPOTLIGHT Series event on Wednesday, March 3 at 10 am via Zoom, featuring a panel of local leaders who will discuss best practices for diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace and business.

The eighth annual EMERGE Conference engages the next generation leaders of Central Kentucky, connecting emerging leaders to each other and to the community. This year’s virtual conference is Tuesday, March 9. This year’s keynote speaker is Justin Patton, who will present “Your Roadmap to Trust,” guiding participants through the four crucial elements of trust and how trust is your most important competitive advantage. 

Women Leading Kentucky hosts a Power Hour Leadership Series on Thursday, March 11 at 3 pm via Zoom with Karen Harbin, President and CEO of Commonwealth Credit Union.

The next Commerce Lexington Inc. @330 Series event is on Monday, March 15 at 3:30 pm via Zoom, featuring Dr. Janelle McNeal of True North Counseling & Development. She presents a session entitled “Mindset” Over Matter: Mindset Tips for Personal and Professional Development.



This article also appears on page 5 of the January 2021 print edition of ace magazine.

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