LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 24, 2016) – The University of Kentucky will seek proposals this summer to construct a mixed-use retail and parking development on the Jersey Street lot location near the north end of campus.
In addition to promoting a broad range of transportation and mobility alternatives, the university’s recently published Transportation Master Plan (TMP) identified a parking shortage on campus.
At the same time, university officials have been working in partnership with the city on a long-term plan to create and promote more commercial development along near-campus corridors. And with another 1,100-plus residence hall beds opening this fall, UK will have almost 2,500 students living on the north end of campus.
The Jersey Street lot is located between Limestone and South Upper Streets. Currently, there are about 150 spots in the parking lot that are utilized by UK employees and surrounding retailers.
“We have an opportunity to create more retail along an important community and campus corridor as well as being responsive to the transportation and parking needs we have at UK,” said Eric N. Monday, the university’s executive vice president for finance and administration. “A mixed-use retail and parking development is consistent with our long-term master plan and transportation plan and it has the potential to address retail needs we have on the campus and in the community.”
Specifically, UK plans to release a Request For Proposals (RFP) later this summer that would seek potential partners interested in:
--Developing a project on the current Jersey Street lot that provides ground-floor retail to service the needs of the campus, the surrounding neighborhood, and the broader downtown community.
--Constructing a multi-level parking structure above the retail space that fits within the context of the built environment of surrounding neighborhoods and downtown. A new parking structure would significantly expand that parking capacity for both the campus and nearby business community and public.
--Designing a structure that is consistent with the design of urban and downtown buildings as well.
Monday discussed the RFP with the UK Board of Trustees Finance Committee during their meeting Friday. He said the timing of a potential project will be dependent upon responses to the RFP. Monday said UK officials have begun discussions with city officials about the potential project as well as area businesses and neighborhood leaders.
“UK has utilized innovative public-private partnerships over the last several years to be more responsive to campus needs in a way that is economically efficient and has improved quality of service,” said Board Finance Committee Chair Bill Britton, citing collaborations to expand student housing and dining services. “This proposal may be another opportunity where we can utilize a partnership to be responsive to campus needs in terms of retail and parking, but also the broader community we call home and that we serve.”
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