UK, Signet Real Estate Group Break Ground on $34M Mixed-Use Parking, Innovation Center


By:  Joel Maas/Signet Real Estate Group

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2019)  University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group have broken ground on a mixed-use parking facility in Lexington that includes over 900 new parking spaces and over 23,000 square feet of innovation and retail space that will revitalize one of the main corridors into the UK campus, located at the corner of S. 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.”

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.

Signet Real Estate Group, a Signet LLC company, is a full-service development and project management firm in the areas of higher education, health care, research, and public-private partnerships. The company transforms complex development challenges into collaborative opportunities through a creative, flexible, and customized approach. Since the firm’s inception, Signet and its family of companies have successfully managed and currently have in progress more than $5 billion in real estate development and construction throughout the U.S. More information on Signet can be found at signetre.com.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,”  and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.