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Bustling corner of downtown Lexington will have a new look

The Lexington Center Corporation announced Thursday what kind of development will go in the parking lot across from Rupp Arena.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A bustling corner of downtown Lexington will have a new look.

The Lexington Center Corporation announced Thursday what kind of development will go in the parking lot across from Rupp Arena.

The LCC says it has selected the Lincoln Webb LLC to continue negotiations to develop the property on High Street. Lincoln Webb LLC is a team comprised of Lincoln Property Company and Webb Companies.

The firm designed and built several buildings in Lexington, including City Center. Many people might remember that property sat unfinished for years earning it the nickname “the pit.”

The 17 and a half acres, of what is now parking, will become a mix of shopping, housing and event venues. The rendering image shows multiple apartments with pools. It will also include a hotel. In its release, the LCC said grocery is also a high priority for this project.

If you look closely, you can see parking on the rooftops:

High Street Development Project in Lexington
High Street Development Project in Lexington(Central Bank Center)

Parking has been a topic of much debate surrounding this piece of land.

Back in January, we showed you renderings for a pro soccer stadium in this spot. Those plans included a 6,000 seat sports venue, a hotel, an apartment building and retail space.

We reached out to the Lexington Sporting Club for their reaction to this big announcement. A representative told us, that while the downtown location was appealing, it didn’t fit with the club’s vision or timeline, so they removed themselves from the bidding process. They went on to say that other locations will help them build sooner. They did not share where that future location might be.

Developers say these new opportunities have been a long time coming.

“It’s a 17.5-acre piece of property that’s prime,” said Dudley Webb with the Webb Companies.

The Webb Companies said the stars have aligned to turn the space into more than just parking spaces.

“Quite frankly it was part of a 2005 master plan study that was done, and then it was studied again as a part of the performing arts and entertainment district that was proposed for the Rupp Area, and that was 2012,” Webb said.

Neighbors who live close by are excited by the possibilities going up in their backyard.

“I think the grocery store for sure, that will be very convenient for us that live downtown to be able to quickly run and grab groceries. The parking garage sounds exciting because I know with Rupp Arena, it’s always a difficult situation,” neighbor Katy Brown.

Brown’s house is right next to the High Street lot. She said she sees a lot of financial benefits to the space coming to their neighborhood.

“Any of these things that are being developed down here will raise the property values for our homes downtown, and that’s never a bad thing,” Brown said.

“The good news is the market studies reveal that there’s demand for all of these elements we’re proposing for over there right now,” Webb said.

Neighbors are hopeful the development will also solve a problem they’ve been dealing with of drivers speeding down High Street.

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