Developer to buy former Verizon building on Harrodsburg Road

ssloan@herald-leader.comJanuary 28, 2013 

An out-of-state developer plans to purchase and renovate the former Verizon call center on Harrodsburg Road in front of Turfland Mall.

"We're excited about the project and have high expectations," said Ken Krismanth, president of Signet Development, which has offices in cities including Akron, Ohio, and Jacksonville, Fla.

The renovations planned include upward of $2 million spent on the exterior, which is being re-envisioned by Lexington's Taylor Architects.

An extensive renovation is also being planned inside the 50,000-square-foot, two-story building, but the exact details of that await Signet signing a tenant for the space.

"We see that building retrofitted as having a lot of appeal to several different sources for a variety of uses," Krismanth said. "We really think we'll find a good tenant or partner."

He identified healthcare companies, corporate offices or universities as potential tenants that would be interested in the space.

Verizon closed its call center in the building in 2010, putting nearly 250 people out of work. Since that time, the site was under consideration by Health First Bluegrass, a Fayette County primary-care group that operates at the county health department building on Newtown Pike. That potential deal fell through.

Krismanth said he expects the deal won't close for upwards of a few more months, as it requires court approval because the building is in receivership due to legal issues.

Once the deal is done, the building will represent Signet's first project in both Lexington and Kentucky. The company's portfolio of past projects includes hospitals, student apartment complexes and more in several states.

"We are extremely bullish on the city and region," Krismanth said.

The project will also be a boon to Harrodsburg Road, said Jeff Stidham, president of Lexington's Stidham Commercial Partners and the broker representing Signet.

"It's a very important anchor to that strip of Harrodsburg Road, which will benefit substantially from this new redevelopment and the many millions of dollars that are going to be spent," Stidham said.

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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