Victorian Square, a block of restored 19th century buildings in the heart of downtown, is for sale for $7.25 million. The historic property was placed quietly on the market a few months ago, but it went on the Multiple Listing Service this week, said Becky Reinhold, who is president of Victorian Square Associates and principal broker with Bluegrass Sotheby's International Realty, which is listing the property.
The 16 buildings that make up Victorian Square, at the corner of West Main Street and North Broadway, were brought together under one roof in 1985 with restaurants, retail and office space.
The owners tried to make Victorian Square into a downtown mall filled with small specialty shops. However, the retail struggled, and one by one many of those boutiques closed.
In 1994, when Victorian Square investors including developers Don and Dudley Webb, banker Elmer T. Whitaker and Xalapa Farm owner Lillie Webb became discouraged, two of the original owners — Alex Campbell and W. T. Young — took over the project. Young's son, Bill Young Jr., and Campbell own the property today.
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In 2008, as nightlife began to flourish in other parts of downtown, bars and nightclubs were added to Victorian Square. Today's tenants include bars, restaurants, clothing stores, shoe stores, the Explorium, Lexington Children's Theatre and Artist's Attic.
Reinhold said a portion of Victorian Square could be converted into a boutique hotel or loft-style apartments. It is across the street from Triangle Park and Rupp Arena. The assessed value of the property is $1.4 million.