Real estate agent Carol Bryant surveys the area between Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church and the High Street branch of the YMCA.
For $8.9 million, some investor can become the owner of 38 buildings in the area, hence becoming a landlord to a major swath of University of Kentucky students.
Many of the buildings in the area belong to a group of owners that include Bryant's extended family, including downtown developer and attorney Bill Lear. Formally, the owners are Touchstone Properties LLC and Hagerman Court LLC, the largest property owners in the College Town area.
College Town is defined as the area running from the north edge of UK's campus to downtown Lexington.
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The package of properties is substantial, but Fayette County does have occasional property sales with large numbers of parcels and amounts of cash being exchanged — including a 66-parcel sale in April for just over $1 million and a two-parcel deal worth $62.5 million in March — according to figures provided by David O'Neill, Fayette County's property valuation administrator.
The package of student-occupied properties includes 38 buildings and two parking lots. The listing says the rental income for the group is more than $1 million a year.
On Tuesday, as Bryant walked around the bulk of the houses and apartments, students buzzed around the area. UK classes began Wednesday.
Although most of the houses are within easy walking distance, two are set apart: 541 Columbia Avenue and 326 Woodland Avenue, next to the fire station. In various configurations, the properties have now been for sale for three years.
In 2010, Lear said the decision to sell was "related directly to where family members are in our personal life cycles."
Bryant said the family still feels the same way. She said her husband, Rick Bryant, feels as if he gets 200 extra children when the apartments fill up.
"It's just where we are right in our lives," she said, as family members reach their 50s and 60s and begin to lighten their property load.
Although the listing includes all the properties, the owners would be willing to sell some of the houses in groups, such as the two orange brick buildings on Lyndhurst Place. Bryant said there has been a great deal of interest from real estate investors, but so far no sale.
As the recession tightened credit, commercial investors were hit particularly hard, she said.
It would be a big sale. Of the residential listings currently available in Fayette County, one of the few in the ballpark in size and price is a $14.4 million horse farm on Russell Cave Road — but given that its 87 horse stalls aren't in the neighborhood of UK, that can hardly be considered student housing.
When the properties are sold, the current leases will remain in effect, Bryant said. That had been a concern when the properties were first put up for sale.
She does not anticipate the homes being demolished, which she said had been a false rumor when the buildings were first put up for sale. She said the buildings are in good condition and well-maintained — and, of course, in a prime location.
"This is so close to everything," Bryant said.