Work to resume on stalled building at UK's Coldstream campus

A Coldstream Research Campus building that had been delayed — the Lexhold International Center for Technological Innovation — should be getting the final touches on its exterior by New Year's.

Len Heller, vice president for commercialization & economic development at the University of Kentucky, said that steel finishing materials for the exterior on McGrathiana Parkway should arrive within the next three to four weeks and be in place by the beginning of 2010.

Heller said that Flagstar Bank, which is financing the project, is "managing and making sure that happens."

The building has also gained additional tenants: Estate Source real estate; Artmetrx, a healthcare analytics firm, and Wilbur Smith Associates engineers. That makes the building about half occupied, said Tina Carpenter, Coldstream's director. She said the building has about 160,000 square feet, with about 80,000 square feet still available.

Meanwhile, Heller says that the university will shortly be releasing a plan for the Coldstream park over the next two decades, including projections for as much as 5.1 million square feet in future space in addition to current buildings and the $129 million, 230-bed Eastern State Hospital psychiatric facility that will be built on the Coldstream site beginning in 2010.

The Lexhold center has a troubled history. The Lexhold complex was originally planned as a showcase of two six-story technology buildings that would mirror each other. But only one building was constructed, and that one fell behind schedule amid a maze of unpaid bills and legal wrangles. The Lexhold building developer, Kale Roscoe, was fired in August as the developer of a similar project at the University of South Carolina.

John Parks, the former director of Coldstream who went on to run the University of South Carolina's Innovista research park, resigned in September as USC investigated whether he knew about Roscoe's felony conviction for tax evasion.

Attorney Tommy Todd says that his clients alone have filed about $1.8 million in mechanics' liens on the building.

Says Heller: "We're hoping it gets completed and gets leased out."