Coldstream master plan stalled until economy improves

Work has resumed again on the exterior of the long-delayed Lexhold Center for Technological Innovation at the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus off Newtown Pike.

Len Heller, UK's vice president of commercialization and economic development, says the building, at 1648 McGrathiana Parkway, is being marketed to prospective tenants. "There's interest there, I can tell you that," Heller said.

But that might be the last commercial real estate work on the site for a while. Heller said the Coldstream master plan, which was to have been presented late last year to UK trustees but was delayed until this year, will now be delayed indefinitely as UK waits out a national slump in commercial real estate.

"It's pretty slow with companies and developers right now," Heller said. "I think it's better timing to bring that (the master plan) out when the economic conditions improve."

The Lexhold Center, whose tenants include MedTech College, has been a trouble spot for UK's ambitious Coldstream development. The building was planned as part of a two-building complex in which the buildings would mirror each other.

Lexhold's developer, Kale Roscoe, was fired in August as the developer of a similar project at the University of South Carolina. Heller says Roscoe is no longer involved with the Coldstream project.

Lexington attorney Tommy Todd, who had filed various mechanics' liens for unpaid bills for goods and services involved in construction of the building, said those liens remain unresolved. At least $1.8 million in mechanics' liens had been filed on the building as of November.

Heller said no replacement has been chosen for Tina Carpenter, the Coldstream director who is retiring. "We're looking for somebody to build a strong network with the state. ... We're looking for someone who understands the research mission of the university," Heller said.

Coldstream will contain the planned 230-bed Eastern State Hospital psychiatric treatment center; construction is set to begin in July.