Fayette County

Lexington Center seeks developers for parking lot near Rupp Arena

Lexington Center Corp. is looking for development proposals for the 17.5-acre High Street parking lot across from Rupp Arena and the convention center.
Lexington Center Corp. is looking for development proposals for the 17.5-acre High Street parking lot across from Rupp Arena and the convention center. rgarrison@herald-leader.com

Potential developers of the nearly 20-acre Rupp Arena High Street parking lot have until late November to submit their proposals.

Lexington Center Corp. released its request for qualifications for developers this week. Money from the ground lease of the High Street lot could be used to pay for a $250 million renovation of the attached convention center. Lexington Center oversees Rupp, the convention center, and retail and restaurant space.

Lexington Center will offer potential developers a long-term lease, according to a news release. Lexington Center won’t invest in the project or be guarantor for any private financing. Proposals must also address replacement parking — such as a parking garage — for the convention center, Rupp Arena and attached Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Interested developers must show what they want to build and must demonstrate a successful track record of financing and building a similar development, according to the news release. The Lexington Center board agreed in late September to issue the request for proposals to determine whether there was interest.

Brent Rice, chairman of the Lexington Center board, has said developers have expressed interest in the parking lot in previous years. The lot is approximately 17.5 contiguous acres and is bordered by Lexington Center Drive, Maxwell Street and Poplar Alley. It’s one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land in the core of downtown Lexington.

“This is the first step in what eventually can become a dynamic urban environment which will be a transformative mixed-use development that can impact the vibrancy of downtown Lexington,” Rice said in the news release. “The project could be comprised of various uses, such as offices, residential units, hotel/lodging, restaurant hospitality and other services. We expect considerable interest from highly experienced and skilled development groups both in terms of specific uses and master planning as well.”

All responses are due Nov. 28. The request for proposal can be found on the Lexington Center’s website, Lexingtoncenter.com/rfqs.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

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