Fayette County

City could sell its more than $800,000 lease for Coldstream Research Park

The city is moving closer to selling a more than $800,000 lease for vacant land at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Park that was supposed to house an emergency operations center.

The Urban County Council will ask the planning commission to rezone the property, a condition of a buyer who is interested in the city's 100-year-lease for the 16 acre-property off of Citation Boulevard. City officials declined to say Tuesday who is interested in the lease.

The council is expected to vote on a resolution at its Thursday meeting to begin the process of rezoning the property.

The sale of the lease would not be final unless there is a zoning change and if the project receives state and local incentives, city officials said.

The city signed the 100-year-lease with the University of Kentucky and the state in 2007 under then-Mayor Jim Newberry's administration. Costs for the project, however, quickly climbed to $42 million.

Mayor Jim Gray, who was then vice mayor, led the charge to stop the project. But the city could not break the 100-year lease.

The city is now going to use a former juvenile justice center on Cisco Road for its emergency operations center. That project will cost $13 million — about $29 million less than the original emergency operations center. Of that $13 million, $3 million will come from federal funds.

If the zoning and incentives are granted, the city will identify the possible tenant, said Susan Straub.