Why is UK paying $4.65 million for 16 acres of tobacco warehouses on Versailles Road?

University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky plans to buy 16 acres of offices and tobacco warehouses on Versailles Road in order to move its motor pool off campus.

The $4.65 million deal to buy the G.F. Vaughan Tobacco Company headquarters at 1247 Versailles Road was approved Thursday by the finance committee of the UK Board of Trustees.

The plan is to move UK’s motor pool location on Sports Center Drive to the property on Versailles Road. The motor pool is housed on valuable real estate between Kroger Field and a new baseball stadium under construction. Parking could be part of the property’s new use, said Eric Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance.

UK has been leasing the Versailles Road property for about a year, but officials said purchasing the property will allow UK to make necessary renovations. Some buildings will be renovated and others demolished.

Work on the buildings, which cover about 465,000 square feet, will cost about $2 million. The project will be funded by an internal loan that will be repaid with agency funds over nine years.

Representatives of G.F. Vaughan were not immediately available for comment. The tobacco storage, processing and brokering firm was founded in 1909.