The University of Kentucky plans to acquire seven properties at South Limestone and Virginia Avenue in order to bury utilities to serve a new research building across the street.
The properties — 665, 685 and 693 South Limestone, and 119, 121, 123, and 131 Virginia Avenue — include rental houses and a parking lot. They most likely will be razed in order to install steam, chilled water and electrical lines, said Mary Vosevich, UK vice president of facilities.
She said there were no plans to erect large utility poles similar to those that caused an outrage among neighbors on Euclid Avenue in 2008. Those poles were needed to bring more power to UK’s medical center.
UK plans to pay $1.8 million for the parcels, which are owned by Harp Properties. That company is owned by Norma Greely, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. Greely did not return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.
It’s possible that the acquisition, which forms a rectangle at South Lime and Virginia, could be redeveloped.
“It will be a footprint that could have huge reuse,” Vosevich said. “We don’t know what that would be right now.”
The utilities will service a planned $265 million, 306,000-square-foot multidisciplinary health research building that will go up on the south side of Virginia Avenue. The groundbreaking for that project was held in the fall.
Champlin Architecture of Cincinnati and the Minnesota design firm of HGA are working on designs for the building.