LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2019) — The planned transformation of property at South Limestone Street and Winslow Street — what is now referred to as the Winslow Project — is moving quickly.
So much so, that University of Kentucky officials, along with the institution’s real estate partner, launched a community and campus-wide naming contest for the property that will be the cornerstone of an innovation district that further links the university and the city.
The Winslow Project, which was originally announced and approved by UK’s Board of Trustees in February, supports the university’s future in technology, entrepreneurship, education, creativity, service, and research, while working hand-in-hand to make strides in the university’s Transportation Master Plan.
The property will include over 900 new parking spaces and 23,000 square feet on the ground floor dedicated to:
- Retail space, which will include a food hall focused on local eateries and craft beer, and
- UK innovation space.
UK is working with Signet Real Estate Group, one of the country’s leaders in higher education public-private-partnership (P3) real estate developments, to develop the property.
“Our community is built on collaboration, and without the design, development, and construction teams in partnership with Signet Real Estate, none of this would have been possible,” said President Eli Capilouto. “The Winslow Project is another way we have furthered our commitment to our campus and the city of Lexington and is another step toward creating a campus that will better serve the needs of our students, faculty, staff and Commonwealth.”
Serving as a multifaceted, multi-purpose space, the project will be another space on campus where ingenuity and creativity unfold. The variety of elements it will cover include serving as a home for UK esports (with a planned esports theater and gamers’ lounge) and flexible innovation space.
The idea is to leverage the open-format space and use of technology to maximize student success, enhance a sense of community, bring together the university and community to foster outcome- and solution-driven thinking and design, connect people with different passions and interests, and provide new pathways for career development in the entrepreneurial fields.
Through the P3 with Signet, the project is expected to open in Fall 2020, furthering the momentum of the university’s growing campus. The Winslow property will be a cornerstone in a planned innovation district or corridor that includes the College of Fine Arts’ Bolivar property and a planned development by the College of Design at the old Reynolds property.
Spencer Hyatt, vice president of Signet Real Estate Group, said, “It has been our great pleasure to partner with the University of Kentucky on this exciting project. UK is one of the very best partners Signet has in our nearly 25 years working in higher education development.
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration in the ground floor retail areas where Signet will deliver a truly unique food hall focused exclusively on local retailers. This environment will encourage ‘Campus to Community,’ including coffee, bar service, and culinary fare. We look forward to announcing our first tenants for this retail destination in the very near future.”
To further involve the community in this new project, the university is holding a naming contest, allowing the public to vote on their favorite name for the Winslow Project, Capilouto announced Wednesday. To do so, faculty, staff, students and community members can visit www.uky.edu/winslow to choose one of six names suggested for the property that best conveys the potential of the structure.
The names — and rationales for each name — include:
- The Cornerstone (At UK)
- The Wheelhouse (At UK)
- UK Idea Market (UKIM)
- The Upper Level
- The Gateway (At UK)
- The Converge (At UK)
The point at which the sum of our parts becomes our best concepts and ideas.
Voting for the name of the new building will take place through Friday, Dec. 6.
“As a student, I’m excited about the promise this development holds as a place where students can work and play and imagine, together with the community, what is possible,” said Brianna Ritchison, a UK senior and member of the esports club at UK. “My hope is that this space will be a place that ignites the passions of students, that helps us see that our aspirations can be reality and that helps drive an understanding that with work, imagination and persistence, anything is possible.”
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Retail, food hall with coffee, craft beer coming to street near University of Kentucky
Property on South Limestone Street and Winslow Street that formerly housed Kennedy’s Book Store will soon be converted to retail space as well as the University of Kentucky esports hub.
Tentatively called the Winslow Project, the property will include more than 900 new parking spaces and a food hall featuring local eateries, craft beer and coffee, the university announced Wednesday.
“The Winslow Project … is another step toward creating a campus that will better serve the needs of our students, faculty, staff and commonwealth,” UK President Eli Capilouto said.
The 23,000 square-foot property will include 15,000 feet of retail space Retailers for the property have not been announced.
Spencer Hyatt, vice president of the Signet Real Estate Group that partnered with the university on the project, said the food hall will focus exclusively on local restaurants.
“This environment will encourage ‘Campus to Community,’ including coffee, bar service and culinary fare,” he said. “We look forward to announcing our first tenants for this retail destination in the very near future.”
The space has a “groundbreaking design” and will provide a retail and learning destination for students, faculty and staff and the Lexington community, Signet’s Anthony Manna said Wednesday.
The project is expected to open in fall 2020 and will also be used as the home for the university’s esports program . Capilouto said the space will provide academic and creative support for students and will help solidify the university’s role in the growing esports industry.
Brianna Ritchison, a UK senior and member of the university’s esports club, has high hopes for the property, which will include an esports theater and gamers’ lounge.
“My hope is that this space will be a place that ignites the passions of students, that helps us see that our aspirations can be reality and that helps drive an understanding that with work, imagination and persistence, anything is possible,” she said.
The public can vote on the name for the new property. The names include The Cornerstone, The Wheelhouse, UK Idea Market, The Upper Level, The Gateway and The Converge. Voting will take place through Dec. 6 on uky.edu/winslow.
UK announced in February it would convert the former bookstore into parking spots along with retail and innovation space.
Kennedy’s Wildcat Den, which was a stable of the South Limestone and Winslow Street corner for 67 years, was demolished in April. Formerly known as Kennedy’s Book Store, the family-owned business decided to close following the fall 2017 semester after sales went “down, down, down,” general manager Carol Kennedy Behr said.
The university tried to acquire the land for years and succeeded in 2017 when the UK Board of Trustees voted to approve a land swap with a private developer. The land that Core Campus Investment Partners received in return was a 150-space parking lot on Jersey Street along with several parcels the university owned on Virginia Avenue and Limestone.
Last month, UK announced a partnership with a company called Gen. G to build a global gaming and esports program centered at Winslow and Limestone. The university already had an esports club, and the partnership allows it new ways to recruit students and expand classroom and internship opportunities.
“The partnership will emphasize access to opportunities for all University of Kentucky students,” UK’s press release noted. “Gen. G, for example, has been a leader in working to diversify esports, launching the first all-female Fortnite team. Gen. G and UK are both focused on issues of equity and greater inclusivity.”
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UK leaders give update on Winslow Street development
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The University of Kentucky is closer to seeing a rendering of an incoming building become a reality.
Construction began on what is referred to as the Winslow Project about six months ago at the corner of Winslow Street and South Limestone.
Now, developers are releasing more information about what will be inside.
“The e-sports area will contain both a 100-seat theater, where we can host tournaments as well as other events on campus, and a more casual gamer’s lounge,” says Executive Director for Strategic Analysis and Policy for UK, Melody Flowers.
But there’s more to the project than e-sports: the development will also have a food court featuring local and regional cuisine, along with a bar.
Most importantly, for many students, it will be additional parking.
“The addition of 900 plus new parking spaces in this development is a huge piece of our transportation master plan,” says Flowers.
Flowers also spoke about the ultimate goal of the project.
“This is a space focused on technology, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation where our students and faculty and staff will have the opportunity to deliberately and intentionally engage with community partners and business partners working on problems they want to solve on campus and in the community.”
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