University Economic Development Association


University of Kentucky—Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government – Economic Development Partnership

Award Category: Place
Project Site: University of Kentucky—Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government – Economic Development Partnership
Submitted By: The University of Kentucky
Contact: George Ward, Executive Director, 859.221.4122


The University of Kentucky (“UK”) working in partnership with the local city-county merged government, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (“LFUCG”) addressed several challenges by negotiating and executing a major economic development agreement. Deal points included: a) Economic Development Partnership – Strategically positioning our community and state to create and attract well-paying jobs, place and retain UK educated talent, and help meet the workforce needs of industry, including advanced manufacturing in the 21st century; b) Land Swap – To address a shortage of available economic development land within the urban service boundary, UK immediately conveyed 50 acres of shovel ready land within Coldstream Research Campus (“Coldstream”) and another 200 acres of developable adjacent farm land to LFUCG at a future date. In exchange, UK received control of nearly all city streets located within UK’s main campus; c) Coldstream TIF District – LFUCG worked with Coldstream on its plan to create a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District that will provide over $9 million for physical and social infrastructure improvements, creating new demand for businesses to locate at Coldstream; and d) Transportation Safety Improvement Plan – UK is an urban campus just blocks from downtown Lexington. UK and LFUCG committed to fund a combined $4 million on transportation safety improvements over a 10-year period. A plan for the area will be developed in conjunction with the neighborhoods surrounding campus related to pedestrian, bike, and vehicular safety, including closing a road with over 18,000 pedestrian crossing a day and converting it to a pedestrian plaza.