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[Lexington] Angliana student housing proposed

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Angliana development proposed

Aerial of general location

Notes --

1. A developer has proposed a major apartment complex targeted at University of Kentucky students. It would have 400 units that could hold 1,150 residents.

1a. A zone change request from Warehouse and Heavy Industrial to High-density Residential was approved Thursday by Lexington's Planning Commission.

1b. It will go to the Urban County Council for a vote. The developers would have two weeks after that to have a preliminary plan certified by the Planning Commission.

2. It would involve the demolition of four old tobacco warehouses on Angliana Avenue that was once the heart of the Central Kentucky burley tobacco business. It is also adjacent to The Red Mile. So far, the development will spread over 18 acres.

2a. Angliana is an ideal location for infill or redevelopment because the majority of the structures on the road are tobacco warehouses, which no longer have "economic viability." This is the first "significant project" on the road since the Planning Commission voted not to expand the Urban Service Boundary.

3. One of the warehouses, Loose Leaf Warehouse, was built in 1938. The Rose family has owned it since 1940. The last auction was in 2005, although an antiques show is held on the second weekend of each month from April to October.

4. These tobacco warehouses could not be converted into lofts because their construction was not "solid" in comparison to older tobacco warehouses, such as what was on Bolivar.

5. The residential complex will include a fitness center, swimming pool, cafe and a "movie theater", along with wireless computer access. There would also be an underground parking structure that would hold 200 cars; the remainder would be surface-level.

6. This is ideal for UK, since UK plans to increase enrollment by 6,000 students between today and 2020.

Article information: "Angliana development proposed, By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, May. 12, 2007"

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Development plans

Aerial with the plans color coded in

My thoughts --

1. I applaud the developers for taking the extra measure to build parking underneath the structures. I would go one step further and minimize surface parking by constructing a parking garage.

1a. If anything, at least remove surface parking that is visible from the street and replace it with a building or vegetation.

2. The buildings have facings to the street, with sidewalks coming out of the stairwells, which provides great connectivity. It's not like Newtown Crossing, where a fence prevents pedestrians from leaving unless they use the main entrance.

3. Install speed humps. The street is a straight 35 MPH road that would need traffic calming measures.

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