University of Kentucky partners with Signet Real Estate for new mixed-use space
The University of Kentucky and Signet Real Estate Group have partnered to build the university’s first-ever mixed-use space for parking, education and retail facilities designed to fuel innovation and foster creativity.
The vision behind The Cornerstone was to create an open space and make use of technology to maximise student success, develop a sense of togetherness in the community and unite the university and its city.
The new structure, named The Cornerstone will house 900 new parking spaces, University of Kentucky esports, a flexible innovation zone and approximately 10,000 square feet of private retail spaces.
The additional parking spaces is a significant step in achieving the university’s Transportation Master Plan by adding the much-needed parking capacity to campus.
The Cornerstone will also house an esports theatre which will include 100 retractable theatre-style seats and an esports gamers lounge will offer more than 50 computer based gaming units and multiple console-play areas.
The design of the area itself is flexible, allowing the university community to engage in a variety of activities as needed.
The project which is scheduled for completion in the fall of this year will act as a gateway to an emerging innovation district that will further link the university and city.
The new space will also come with a unique, multi-vendor dining area which will also function as a place for the campus and community to exchange ideas. This area which marries collaboration and dining will be located on the ground level which is named The Cornerstone Exchange.
The Cornerstone Exchange will feature local businesses including West Sixth Brewing, A Cup of Common Wealth and Rolling Oven.
The University of Kentucky ’s Executive Director for Strategic Analysis and Policy Melody Flowers says, “The Cornerstone Exchange communal dining area provides additional opportunity to build community and collaboration.”
Flowers added that the university understands that some of the most meaningful relationships are built over meals, “This facility will feature multiple components, including dining space and innovation space. We look forward to continuing our quick progress in transforming this integral, forward-thinking part of campus in partnership with Signet Real Estate Group.”
University of Kentucky ’s Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, Eric Monday said the university is very excited to announce the establishment of The Cornerstone as it represents a doorway to the campus.
The Cornerstone is also pivotal in symbolising the relationship between the university and local businesses, Monday added.
Commenting on partnering with homegrown businesses, Monday said “Each of these organisations has a strong connection to, and engagement with, the local community. They reflect the kind of supportive, collaborative environment we plan to create in this space.”
Monday added that the new space will foster outcome and solution-driven thinking and design, connect people with different passions and interests and provide new pathways for career development in entrepreneurial fields.
The university’s partnership with Signet Real Estate Group will continue even after the construction is completed – Signet will maintain and operate the retail and dining space while the university will operate and maintain the innovation zone, esports centre, and parking structure.
Signet Real Estate Group Vice President of Development, Spencer Hyatt commented on the partnership saying, “From the beginning of this partnership, Signet and UK have endeavoured to create a unique retail environment for students, staff and the Lexington community.”
Hyatt added that The Cornerstone Exchange will bring together a diverse offering of the best-in-class local operators in a collaborative atmosphere.