Downtown Lexington, KY- A charming compact CBD with a bright future

Lexington’s street grid was platted beginning in 1780, and the Downtown Commercial District is contained within the oldest part of the city. Some of the historic brick buildings still stand especially around Church and Short Streets. Unlike Louisville, Lexington was able to avoid the worse of urban renewal and thus retain a lot of its urban fabric. Even with a good amount of urban infill along Market and High, surface parking lots are limited.

The other positive things Dwtn Lexington has going for it include: a clean Dwtn, good vibrancy and activity helped by its compact size, good connectivity to historic early 19th century neighborhoods to the east and west as an inner belt was never built, and good enough cultural and park amenities. There is also a good offering of for sale condos and townhouses, although more rental options would be nice. Downtown could also use more retail amenities (especially a supermarket & pharmacy) along with a dedicated bike sharing system.

Click here to view the Downtown Lexington Album on my Flickr Page

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Pretty good density for a Dwtn.
* Pretty solid architecture all around, both historic and in-fill.
* Most sidewalks have up to date ADA curb ramps.
* Nice array of dedicated bike lanes Dwtn .
* Good racially and economic diversity represented by Dwtn’s population.
* For Sale product seems much more diverse than rentals as price points typically range anywhere from 100K-600K. Nice mix of condos and townhomes. Fair amount of affordable hsg options Dwtn as well.
* Several nice Dwtn green spaces including Thoroughbred Park, Northeastern Park, Triangle Park, and the multi-block Phoenix Park, Dwtn’s civic plaza.
* Dwtn created an ambassador’s program in 2017 including a clean & safe component. Generally this is a very safe and clean dwtn.
* Pretty good mix of public/private elementary schools within Dwtn or nearby.
* No Colleges within Dwtn but UK is only 1-2 miles away with 30K students. Several thousands students also attend Transylvania University and Blue Grass Community College on the other side of Dwtn.
* For the size of the Lexington Metro (just over 500K) Dwtn Lexington’s 27K jobs is pretty good. Vacancy rate is around 12%, also not bad. And price per square foot is generally pretty inexpensive around $17-$18. Dwtn office growth is generally on a positive trend.
* Dwtn cultural amenities include a good array of restaurants, bars, and cafes, lots of clubs & some live music venues, several art galleries, a movie theater, a Lexington Opera House/performing arts center, Children’s Theater, a handful of smaller museums and historic houses, A convention Center/Arena Complex where UK basketball games are held.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Public transit is only good within Dwtn and extending to inner city neighborhood. Decent within the 421 loop.
* No citywide bike sharing system. Some dedicated bike lanes connect to Dwtn from the North and East.
* Few family households Dwtn and cluster of Young Adults and empty nesters. But this is pretty typical of American Dwtns.
* Rental product is a bit limited buy pretty affordable compared to most Dwtns: 1-bedroom lease at or below $1,000, 2-bedrooms in anywhere from $1,000-$2,000, 3-bedrooms in the low $2,000s.
* Skyline is rather bland. Not enough tall buildings to create an impressive skyline.
* No Dwtn supermarket or pharmacy. Overall retail amenities are a bit limited in Dwtn to a several clothing stores/boutiques, a couple bookstores, and several antique stores. There is a dwtn library and post office.

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