• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Lexington Road Plaza sold to U-Haul International

2-WIDE  THE VACANT KROGER and Lexington Road Plaza were sold to U-Haul International on Friday, Dec. 15. “Eventually, we hope to serve the Versailles community with a full-service U-Haul moving and self-storage facility,” said Chris Nester, U-Haul Company of Louisville president. (File photo by Bob Vlach)

The Lexington Road Plaza, which was formerly anchored by a Kroger store and will soon lose its Kmart, has sold to U-Haul International, a spokesperson from Brixmor Property Group confirmed in an email on Tuesday. The sale closed on Friday, Dec. 15, spokesperson Kristen Moore stated. Brixmor Property Group talked to prospective tenants about leasing vacant retail spaces prior to last week’s sale of the Lexington Road shopping center. “We closed on this property last Friday and are currently working with the city on zoning and economic development,” said Chris Nester, U-Haul Company of Louisville president. “Eventually, we hope to serve the Versailles community with a full-service U-Haul moving and self-storage facility. We will offer truck and trailer sharing, moving supplies and clean, dry and secure self-storage at affordable price points. “This property acquisition was driven by U-Haul Company’s Corporate Sustainability initiatives. U-Haul supports infill developments to help local communities lower their carbon footprint. Our adaptive reuse of existing buildings reduces the amount of energy and resources required for new-construction materials and helps cities reduce their unwanted inventory of unused buildings.” Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said filling the Lexington Road Plaza’s vacant storefronts has always been a goal, but “I’m not sure that just any user is an appropriate user.” He said storage facilities are more of an industrial use that’s not appropriate for a commercial center, where business owners have made investments and long-term plans. In a follow-up email, Nester stated, “U-Haul is currently planning to repurpose part of the total space. The exact space is still being considered and we look forward to working with the community planners and city on this. We want to put in place the best, most efficient plan to properly serve our neighbors. The square footage that isn’t utilized will continue to be leased to local businesses in order to grow our local economy. “All the current shops, including the microbrewery, are absolutely part of our plans. We are looking forward to building long, lasting relationships with them all. The shops and businesses currently in place, (except Kmart who has announced a closing) will continue to be a valued part of the Lexington Road Plaza.” Local farmer, Curtis Congleton, and business partner, Gary Jones, will soon open Versailles Brewing Company in two renovated storefronts (China Buffet and Advance Auto Parts) in the Lexington Road Plaza. Besides creating craft beers and inviting customers to taste its selection of beers, Versailles Brewing Company will offer a menu made with locally-grown ingredients, Jones said. “That’s the model of the type of businesses we want,” said Traugott. “It’s locally-owned. It’s unique.” Kmart, the Lexington Road Plaza’s remaining anchor, is scheduled to close its doors on Jan. 28. The former Kroger store has been vacant since July 2015 when a Kroger Marketplace opened in Bluegrass Commons, a shopping center located across from the Lexington Road Plaza. The 72,500 square-foot store was constructed in 1993 and renovated in January 2008. The Lexington Road Plaza has a total of 197,668 square-feet of retail space, according to Brixmor. U-Haul has been serving self-movers and their households since 1945. Their website states they maintain the largest rental fleet in their industry which includes trucks, trailers and towing devices. U-Haul also offers self-storage sites throughout North America.

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