Red Mile Redevelopment Receives $25.32 Million in Tax Increment Financing

Red Mile Design Proposal

Red Mile Design Proposal

Red Mile redevelopment might include instant racing

by Janet Patton, 8.31.11,

The Red Mile last week received final approval from the state for more than $25.32 million in tax increment financing for a re development project near downtown Lexington that would include instant racing.

The Lexington harness racetrack — just off South Broadway, about a half-mile from the University of Kentucky campus — proposed an 80-acre mixed-used development of apartments, a hotel, retail and restaurant spaces, parking garages and offices.

According to the approval from the Kentucky Economic Development Financing Authority, the TIF portion from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government would be reduced to slightly less than $13.79 million “if in the future instant racing is determined to be an ineligible activity.” Read more at

Urban County Council Approves Red Mile Text Amendment

On Thursday, September 24th, 2010 the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the Entertainment Mixed-Use (MU-3) Text Amendment.  Once approved by Council, this text amendment will allow “Entertainment Mixed-Use” projects on parcels larger than 10-acres in Lexington.

This text amendment will facilitate not only “Entertainment Mixed-Use” projects throughout the Urban Services Area, but also on 62-acres at the Red Mile Race Track.

At the Red Mile, the applicant aims to construct:

  • 150 to 200 condominiums for young professionals;
  • Over 300,000 square feet of retail and office space;
  • A 130 – 150 room hotel; and
  • A 15,000-25,000 square foot entertainment area—anchoring over $170 million in mixed-use development in downtown Lexington.

Other amenities include the preservation of the octagonal barn “Floral Hall”, the Grandstand and track for harness racing, open greenspaces, and the construction of a greenway connecting to Town Branch Trail.

This proposal was the result of an unprecedented four-month small area plan process (“Red Mile Development Plan”) involving the applicant, Planning Staff, surrounding neighborhoods, and property owners. The Fayette Alliance also participated in this discussion.

Through extensive community dialogue and involvement, the applicant has created a real-estate strategy that will enhance the Red Mile neighborhood and downtown area, while securing the racetrack’s long-term financial viability and success. This catalytic project exemplifies how urban infill and our signature equine industry can mutually benefit from an innovative growth model

A zone change, TIF financing, and a development plan/ permits will be required before building begins—and we look forward to remaining engaged in the process to ensure that any infrastructure, transportation, or other development issues are resolved prior to construction.

No doubt, this text amendment proposal will lead to sustainable mixed-use development projects both at the Red Mile, and throughout Lexington-Fayette County—a needed opportunity considering there are over 8,000 acres of blighted, underdeveloped, and vacant property inside our city.

Therefore, The Fayette Alliance commends the applicant for the proposal, and supports the approved text amendment. Click here to read the Alliance’s official position statement.


On November 5th 2009, the Urban County Council adopted the proposed text amendment into law.

Blog here and tell us what you think!

Please contact me anytime at if you have questions or concerns, and thank you for supporting our town, our farms, and our future.

Knox van Nagell

Executive Director

The Fayette Alliance

  • This sounds like a wonderful solution to both preserve the Red Mile & Floral Hall, & help Lexington in the new millenium. The track is such a big part of Lexington’s culture, charm, & history. Years before moving to Lexington, I was visiting Lexington for horse shows at the Red Mile, & parties at Floral Hall.

    In addition to the roster of Harness Racing legends who raced on the Red Mile, how many Saddlebred greats competed there at the Junior League Show, the second jewel in the Triple Crown for Kentucky’s own native breed? My late husband’s father even started gaiting Chief of Greystone on the backside of the track.
    Thanks to the Fayette Alliance for their role in preserving a significant part of the Horse Capital of the World.

    Caryn Sappelli, Racing and Riding Collectibles, Lexington

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    I am completely for development within New Circle, and do hope that the development will prove to be good development considering the economy and what the commercial real estate market may experience in the months to come in terms of a major downturn.


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