Transylvania University to sell baseball field in support of affordable housing development

Originally published by WEKU.

A $2.8 million sale between Transylvania University and a group of Lexington banks will transform the school’s baseball field into an affordable housing development.

The 12.5 acre development will include both rental and owned properties for families making 30 to 80 percent of the city’s median income.

The university plans to close the sale of Marquard Field to a group including Central Bank, Community Trust Bank, Republic Bank & Trust, Stock Yards Bank and Traditional Bank. The group has created a $3 million revolving fund to support affordable housing development throughout the city.

Brien Lewis is President of Transylvania University. He says the downtown project would help residents stay in the city, and closer to their workplaces.

“There’s a lot of challenges to finding affordable housing,” Lewis said. “And it’s not just the housing itself. If you have to be farther out, then you’ve got more transportation costs, and so on. So we see this as something that will certainly benefit the Transylvania community, but obviously, much more, the Lexington community.”

Housing development groups include Habitat for Humanity, AU Associates, Urban League of Lexington and Winterwood. They’re being joined by Commerce Lexington, Lexington for Everyone and the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky to create a development plan.

Darryl Neher is the CEO of Lexington Habitat for Humanity. He says the development will help ease the rising cost of living for low-income families.

“What we’re experiencing here is not unlike what’s happening across the country,” Neher said. “Post COVID, we’ve seen housing prices increase as much as 40 percent. Since the beginning of COVID, we’re also seeing cost of construction increase, we’re seeing interest rates increase, we’re seeing rents increase. And so all of these pressures are putting our most vulnerable at risk.”

Ground is expected to break on the project in the summer of 2025. The Transylvania Pioneers have been playing at Counter Clocks Field, home of Minor League Baseball’s Lexington Counter Clocks, since 2019.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.