UK picks location for retirement community

The 89-acre retirement community UK has been planning for years will be just south of the Fayette-Jessamine county line, university officials announced yesterday morning.

Limestone Crossing will be located about 10 miles from campus near the Brannon Crossing retail center and is expected to house about 400 seniors. The gated community will have around 200 apartments in three- or four-story buildings and between 40 and 60 free-standing homes.

The facility is projected to open in 2012 or 2013, said Don Holbrook, Limestone Crossing’s director of life planning.

Limestone Crossing will promote continued connections to the UK community and lifelong learning opportunities for its residents, said Gail Sasnett-Stauffer, an associate dean at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, who will be working with Limestone Crossing.

“The intergenerational learning there is important,” Sasnett-Stauffer said.

UK students can become involved with Limestone Crossing through internships, externships and volunteering when the community opens, Sasnett-Stauffer said.

Although there are no definite dates yet, Stauffer said she will be meeting with deans of colleges to discuss how involved each college will be with Limestone Crossing.

Right now, Limestone Crossing is still in the research phase, Holbrook said, which includes gathering information and money.

When 300 people make a $1,000 deposit to Limestone Crossing, each depositor will be asked to put 10 percent down on a house or apartment, Holbrook said. When about 240 have put 10 percent down, construction will begin.

Construction is expected to take 18 months, leading to the projected 2013 completion date.

A majority of Limestone Crossing’s residents are expected to be UK alumni, Holbrook said.

However, potential residents are not required to be UK alumni nor will they receive any special priority, he said. The first wave of marketing, though, will focus on UK graduates.

“They get the first mailing,” Holbrook said. “That’s the first target group.”

The director of Limestone Crossing’s board of directors, Alice Sparks, turned in her deposit check yesterday. The first person on the community’s waiting list, Sparks said she is excited to see Limestone Crossing finally being built.

“It’s fun when you’re doing something you know is going to be great,” Sparks said.

Sparks, a former member of UK’s Board of Trustees, said the years of work on the retirement community project have been difficult but worthwhile.

“It’s been a labor of love, and certainly this is just the beginning of things,” Sparks said.