LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  The University of Louisville Foundation has purchased about 5 acres of industrial property near the school’s main Belknap Campus from K-I Lumber & Building Materials.

The foundation paid $2.85 million for the property, which is at the intersection of Floyd and Lee streets and includes buildings on each side of Floyd Street.

The sale, which was authorized by the foundation’s Board of Directors on July 10, closed on Aug. 24, according to a deed filed with the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office.

Jason Tomlinson, the foundation's chief financial officer, declined to say what the foundation plans for the property.

"The K&I Lumber property is currently being considered for one of several initiatives that the Foundation is undertaking on behalf and in support of the University. We are not yet ready to discuss those possible uses but are studying the best option," Tomlinson said in an email Tuesday.

K-I Lumber -- which sells building materials like doors, windows and cabinets primarily to general contractors and home builders -- will move its corporate office, custom mill division and home planning center showroom from the Floyd and Lee Street site to 4010 Collins Lane by the end of the year, CEO Bob DeFerraro said.

K-I Lumber was sold last year to US LBM, a building materials distributor based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The $2.85 million paid by the foundation for the Floyd and Lee Street property represents an 83 percent premium on the $1.55 million that US LBM paid less than a year ago, on Nov. 14, 2014, according to property deeds.

Tomlinson said the sale price was "well within the range of both a preliminary draft appraisal and a broker price opinion" of the property's fair-market value. 

Earlier this month, the foundation denied WDRB’s open records request for an appraisal of the K-I property’s fair market value. The foundation said it was allowed to withhold any such records because the sale was pending.

Tomlinson added that K-I will lease the property from the foundation at least through the end of the year, "which makes the deal even more financially responsible."

The property is part of about 45 acres that U of L recently added, with the Metro Council's approval, to its tax-increment finance district surrounding the Belknap Campus.

If buildings and jobs are added within the boundaries of the so-called TIF area, the U of L Foundation will receive a portion of the increased state and Louisville Metro tax revenue.

U of L also has TIF districts at U of L Health Sciences Center-Nucleus area downtown and its suburban office park at Shelbyville Road and Hurstbourne Parkway. The TIFs have generated income of $16.2 million since 2012, according to a July presentation from U of L President James Ramsey.

Senior housing?

In written report to the Board of Trustees in July, Ramsey said the foundation was “target(ing) site acquisitions that are attractive to developers” in the new portion of the TIF district, which includes the Floyd and Lee Street property.

Ramsey said in the report there was “strong interest” in building “multi-generational housing” near the university.

“Many other national universities are working with senior living corporations to build these types of residential communities,” Ramsey wrote in the report.

In his email Tuesday, Tomlinson said: "Land acquisition north of campus continues to be a priority for the university. We believe that the University is the catalyst to connect the southern boundary of Old Louisville with the neighborhood of the University, and we are focusing campus expansion efforts there. However, fiscal constraints have limited the University’s ability to buy additional property, so the Foundation is providing support."

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