Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Corman Is Still At It

Rumor has it that R. J. Corman is at it again – or should I say still at it. Buying property that is or better yet, trading for it.

The City of Lexington has a couple of properties which are divided by the Town Branch. One of them is the Jail parcel and the other is the Public Works yard parcel. The divided portions are between the creek and the Corman rail line to Frankfort. Combined, they make up nearly 22 acres of land completely isolated from the used portion.

Forty years ago, when the City began developing the public works yard, there was a chance to straighten the creek as was the practice of the day but we chose not to. The City could also have built a bridge across the creek and chose not too, so the land has sat vacant for all these years.

Now, these 22 acres don't seem to be much. There is not much flat land and mostly falls away from the railroad tracks with flood plain which covers maybe 3 of those acres. But what makes this property interesting is that it does lie adjacent to the railroad and connects with the 50+ acres which Corman bought earlier. This, I believe, is why Corman is in talks with the City to swap for something that the City can use.

I'm thinking that Corman's Rupp yard, not being a classification yard, could be shrunk by a bit and the sand/cement trans-loading facility is being moved to the previously mentioned 22 acres. Such a move would allow the large trucks which pick the sand and cement to use the more appropriate roads and streets of the industrial area off Old Frankfort Pike. Since W. T. Congleton Co. touches the eastern end of these 22 acres and has already built an industrial strength bridge across the creek – AND – receives cement shipments, it makes for a nice coincidence. Yeah, right.

So, what would the City do with the land now occupied by the sand trans-loading equipment? This land lies alongside the Town Branch and opposite the proposed Town Branch Trail. It also holds the track that leads up to the newly placed trackbed under Oliver Lewis Way on which Corman has spent much time and effort lately. Should this track be intended for some future passenger usage it stands to reason that the freight usage be moved elsewhere. This would still appear to be railroad usage of the land and not given over to the City. This still leaves some 22 acres of Corman land somewhere which can be traded. Or they could be buying it.

If anyone has any better ideas or information, I am ready to hear it.

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