Lexington’s newest shopping destination is so much more than many had dared dream. This buzzworthy development includes dining, entertainment and even living opportunities. How did it come about, and what does the future hold for this “city within a city”?
After several years of planning, the much-anticipated mixed-use development at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Man O’ War Boulevard has finally opened to the public. Developed by the Birmingham-based company Bayer Properties, The Summit at Fritz Farm aims to reimagine the traditional shopping mall concept and create an all-inclusive “city within a city.”
The $156 million project was actually decades in the making. Bayer Properties, founded in 1983, has had a connection to Lexington ever since David Silverstein, a Vanderbilt graduate who often enjoyed the races at Keeneland, partnered with CEO Jeffrey Bayer. With three Summit locations under their belt including Reno and Birmingham, the pair agreed that Lexington’s size, history, and urban-to-rural land ratio would make it ideal for a project like The Summit at Fritz Farm. In 2012, they purchased the land, a former tobacco farm owned by John R. Fritz Jr. From there, the next step was to meet with local entrepreneurs to discover what Lexington wanted and needed.
According to creative director and brand strategist Lindsay Bayer Shipp, Bayer Properties’ primary goal was to bring a dynamic tenant mix, and to include those with whom the market wasn’t already saturated. “We set out to create something really distinctive for Lexington, and we wanted The Summit at Fritz Farm to feel like it really belongs here,” she said in a recent interview. “We also wanted to stay away from the concept of a strictly shopping destination.”
Bayer Shipp, who spent the first 12 years of her career focused on real estate and marketing across North America for retailers such as J. Crew and Apple, often traveled for business and noticed that when she visited large scale developments, “It felt like you could be anywhere in the country.” That’s one of the driving forces behind The Summit’s unique concept. For Bayer Shipp and her team, having a mix of local, regional, and national tenants was imperative. “In today’s world, when you’re competing with online shopping, it’s important to really validate a project with what we call ‘local hometown heroes’ in the market,” she explained. Some of the locally owned stores are Morton James and boutique Scout and Molly’s.
To that end, many of The Summit’s tenants have unveiled their first location in the state of Kentucky — a few examples include, Warby Parker and Bonobos from New York, The FRYE Company, Fabletics (Kate Hudson’s athleisure and yoga clothing company) and Draper James (Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand). She added that since many of these retailers had been approved by landlords all across the country, the fact that they chose Lexington over major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago is exceptional. “I think that really speaks to the kind of community Lexington has.”
But as Bayer Shipp described, The Summit offers much more than shopping. With 48,000 square feet of office space, The Henry — a luxury apartment complex with a long list of amenities, and The Green, a communal outdoor area, it’s possible to live, work, exercise, shop, dine and socialize, all on property. She also said that the company plans to include special programming morning, noon and night — from live music on weekends, to face painting for children, pop up vendors, chef tastings and demonstrations, exercise classes on the lawn, various lecture series, and many more activities that the entire family can enjoy throughout the year. When asked for a few examples of upcoming lectures, Bayer Shipp said, “Anything from our garden designer Jon Carloftis explaining how to create a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape, to local people like Ouita Michel talking about how she got to where she is today.” Those wishing to stay updated about happenings at The Summit at Fritz Farm can join the email list on their website, www.thesummitatfritzfarm.com, or follow on Facebook and Instagram. A list of upcoming retailers, services and restaurants is available on the site as well.
One of the most unique aspects of the property will be The Barn – an artisan food hall featuring the key players in Lexington’s culinary scene like Crank & Boom craft ice cream and Athenian Grill and several others. Plus, new dining options from across the country like J. Alexander’s, Shake Shack, and Ted’s Montana Grill have been added to the mix. “It was important for us to bring restaurants that spoke to the culinary traditions of Lexington, but also bring a few new traditions along with them,” said Bayer Shipp. “We didn’t want to oversaturate any one category, and we think people will find that all of our restaurants cater to a different palette.”
While The Summit at Fritz Farm appears to have all of its bases covered, Bayer Properties has future plans to further expand the development according to market needs, which could include niche categories such as a full-service hair salon, a boutique hotel, a stationary and paper goods supplier, and a children’s clothing boutique, among others. By late summer/early fall, there will be at least 50 tenants, and presently, 44 out of the 54 acres have been developed. “We really want to grow slowly and methodically, you will see additional uses over time as we learn more,” said Bayer Shipp.
The Summit Shopping Open Now
•Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa
Relax and rejuvenate in this serene nail spa.
Arhaus provides high quality, well-designed home furnishings.
Shop equestrian footwear, apparel and accessories.
The Bonobos Guideshop is a place where men can find exactly what they like, and have it delivered right to their door.
Collections of dress and casual wear for men, women and children: The Original American Brand™.
Cos Bar is a luxury retailer selling world’s best cosmetic brands.
Crittenden offers high quality menswear, designed by local businessman Critt Rawlings.
This cutting-edge cycle studio offers the best in spinning classes with awesome instructors, great music and an even better environment.
Shop contemporary, feminine and timeless pieces in this bright and beautiful store, founded by Reese Witherspoon.
•E.Leigh’s Contemporary Boutique
This contemporary fashion boutique offers on-trend apparel and accessories at affordable prices. Brands include Kate Spade, B.B. Dakota, Free People and Mink Pink.
Co-founded by Kate Hudson, Fabletics sells chic athleticwear at reasonable prices.
•The FRYE Company
Frye is committed to creating iconic leather goods and continues to be recognized for timeless style and unmatched quality.
Hollywood Feed is a natural and holistic pet specialty retail store with a strong focus on customer service.
The J.McLaughlin look can be described as innovatively nostalgic with fashion for men and women.
•Kendra Scott Jewelry
Kendra has created collections of timeless pieces that have won over loyal fans, media and celebrities alike.
Shop fuss-free women’s clothing at this national chain owned by J. Crew.
Shop absurdly soft clothes designed in San Francisco and enjoyed by all.
•Meg C Jewelry
This locally owned jewelry store is your destination for handmade, whimsical pieces.
This clothing boutique offers sophisticated, edgy clothing. The store is locally owned by Halie Rogers.
Shop classic furniture, bedding and accessories in exclusive designs to decorate your home in style.
•Scout & Molly’s
Customers can find contemporary clothing, jewelry and accessories in the store, which is locally owned by Ami Bertrand and Terri Stein.
Founded in 1998 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Vineyard Vines specializes in clothing and accessories.
• Alumni Hall
• Bath & Body Works
• Free People
• Lily Rain
• LUSH Cosmetics
• Sugarboo & Co
• Warby Parker
• Water + Oak Outdoor Co.
• Waxing the City
• Whole Foods
The Summit Dining Open Now
Offering “exceptional quality at lightning fast speed” this fast casual pizza concept works with fresh, made-from-scratch dough and healthful, artisanal ingredients on an assembly line to deliver custom pizzas in 180 seconds.
Run by husband-and-wife team Will and Catharine Newman, Edley’s Bar-B-Que is a homestyle barbecue restaurant with a family friendly vibe. Lexington is the restaurant group’s first location outside of their native city of Nashville.
Honeywood will be six-time James Beard award nominated chef Ouita Michel’s largest restaurant to date, with table service, a stylish bar and food that will be fresh, locally sourced when possible, and creatively presented.
A more upscale option, this Nashville-based contemporary American restaurant is known for their wood-fired cuisine including steaks, prime rib of beef and fresh seafood.
A modern day “roadside burger stand” known for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers, hormone-free chicken, griddled flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, crispy crinkle cut fries, beer, wine and more.
The Summit Dining Coming Soon
•Babalu Tapas & Tacos
Fresh, delicious Latin-inspired cuisine with signature guacamole made tableside, Spanish-inspired dishes, and handcrafted cocktails.
•Blue Sushi Sake Grill
With nigiri, sashimi, and grilled items, the menu encourages sharing. This casual sushi restaurant combines creative ingredients with energetic vibes to give guests a fresh and fun way to experience sushi.
•CRÚ Food & Wine Bar
Premiering their first Kentucky location, this upscale casual wine bar boasts more than 300 selections of wine, including 80 premium wines by the glass, 15 wine flights that change daily and Napa-style foods such as stone-fired pizza and artisan cheese plates.
Grimaldi’s specializes in pizza and calzones baked to perfection in their signature coal burning oven, which offers a unique flavor and a crisp crust that is just not possible from gas, convection, or wood burning ovens.
With a menu focused on healthy, active lifestyles, CoreLife brings clean, healthy and great tasting foods to everyone every day. Enjoy hearty bowls featuring greens, grains and bone broths.
High-quality whole bean coffees and fresh, rich-brewed, Italian style espresso beverages.
•Steel City Pops
Treat yourself to a gourmet popsicle, made with all natural ingredients! Steel City Pops uses local produce when possible.
•Ted’s Montana Grill
Business leader, philanthropist, environmentalist and avid outdoorsman Ted Turner decided to share his love of Big Sky Country and its tradition of hearty American food. Menu items include bison nachos, cedar plank salmon and more.
•Texas de Brazil
Texas de Brazil is a churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse) featuring a salad bar, a wide variety of all-you-can-eat meats, desserts and more.
•World of Beer
Choose from hundreds of craft beers and enjoy a mouthwatering menu that inclues flatbreads, mac and cheese bites, wings and more!
The Barn: Local Foodie Destination
Slated to open in September, The Barn is The Summit’s unique food hall that showcases Lexington’s culinary superstars. Food halls such as Bourdain Market in Manhattan and Pine Street Market in Portland Oregon have been popping up in cities across the country, but The Barn will be the first of its kind in Lexington. Some of the vendors will include: Athenian Grill, Atomic Ramen, Crank & Boom, Pasture by Marksbury Farm and Smithtown Seafood.
In addition to local eateries, the space will also feature a bar concept, which Bayer-Shipp affectionately refers to as the “watering hole” of the Barn. It will be open late so The Summit staff and locals can enjoy a drink after a night of work.
“Three years ago, we made the decision to stick to local producers and to make The Barn a place for friends and family to enjoy a casual meal together,” said Lindsay Bayer-Shipp. “I think it will be a great a celebration of Lexington’s unique culture.” •