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Four local investors are now owners of the property off the KY 32 connector most recognize as the “Big Dig.”

The property many refer to as the “Big Dig” has new ownership.

The property located on the east side of the KY 32 connector and Flemingsburg Road was purchased by a group of four locals during an absolute auction on Thursday, July 11.

The auction was split into two tracts, with 60 acres being the Center Park Development (“Big Dig”) and another 180 acres surrounding the property known as the Dixie Moore Trust property.

About 40 people gathered at the Hampton Inn last week and according to auctioneer Mark Lewis with C. Roger Lewis Agency, most were local with only a few out of town investors.

Richard White, Darrell Caskey, Phillip Hollan, and Jeff Adams claimed the winning bid of $275,000 for the “Big Dig” and $182,600 for the Moore property.

Lewis said the foursome are forming an LLC and added he thinks the group doesn’t have any immediate plans for the property, just an investment as of now.

“I was pleased with the Moore property price, but thought the Big Dig would go for more,” he added.

Excavation of the acreage stopped in 2009 when the original developers said they ran out of funding.

Lewis said it was just a bad time with the recession, fuel prices going sky high, and just a general bad economy.

To be named Center Point, the development was conceived to include commercial buildings and upscale housing between Flemingsburg Road and the boundary of the Daniel Boone National Forest on the ridgetop.

Community Trust Bank of Pikeville, one of Kentucky’s largest commercial banks, bought the property in a bankruptcy sale to protect its investment of several millions of dollars in defaulted loans by the original developers.

In November 2010, Community Trust attempted to sell the property with an asking price of $3.3 million.

Thirty months later, the 60 acres of unfinished excavation went on an online auction block with a minimum bid of $1.2 million with no winner.

Brad Stacy can be reached at bstacy@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.