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Public input being built into CentrePointe

By Woodford Webb, Herald-Leader Editorial, June 3, 2008

 

Significant design modifications have been made to the CentrePointe development since the project was announced.

 

We considered all suggestions from local groups and individuals about how the project should be designed. Some have been incorporated in whole or in part; others could not be for various reasons.

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Neighborhood group donates to save block

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 5, 2008

 

A Lexington neighborhood has donated money to Preserve Lexington's efforts to preserve a block of historic buildings threatened by the proposed CentrePointe project, and a fund-raiser is being organized to raise money for the cause.

 

The Historic South Hill Neighborhood Association donated $1,000 to Preserve Lexington, and an anonymous member matched that donation, for a total of $2,000. The group selected Preserve Lexington because it has "taken on the mantle of negotiations with the developer," said Peter Cassidy III, neighborhood president.

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It's on GTV-3 right now.

^ Link pops with video.

 

Demolition request for CentrePointe goes to review board

By Beverly Fortune, Herald=Leader, June 25, 2008

 

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board will meet Wednesday to decide whether to allow developers to demolish a stretch of buildings on West Main Street and to construct a luxury hotel, condominium and retail project.

 

The 35-story, $250 million CentrePointe project would take up an entire downtown block.

 

Developers Dudley and Woodford Webb argue the existing buildings are not historic, nor is it economically feasible to rehabilitate the structures.

 

Opponents, led by Preserve Lexington, will make the case that the buildings are historically significant and eligible for tax credits that would lower the cost of renovating and re-using.

 

Here is how the two sides view the project.

 

Preserve Lexington's structural inspection report for buildings

 

Kentucky Heritage Council letter about CentrePointe

 

Read developers' proposal to the Courthouse Area Design Review Board

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Development misses point

City can't build future without regard for its past

Editorial, June 25, 2008

 

The proposed CentrePointe carries its conflict in its name.

 

The block that The Webb Cos. and partners propose to destroy to build a 35-story hotel-office-condo tower is at the very center point of Lexington. The block is home to Lexington's oldest commercial history.

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Merge old buildings, new plan, they say

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

 

Hayward Wilkirson, a founder of Preserve Lexington, said his organization does not oppose a major development on the old Woolworth block on Main Street, where the CentrePointe project is proposed.

 

But preservationists want to see some of the 14 buildings integrated into the development.

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Buildings in question 'are too far gone'

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

 

CentrePointe developers contend it is not economically feasible to renovate the old buildings in the downtown block where they want to build a high-rise luxury hotel and condominium complex.

 

”Basically, those buildings are too far gone“ to save, said Darby Turner, attorney for Dudley and Woodford Webb, CentrePointe developers.

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Board approves CentrePointe proposal

Herald-Leader, June 25, 2008

 

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board has approved granting permits for construction of the proposed CentrePointe high-rise development in downtown Lexington and demolition of the buildings on the block where it is planned.

 

The five-member Courthouse Area Design Review Board listened to arguments from an overflow crowd that filled the Urban County Council chambers Wednesday afternoon, but it ultimately followed a city government staff report to grant the permits.

 

The 35-story, $250 million hotel-condominium project is planned by the Webb Co’s., led by Dudley and Woodford Webb.

 

Approval by the board allows the project to move forward, although several bureaucratic steps remain.

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Call if you do, and I can show you around the block and area.

 

Demolition could begin in a matter of weeks, since they applied for the permits previously. The buildings that are not along Main will be demoed first, since The Dame is still moving out. They are wanting to move _very quickly_ on this.

 

I pretty much watched ( and fell asleep through ) the hearings while watching GTV-3 ( our government channel ), and there was a LOT of opposition to the project and some that were for the project. Architects presented their renderings again, Webbs made some statements, and so on. It started at 2 PM, and I left for dinner around 6:30 that evening and the hearings were still ongoing.

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Board approves CentrePointe proposal

Preservationists lose round in bid to save buildings

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 26, 2008

 

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board unanimously approved granting permits for demolition of buildings on the Dame block and for construction of the proposed CentrePointe high-rise development in downtown Lexington.

 

The five-member board listened to five hours of arguments from an overflow crowd that filled the Urban County Council chambers Wednesday afternoon, but it followed a city government staff recommendation to grant permits.

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Farmers market looking to move over one block

By Amy Wilson, Herald-Leader, June 27, 2008

 

Every summer for 23 years, the Peach Lady, her peaches, her cantaloupes and her watermelon have shown up wherever the sign said Lexington Farmers Market.

 

This year, despite plans that will have the traditional Saturday market site probably be CentrePointe construction central, the Peach Lady, Mary Tyler, says she will persevere.

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^ Posted another article from today.

 

Webb stated that he was "bothered" by the controversy surrounding the project, and that city official stated that they wanted to use TIF to "change the design of the project." So by removing TIF and nixing the idea of working with the city on funding, you are removing components of the project that drew some people in -- the improvements to Phoenix Park, public art, fountains and improved streetscape. This is not a good call on public relations.

 

Current and future components in flux

Fund plan may cut art, fountains, jumbotron

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 27, 2008

 

Amenities for the city like improvements to Phoenix Park, public art, fountains. a giant outdoor movie screen and improved streetscape will be eliminated from the ­CentrePointe project if the developer nixes the idea of working with the city on financing.

 

Developer Dudley Webb surprised city officials Wednesday when he announced that his $250 million downtown hotel and condominium project can be built without $70 million in tax increment financing. ”We can do it privately, without TIF,“ he said as the project got approval to proceed.

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CentrePointe: To be or not to be?

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 1, 2008

 

Preserve Lexington has appealed last week's decision by the Courthouse Area Design Review Board to permit developers to raze a stretch of buildings on West Main Street to make room for a luxury hotel and condominium high rise.

 

The appeal was filed with the Planning Commission, which has 90 days to hold a public hearing.

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No TIF for CentrePointe? Yeah, fine

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader Editorial, July 1, 2008

 

Dudley Webb now says he can build his CentrePointe tower without public money.

 

Maybe he should.

 

Originally, Webb wanted as much as $70 million in tax increment financing ­— known as TIF — to pay for ”public“ improvements related to the $250 million project. Those could include additional underground parking, a giant outside video screen and some public art.

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Hearing set on demolition of buildings

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

 

Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine set a hearing for July 22 on Preserve Lexington's request for an injunction to keep CentrePointe developers from razing several historic buildings. CentrePointe's attorney agreed that developers would not tear the buildings down in the meantime.

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Council discusses project

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

 

City leaders spent three hours Tuesday debating the pros and cons of the controversial CentrePointe construction project, a discussion several Urban County Council members said they should have had two years ago.

 

”This is the first time the council has sat down and really discussed this,“ councilman Dick DeCamp said. ”I think it is really ludicrous that we are having our first discussion of (tax incentives for the project) at this late date.“

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Injunction sought to prevent demolition

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 2, 2008

 

Preserve Lexington filed suit on Tuesday seeking a temporary injunction to prevent the city from issuing demolition permits for eight buildings in the Courthouse Area Overlay Zone.

 

--

 

Some Downtown Demolition Halted While Other Buildings Come Down

WKYT-TV, July 2, 2008

 

A hearing has been set to determine whether the demolition of several buildings can take place in downtown Lexington.

 

Developers of the CentrePointe project started tearing down some buildings on Wednesday morning, but the project didn't get very far.

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Council arrived late for this ball

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader Column, July 3, 2008

 

We’ll never be the belle of the ball if everyone knows we’re easy.

 

That’s how I ended my first column about CentrePointe, soon after Dudley Webb unveiled plans for his $250 million luxury hotel, condo and retail complex.

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Group takes preservation case to court

Judge sets hearing date of July 22

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 3, 2008

 

As demolition began on the site of a planned high-rise downtown hotel, a judge set a date for a hearing that could decide the future of other buildings on the block.

 

Preserve Lexington's request for an injunction to keep CentrePointe developers from immediately razing historic buildings in the Courthouse Area Design Overlay Zone will be heard on July 22.

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City council creates panel that will deal with CentrePointe funding

By Michelle Ku, Herald-Leader, July 8, 2008

 

Read the Fayette Alliance's position on CentrePoint development

 

Mayor Jim Newberry and seven members of the Urban County Council will be spending their summer vacation negotiating a tax incentive deal with the developer of CentrePointe.

 

The city ”delegation“ was formed Tuesday after the council's 13-2 vote on a resolution encouraging developers with projects that qualify for lucrative incentives known as as tax increment financing to work with city leaders as they apply for the financing. The resolution also called for the creation of a group made up of Mayor Jim Newberry and seven council members to ”negotiate“ TIF deals.

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CentrePointe developers to answer TIF questions

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 17, 2008

 

Members of the newly created delegation charged with negotiating a tax incentive deal with CentrePointe developers say they want answers and clarity on the $250 million project at their first meeting on Thursday.

 

”I certainly hope to sit down and talk reasonably about the project,“ said Peggy Henson,11th district councilwoman.

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City mangling TIF process

By Laurie Daugherty, Herald-Leader Kentucky Voices, July 17, 2008

 

As a commercial real estate attorney, it is painfully apparent to me that the Urban County Council is in over its head. Tax increment financing (TIF) is a complex financing tool.

 

In a report dated April 10, the city's Infill and Redevelopment Steering Committee recommended that the city direct the Downtown Development Authority and the Mayor's Office of Economic Development to implement TIFs for every project they become aware of in downtown and near-downtown areas.

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CentrePointe hearing

Herald-Leader Editorial, July 22, 2008

 

Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine will hear today from developers seeking to clear a block downtown for the 35-story CentrePointe project and from those who say there's a better way to develop in the heart of our city.

 

A central legal question is whether halting demolition until the Planning Commission reviews the proposal this fall amounts to a ”taking“ that deprives the owners of their property.

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These designs are far too unfeasible, both financially, but politically. Student architects aren't in it for those reasons, and design based purely on that -- design. Unfortunately, branding these as viable alternatives is a poor choice of words -- they were not created to replace Centrepointe, but to give a representation of what could be built without complications from cost and etc. Instead of focusing solely on the design, it has turned into another heated argument against the Webbs and Centrepointe -- and while I agree with their points, it doesn't give any further credibility to their designs and only undermines what they are trying to achieve: to get people to look at building designs as something more fluid, dynamic and creative.

 

That said, I'm not a fan of either of these designs. They are far too impractical, would be cost prohibitive, and are really set apart from the Guidelines muchmoreso than Centrepointe.

CentrePointe alternatives unveiled

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 22, 2008

 

Three architectural design teams offered futuristic ”alternatives“ to the controversial CentrePointe development Monday, showing plans that included greenspaces, areas for public gatherings and otherworldly buildings that they said would draw people downtown.

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The third will be guided by faculty member Clyde Carpenter, head of the college's historic preservation program. Students will serve on each team.

 

So,did Carpenter end up leading the 3rd team?  It doesnt sound like it.  It would be interesting to see what he came up with.

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Judge says buildings in CentrePointe block can come down

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 22, 2008

 

Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine Tuesday said the law makes no provision for her to halt demolition of historic buildings on the CentrePointe block. However, the judge said she was “totally disappointed” that developers Dudley and Woodford Webb were not in court to answer questions about their proposed development.

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Expanded story.

 

Judge says buildings can come down for CentrePointe

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 23, 2008

 

Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine said Tuesday the law made no provision for her to halt demolition of buildings on the downtown block where CentrePointe is planned. However, she said she was “totally disappointed” that developers Dudley and Woodford Webb were not in court to answer questions about their proposed development.

 

The Webbs can begin demolition immediately and move forward with construction of the planned design.

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The former Rite-Aid store is no longer.

 

CentrePointe demolition continues

By Cara Anthony, Herald-Leader, July 23, 2008

 

Developers of the controversial CentrePointe hotel project in downtown Lexington continued demolition of the block on Wednesday, one day after a circuit judge declined to halt the destruction despite the pleas of preservationists.

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Comment: Anyone find it peculiar that now that the Rosenberg building is slated for total demolition instead of incorporation into Centrepointe?

 

Preservationists halt efforts as demolition nears Dame

By Greg Kocher and Jim Warren, Herald-Leader, July 26, 2008

 

The preservation group that sued to stop the destruction of the historic downtown block soon to be CentrePointe has given up.

 

“At this point, it's a done deal,” said Hayward Wilkirson, leader of Preserve Lexington, on Saturday.

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Regarding the potential public improvement projects, I'm sold on #1, #2, #4, #6, #7 and #10.

 

CentrePointe leaves split at City Hall

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, August 8, 2008

 

Public projects ranked

City officials on Thursday revealed a ranked list of potential public improvement projects they hope to finance using tax revenues from the CentrePointe project. They are:

 

1. Sanitary sewer upgrades and underground utility lines in the area around CentrePointe.

2. A public parking garage under Phoenix Park.

3. Redesign of Phoenix Park.

4. Permanent market house for the Farmers Market.

5. Improvements to the old courthouse.

6. New sidewalks and public art around CentrePointe.

7. Public art in other areas of downtown.

8. A system of CentrePointe pedways.

9. Improvements to the new courthouse plaza.

10. Establishing an entertainment venue on North Limestone.

11. Placing a Jumbotron in Phoenix Park for movies and to display the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

12. Administrative costs for the TIF application.

The top six projects would cost $36 million, while the remainder are projected to cost $12 million.

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CentrePointe editorial I wish the Herald had written

By David Mohney, Business Lexington, August 6, 2008

 

So I was wrong: Lexington still does love a fight. The professed willingness of all parties to the CentrePointe development last spring to find some level of common ground had evaporated completely by the start of demolition last month of the remaining buildings on the Woolworth block by the developers. And there was lots of finger pointing all around, especially in the Lexington Herald-Leader's editorial, "Blame officials for CentrePointe," printed on July 24.

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Joe Rosenberg Jewelers moving to Main Street

By Andy Mead, Herald-Leader, August 14, 2008

 

Friday is Joe Rosenberg's last day at Joe Rosenberg Jewelers on South Upper Street. Monday will be his first day at Joe Rosenberg Jewelers on East Main Street.

 

The new store will be one block down and two over, on the ground floor of Barrister Hall, 163 East Main Street.

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Master plan called failure

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, August 20, 2008

 

A $500,000 master plan for downtown Lexington was labeled a failure Tuesday for its lack of influence on the CentrePointe high-rise project.

 

Harold Tate, president of the Downtown Development Authority, was scheduled to make a routine report at the Urban County Council's planning committee meeting Tuesday on progress on recommendations in city's downtown master plan. Instead, Tate spent most of his time in defense mode.

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Group marches to grieve demolished buildings

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, September 13, 2008

 

Mourners are not part of the usual high-spirited festivities that mark the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

 

But a procession of about a dozen black-clad mourners marched solemnly three times around the block Saturday where the proposed CentrePointe high rise will be built to grieve the demolition of 14 historic buildings and the entertainment venues they held.

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As a note, I've substantially updated my Centrepointe article with the newer renderings. I've requested additional graphics from the Webb Cos. Additions not only include the renderings, but of financing details -- namely TIF, and demolition.

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They won't own land, but homes a good deal

By Merlene Davis, Herald-Leader, October 2, 2008

 

If I learned nothing else from my parents about the American Dream, it was to buy a house instead of renting one.

 

Owning property was a means of establishing roots in a community as well as legitimizing your reason for being there. It would be more difficult to be run out of town or out of the county if you had a deed to property.

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