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I think that building a quality urban fabric that is engaging and inviting should be a higher priority than seeing how big of a stunt one should pull so that they can get noticed.  MP did nothing at street-level and was imposing on the rest of the city.  While CentrePointe isn't great, it is better in that regard.  If I were an architect I might be more inclined to agree with you two.

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well there isnt really enough streetlevel or not streetlevel in those downtowns to worry about that too much. the wacky building will garner louisville much needed attention from outside the region and draw people from out of town. potentially. this building will bore everyone to death.  :laugh:  no, seriously its ok, i like it and yes it might be better at streetlevel, not sure, but overall its there just being servicable for its tenants.

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The area near Museum Plaza is known as "museum row" -- for its multiple museums within a district that contains more cast-iron facades than any other city outside of SoHo in New York City. It's transitioning into a pure mixed-use district, with the completion of the Glassworks Lofts, and the construction of new units in west downtown.

 

Street level may have been a bit... bland. But Museum Plaza would have resided next to a flood wall in a relatively undesireable area. Or was. The newer Ali Museum is next door, and is adjacent to a newly completed park and amphitheater. It is also near the Waterfront Park network. Three derelict buildings were demolished sans the facades, and a pedway through those facades would have led guests to the diagonal elevator. It was planned that the pedway would be lined with businesses.

 

As for Centrepointe, there is an abundance of street level activity.

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I like! I like! (Just want to see some renderings of the three-story base.)  :clap:

 

CentrePointe taller, more 'classic'

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, November 10, 2008

 

Changes to the CentrePointe project unveiled Monday give it a more "classic" look, according to developer Dudley Webb, as well as making it taller.

 

The Courthouse Area Design Review Board approved design changes to the exterior of CentrePointe that were presented by the developers of the $250 million, 35-story luxury hotel-condominium complex.

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Size of new Rupp a concern

Historic areas surround site

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, November 12, 2008

 

If a new basketball arena is built behind the Lexington Center, residents in the High Street area want it to be sensitive in design and scale to historic buildings that would surround it on three sides.

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406 feet? The new estimate should be around 560! :)

 

Centrepointe becomes more classical, taller

Authored by Sherman Cahal at UrbanUp on November 12, 2008

 

Centrepointe grew up. Literally. In what the Webb Companies has called the "final design," Centrepointe has added a distinctive peak and spire into the mix, replacing a flat roof. In addition, the podium has been reduced to three floors to accommodate taller heights for hotel functions, classical columns were added to the entrance along Main Street, and an elevated pedway that was to cross South Limestone Street to the Phoenix parking garage has been buried. The amount of condominiums has also been increased in the revision as well, taking into account the popularity of one-bedroom residences and demand that (will) hopefully return to the housing market by the time Centrepointe is completed in 2010.

 

The changes were filed with the Courthouse Area Design Review office and approved.

 

Core drilling for Centrepointe continues although it is winding down and should be completed within a few days. Foundation removal is still ongoing, and is slightly delayed due to the robust foundation of the former Graves structure.

 

In my opinion, the changes were wonderfully executed in the design. The addition of more traditional elements to the skyscraper, such as the columns, the spire and the revised motif has given Centrepointe a more refined feel. The reduction of the podium in terms of the number of floors, even if to give greater height to the hotel function rooms, should be more comparable to other downtown properties.

 

full_1_685.jpg

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"The city may soon have at its disposal a new form of leverage: raising revenues to pay for the repair of the city's storm water systems by imposing a new "impermeable surfaces fee" on properties with hard surfaces such as roofs and parking lots that contribute to excessive runoff."

 

Vexington Mall

A status report on Lexington's greatest infill challenge

By Tom Martin, Business Lexington, November 13, 2008

 

Vexing. The word just repeats over and over like a looped recording throughout the continuing saga of Lexington Mall, sole non-performer among the scores of highly successful retail properties owned by Saul Centers of Bethesda, Maryland.

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Distillery District, Centrepointe

 

Council puts CentrePointe, distillery TIF districts on docket

By Michelle Ku and Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, November 18, 2008

 

Urban County Council gave tentative approval on Tuesday to ordinances creating districts around two downtown developments so tax money from those districts can be used to help pay for city improvements.

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Less talk, more action downtown, Lexington city council is told

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

 

A vibrant downtown with a wide array of cultural activities, festivals, bars and restaurants is no longer simply a social amenity, but an important economic development issue for Lexington, the Urban County Council was told on Tuesday.

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The news that we have been waiting for! Not only is this great for Centrepointe and its associated revitalization plans, but great for the Distillery District!

 

In addition, Cheapside has been permanently closed to all vehicular traffic!! It seems that the trial closure phase worked. Is the redesign of Cheapside included in the TIF?

 

Council approves CentrePointe, Distillery tax financing districts

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, December 4, 2008

 

The Urban County Council gave final approval to plans to help revitalize two areas of downtown, one around the old Fayette County courthouse and the CentrePointe development, the other along a stretch of Manchester Street.

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Centrepointe, Distillery District gets OK from Lexington, Kentucky for Tax Increment Financing

Authored by Sherman Cahal at Urban Up on December 5, 2008

 

On December 4, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council gave final approval for plans to use tax increment financing for an area around Centrepointe, and for the Distillery District along Manchester Street in Lexington, Kentucky.

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UK Announces 'Digital Village' Construction Project

Media Contact: Dan Adkins, University of Kentucky, December 8, 2008

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 8, 2008) – The University of Kentucky will build an $18.6 million building to house high-technology research on visualization, computer science and electrical and computer engineering as part of a “Digital Village” complex in the Maxwell Street-Rose Street vicinity.

 

UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. announced the project, which will be funded through $9.3 million from private donors, with the remainder coming from the state’s Research Challenge Trust Fund.

 

“When we released our Top 20 Business Plan, we made clear that we would fund 40 percent of the plan ourselves,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “Today, we are pleased to show the Commonwealth that we are intent on keeping that promise. Thanks to generous private support from three great friends of the University, UK is proud to announce its first building to be constructed solely from private donations and the Bucks for Brains matching program.

 

“It is quite appropriate that such innovative financing will be used to build the second phase of the College of Engineering’s Digital Village. The Digital Village will be UK’s high-tech hub, a center of innovation, creativity and discovery that will be crucial to helping Kentucky create a thriving, knowledge-based economy,” Todd added.

 

The Marksbury Family Foundation, created recently by Davis and Beverly Marksbury, is contributing $6 million for the project, which will be named the Davis Marksbury Building, pending approval by UK's Board of Trustees.

 

The Davis Marksbury Building, Phase 2 of UK’s Digital Village, will provide nearly 25,000 square feet of space for research activity conducted by faculty in the UK Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, all of which are part of the UK College of Engineering.

 

The funding will cover the costs of design, construction, furnishing and landscaping the Davis Marksbury Building.  The cost of maintenance and operation will be absorbed by UK.

 

Thomas W. Lester, dean of the UK College of Engineering, said, “The vision and generosity of Davis and Beverly Marksbury help position the University of Kentucky and the College of Engineering at the forefront of research facilities and opportunities necessary to attract and retain Top 20 caliber faculty and students in STEM disciplines.”

 

As envisioned by Todd, the UK Digital Village will be comprised of four buildings dedicated to high-tech research when it is complete.  No funding is available as yet for Phases 3 and 4 of the complex.

 

Todd’s vision calls for the UK Digital Village to be an integral part of UK’s town-gown corridor intended to break down any perceived barriers separating the campus from the city.

 

Groundbreaking will be held during September 2009, and the project is expected to be complete in January 2011.

 

In other support, $2 million is being given by James F. Hardymon, a longtime UK supporter, a member of the UK Board of Trustees and the primary donor in support of the Hardymon Building, which was Phase 1 of the UK Digital Village. The Hardymon Building houses research in advanced computer and communications networking and other high-tech research.

 

James McDonald, president and CEO of Scientific Atlanta, is giving $328,000 to support the project.  Another $1 million is being sought from a private donor.

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Walmart donates solar recycling bins to city parks

Herald-Leader, December 9, 2008

 

Wally, also known as BigBelly Solar, is coming to three Lexington baseball complexes.

 

Three solar-powered recycling bins will be placed at Cardinal Run Park, Shillito Park and Veteran's Park, city and Walmart officials announced Tuesday. The bins use solar power to compact plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard, to be picked up by the city's recycling program.

 

Also coming as part of the retail chain's $40,000 donation: 16 conventional recycling containers, also at those three parks.

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Should Lexington bring back streetcars?

By Tom Eblen, Herald Leader Columnist, December 14, 2008

 

What goes around sometimes comes around — like a streetcar.

 

A century ago, if you wanted to get somewhere in Lexington, you probably took a streetcar. And if you wanted to travel from Lexington to Paris, Georgetown, Nicholasville or Versailles, you took an express streetcar called an Interurban.

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Bank buys condos for $5 million

Central Bank pays $5 million for Mark Lofts at Woodland

By Jim Jordan, Herald Leader, December 23, 2008

 

With no other bidders in sight, Central Bank & Trust Co. bought The Mark Lofts at Woodland Park for $5 million during a court-ordered sale on Monday.

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New Eastern State Hospital is on track despite state budget cutbacks

By Beth Musgrave, Herald Dispatch, January 2, 2009

 

A new psychiatric facility to replace Eastern State Hospital is on track to begin construction in 2010, state officials said.

 

The replacement for the second-oldest psychiatric hospital in the country is the one bright spot in a dismal year for social-service programs, mental health advocates say.

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Demolition work and preparation work has been completed, and there should be construction crews showing up within the month. They are waiting for KYTC to sign off on closing one-lane of traffic all around the block... and all are state routes.

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Tom Eblen: When will CentrePointe construction begin? We'll see

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader Columnist, January 8, 2009

 

Where's CentrePointe?

 

Developer Dudley Webb said late last fall that construction would begin in December on the $250 million tower in the middle of downtown Lexington. It's now January, and the site is a big gravel pit waiting for something to happen.

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This is now 550' in height, BTW.

 

Webbs' analyst says CentrePointe on firm footing despite recession

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, January 28, 2009

 

Despite an economy in recession, a new financial analysis paid for by CentrePointe's developers is optimistic about their prospects for selling 91 million-dollar-plus condominiums, leasing retail space and filling a luxury hotel when the downtown development opens in 2011.

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The Distillery District is a new name for a massive mixed-use development on the site of two old distilleries in Lexington, along Manchester Street. Aerial of Manchester Street; the redevelopment is south of the street, and future plans have it covering both sides and eastward towards downtown. I envision this becoming Old City in Knoxville in about ten years.

 

Buster's to reopen, add music venue

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, February 3, 2009

 

Buster's, the beer-only pool hall that closed in June to make way for the planned CentrePointe high-rise project, is scheduled to re-open in mid-August in the Old Tarr Distillery.

 

New owners Jessica Case and her husband Clark said they signed a contract Monday to lease the entire original portion of the distillery at 899 Manchester Street.

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Downtown church opens new wing

By Janet Patton, Herald-Leader, February 8, 2009

 

Central Christian Church, a fixture in the downtown Lexington social fabric, debuted its new north face to the community on Sunday.

 

The church officially opened its new 26,000-square-foot addition, which includes classroom space for children and youth ministries, as well as a new library, music rooms and an elevator to make the church more accessible.

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Sorry, if it isn't self-sustaining, it would not make much fiscal sense right now to repurpose it. I can't see the city justifying it ten years ago, much less now, and the only bit that makes the building special is the memory -- it's a shell. Nothing more, nothing less, with a glazed tile exterior and a somewhat nice front entrance.

 

It's also in a poor location, not exactly a desirable area for performance venues. And it lacks a lot of on-street parking.

 

Lyric repairs strike expensive chord

By Michelle Ku, Herald-Leader, February 15, 2009

 

For more than 10 years, East End residents have dreamed of reopening the Lyric Theatre, the former entertainment hub for Lexington's black community.

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UK taking bids on stadium work

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, February 19, 2009

 

A feasibility study on a new downtown basketball arena has been delayed while the University of Kentucky fulfills a state requirement for competitive bidding for other sports stadium projects on the campus.

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CentrePointe progress awaits permit

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, February 28, 2009

 

All's quiet on the Centre Pointe site on West Main Street as the construction company waits to receive a lane closure permit from the local district office of the highway department.

 

Bovis Lend Lease, in Columbus, Ohio, submitted a request for lane closings on West Main Street and Vine Street with the state highway department, said Kelly Baker, branch manager for the traffic permit section District office 7.

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City to explore requiring buried power lines in new developments

By Michelle Ku, Herald-Leader, March 3, 2009

 

The city will soon begin exploring the idea of requiring underground utilities in all new neighborhoods.

 

Urban County Councilwoman Cheryl Feigel suggested the idea Tuesday following a discussion about how lessons from the 2003 ice storm were used in responding to January's storm.

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^ Another update posted above.

 

Council shows enthusiasm for making downtown streets two-way

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, March 3, 2009

 

Momentum is growing among Urban County Council members to convert downtown's one-way streets to two-way, including the major arteries, Main and Vine.

 

Streetscape consultant Clete Benken said while the city cannot "wave a magic wand and fix everything today," it can set the stage for phased in conversion of Short and Second streets, Limestone and Upper, Maxwell and High and Main and Vine back to two-way traffic.

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Downtown Lexington can hold past and future

2 cities made Main Street live again

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader columnist, March 8, 2009

 

Just a few years ago, two of America's most downtrodden Main streets were those in Los Angeles and Louisville. Their once-grand buildings had been abandoned or mangled. Vagrants wandered the streets.

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Chevy Chase parking study under way

By Michelle Ku, Herald-Leader, March 9, 2009

 

At the request of area merchants, shoppers in Chevy Chase will be able to pay for parking at individual meters by their cars at least through the end of April.

 

The Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority had intended to replace the individual meters along the 800 block of Euclid Avenue and along a nearby stretch of East High Street with four computerized pay stations. Each pay station is expected to take the place of about 10 individual meters.

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Lyric Theatre: big opportunity disguised as a problem

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader columnist, March 14, 2009

 

From the time it opened in 1948 until it closed in 1963, the Lyric Theatre was a cultural icon for Lexington's African-American community, hosting the likes of Duke Ellington and Ray Charles.

 

For the past 46 years, the Lyric has been an empty, crumbling building. For nearly 20 years, its renaissance has been a dream deferred for the East End neighborhood and many African-Americans throughout Lexington.

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Two articles posted today. (See above.)

 

Hotel's new owners plan to maximize its potential

Ex-Radisson is getting a new look to go along with its new name

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, March 16, 2009

 

The first time real estate investor Peter Lewis toured the Radisson Plaza, he saw an outdated hotel that had been "under-managed" for years.

 

"It's a 1980s facility. No money went into that hotel for decades," said Lewis, president and chief financial officer of Madison W Properties.

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