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Mayor unveils inventory of downtown buildings

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, May 12, 2009

 

Citizens got their first look Tuesday at a comprehensive inventory of 300 downtown buildings and an assessment of the buildings' architectural and historical significance, but the inventory does nothing to protect the structures from demolition.oric downtown."

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UK looking at proposals for new arenas

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Herald-Leader, May 11, 2009

 

The University of Kentucky will decide in the next 60 to 90 days whether to go forward with plans for a new downtown basketball arena, a new campus baseball field and upgrades for Commonwealth Stadium, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said Monday.

 

"We're in the first stage of it," Barnhart said. "There's a long way to go."

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Posted several new articles in this thread today.

 

Library's garage a financial drain

By John Cheves, Herald-Leader, May 11, 2009

 

Four years ago, the Lexington Public Library paid $3 million for the parking garage next to its Main Street headquarters, even though its own appraisal valued the garage at only $1 million.

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Historic preservation needs more than first steps

By Tom Eblen, Herald-Leader columnist, May 16, 2009

 

Mayor Jim Newberry ordered the survey after controversy erupted last summer over developer Dudley Webb's demolition of a block of buildings dating to 1826 to make way for the CentrePointe tower he has yet to begin building.

 

Preservationists were outraged, but Webb claimed the old buildings were insignificant and too dilapidated to reuse.

 

 

That was one ugly block if you ask me. But, there were definitely some buildings worth saving on that block though. It's even worse that every day it seems there is less of a chance that anything will be built there in the foreseeable future.

 

Lexington seems to be good at coming up with good plans and the like, but poor on execution. I believe there was a plan for development in Downtown that called for no development being above a certain height to promote density and infill rather than a few concentrated structures. It was followed until someone wanted to build something larger and then the powers that be decided to ignore it. This survey sadly sounds like the same thing.

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Frankfort's Grand will embrace the past with modern twist

By Shawntaye Hopkins, Herald-Leader, May 18, 2009

 

FRANKFORT — Exposed brick and a rugged concrete wall in an area that will be used as a concession for popcorn, candy and wine suggest that the historical Grand Theatre is far from completion.

 

But once the sawdust is swept away and exposed wires are hidden, the wall will remain.

 

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Frankfort's old theater restored

By Shawntaye Hopkins, Herald-Leader, May 24, 2009

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Exposed brick and a rugged concrete wall in an area that will be used as a concession for popcorn, candy and wine suggest that the historical Grand Theatre is far from completion.

 

But once the sawdust is swept away and exposed wires are hidden, the wall will remain.

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Starting to sound like a scam... I had no high hopes for this project due to its unrealistic expectations. A stadium bigger than Rupp Arena in Lexington, only 15 miles east in the middle of nowhere?

 

Developer proposes sports complex in Ill.; says Winchester project still a go

By Greg Kocher, Herald-Leader, May 25, 2009

 

Last week's announcement about a proposed sports-and-entertainment complex for Vandalia, Ill., does not affect Kenneth Bardwell's plans to put a similar but larger facility in Winchester, the Michigan developer and Clark County officials said.

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f$&king @#$^. Centrepointe is all but dead, and now he states he can get fill dirt in to plant grass to "shut these people up." Thanks Webb for demolishing numerous historic properties -- including the oldest commercial structure in Lexington, and replacing it with... a block of dirt.

 

If CentrePointe financing fails, Webb has plans B and C, he said

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 4, 2009

 

Developer Dudley Webb told the Lexington Forum on Thursday he has a Plan B and Plan C for financing for the CentrePointe project and if those plans don't work, he will look for fill dirt to level the site and plant grass.

 

Also, Webb said he remains optimistic that funding from his unnamed, deceased, financial backer will still come through. He said assets of the international investor's estate are being held in numbered Swiss bank accounts..

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And here it begins...

 

Demolition company files lien against CentrePointe

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, June 5, 2009

 

The demolition company that razed 17 buildings last year to make way for the proposed CentrePointe development on West Main Street has filed a lien against CentrePointe LLC for non-payment.

 

The lien for $73,000 is for the cost of labor and materials to remove concrete fill underneath the parking lot in the middle of the block, said John Conley, president of Diversified Demolition adding that the request to remove the material came at the end of the work to clear the block.

 

"I have not been paid in full," he said. "The $73,000 is the balance owed."

 

However, CentrePointe developer Dudley Webb said on Friday that Conley has been paid the contracted amount of $571,000 to demolish the buildings on the block.

 

Click on the link above for the remainder of the article.

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This is horrible news!  I was looking forward to the tower bulking up the Lexington skyline a bit.  Hopefully it isnt totally dead leaving only a big hole in the ground and 17 demolished buildings.

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These business owners had the opportunity to voice their concerns and to keep up to date on a project that would inevitably impact their business, but most chose not to show (I attended most of the hearings and meetings). It's their fault they chose to remain uninformed.

 

Having the project completed in one year results in far less headaches and results in major cost savings versus dragging the project on for multiple years. Any civil engineer can understand that.

 

South Limestone business owners concerned about closure of street

By Jennifer Hewlett, Herald-Leader, June 7, 2009

 

David Jones and his business partners would never have sunk $750,000 into their new bar and lounge called Soundbar on South Limestone had they known the street would soon be closed and torn up.

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Just like former Governor Wilkinson's World Coal Tower proposal in the 1980s!

 

CentrePointe site to be filled, seeded

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

 

Developer Dudley Webb said Friday that 6 inches of topsoil will be spread on the empty CentrePointe site and the block seeded with Kentucky bluegrass to make it more attractive.

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CentrePointe update: Timing is everything.

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

 

Today’s meeting of the Courthouse Area Design Review Board offered a few updates on CentrePointe, the massive downtown development project that 16 months after its announcement remains a mirage.

 

Darby Turner, the attorney for developer Dudley Webb, said Webb is in Europe working to secure financing for the $250 million project from the estate of a mysterious, unidentified investor who is said to have died last fall, leaving the hotel-condo-office tower in limbo.

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Red Mile proposes new stores, condos

Concept aims to add retail sites to financially ailing track

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 1, 2009

 

Owners of The Red Mile off South Broadway say they hope that residential and commercial development will give the financially ailing harness track the boost it needs to keep operating.

 

Conceptual plans for 68 acres of the 132-acre track were unveiled at a public meeting Tuesday night.

 

Highlights included:

 

 

■ 150 to 200 condominiums and apartments targeted toward young professionals.

 

■ 300,000 square feet of retail and office space.

 

■ A hiking trail along Red Mile Road, connecting to Town Branch Trail on Old Frankfort Pike.

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Posted quite a few articles today in this thread, scroll up :)

 

Lexington council approves major work on South Limestone

By Karla Ward, Herald-Leader, July 8, 2009

 

There was disagreement at the Urban County Council meeting Tuesday over the city's plan to overhaul a section of South Limestone, but the council voted to accept a contractor's bid and allowed the project to move forward.

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As a side note, the Centrepointe article has been updated regarding the latest delays.

 

Centrepointe: fast-tracked and now stalled

Authored by Sherman Cahal on July 15, 2009 at UrbanUp

 

Centrepointe, proposed on March 3, 2008, is a $250 million, 35-story skyscraper in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Bounded by Main, Vine, Limestone and Upper streets, the development consisted of a four-star, 243-room hotel, 77 residential condominium units, retail and restaurant space, and offices. The tower would also incorporate LEED features, including green roofs and energy-efficient windows along with other sundries.

 

The rendering of Centrepointe was criticized from nearly the beginning, with the most vocal cheerleaders coming from Vice Mayor Gray and numerous bloggers, calling the skyscraper out of synchronization with the harmony of the downtown core -- dominated by small- to mid-rise mixed-use structures. Gray pointed out that the Downtown Master Plan, which was completed only several years prior and involved input from hundreds of citizens, called for a maximum building height of 15 stories in the downtown core. Others also lashed out at the generic design and the partial removal of Phoenix Park across the street that would make way for additional retail and parking.

 

Centrepointe's proposal called for the removal of one entire block of unused and active buildings, some of which were historically significant. Included were two of Lexington's oldest commercial structures -- the Rosenberg structure.

 

You can read and comment on the latest UrbanUp blog post here.

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Lexington hotels expand, renovate for WEG and beyond

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, July 30, 2009

 

Lexington's two major downtown hotels — the former Radisson Plaza and the Hyatt Regency — are undergoing major renovations at a time when several other area hotels are updating and expanding, aiming to have the work completed for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

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Posted another article above.

 

Public views streetscape plans for downtown Lexington

By Jennifer Hewlett, Herald-Leader, July 30, 2009

 

A steady trickle of people made their way to the local government center Wednesday see what downtown Lexington is slated to look like this time next year.

 

Millions of dollars in improvements to Main Street, between Broadway and Limestone; Vine Street, between Broadway and Limestone; South Limestone, between the Avenue of Champions and Vine Street; and Cheapside Park are expected to be completed by July 2010.

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THIS IS JUST TOO FUNNY!

 

"Massive rain caused Centrepointe Lake to begin spilling into the streets of downtown Lexington on Tuesday August 4, 2009."

469-090805Rain2.slideshow_main.prod_affiliate.79.jpg

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^^ That is the definition of an eyesore. I wonder how long eminent domain proceedings could take if lexington decides to turn this into a park leading up the the World Equestrian Games.

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If they thought this building was gonna be an eyesore, what do they call that 100-foot cliff of solid concrete facing the street at the top-right of that photo?  ^^^

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YUCK. Overhead power lines on this road!? What is with Lexington and its rat nests it creates?

 

Power lines will clutter Newtown Pike extension, project critics say

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, August 12, 2009

 

Lexington's Newtown Pike extension, envisioned as a beautiful gateway to the city leading people into downtown from the interstate, will be marred by the visual clutter of overhead power lines, critics said on Wednesday.

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Renovations earn architects' office an LEED Gold rating

Renovations give architects' office a top LEED rating

By Susan Smith-Durisek, Contributing Writer to the Herald-Leader, August 28, 2009

 

When RossTarrant Architects moved to its new offices at East Main Street and Old Lafayette Avenue about two years ago, it inherited a problem. Water was accumulating in the basement of the 1950s-era commercial structure. The source? A natural underground spring.

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Weekday Lexington Farmers Market added downtown

Herald-Leader, August 26, 2009

 

Lexington Farmers Market is adding a midweek afternoon market in Cheapside Park, starting Wednesday. The hours will be 4 to 7 p.m.

 

Market manager Jeff Dabbelt is working on a head count of how many farmers will participate and said "upwards of a dozen" have expressed interest.

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Unfinished business

By Cheryl Truman, Herald Leader, September 6, 2009

 

A pair of six-story buildings packed with high-tech businesses would adorn one of Lexington's most prominent intersections had the University of Kentucky's plans for Coldstream Research Campus panned out.

 

Instead, the corner of Interstate 75 and Newtown Pike is a hotbed for lawsuits, mechanics' liens and a mortgage default. The Lexhold International Center for Technological Innovation at Coldstream is substantially behind schedule, plagued with unpaid bills and mired in legal wrangles.

 

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Tom Eblen: First section of Town Branch Trail opens next weekend

Herald-Leader, September 5, 2009

 

Lexington was born and grew up around the Town Branch of South Elkhorn Creek, but over the past century we've done our best to pollute it, bury it and forget about it.

 

Water finds its way, though, even if it sometimes needs help.

 

Town Branch Trail Inc. has been working for a decade to develop a greenway along the creek west of downtown. The first fruits of those labors will be on display next weekend, when the initial two-mile section of the trail is opened with a benefit concert and bicycle rally.

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Lexington could learn from Louisville’s 21C

By Tom Eblen, The Bluegrass and Beyond, October 20, 2009

 

Readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine recently voted the 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville as the nation’s best hotel.

 

It was in the news last week and discussed on NBC’s Today Show this week.

 

“It sounds like the idea behind this is brilliant,” said Today Show host Matt Lauer, who seemed barely able to hide his surprise that Kentucky could be on the cutting edge of anything.

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Posted another article from today above this.

 

Also: Red Mile redevelopment plan is now online.

 

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Lexington 'on the verge' of revitalization, consultant says

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, October 22, 2009

 

Play to win, Lexington. That means develop the attitude you deserve to win, believe you can win and demand excellence.

 

That was advice Thursday from Rebecca Ryan, a consultant from Madison, Wis. "God has dealt you a very strong hand," she said, pointing to Lexington's natural beauty, educated work force and more diversity than many people realize. She described the city as "on the verge" of a revitalized, energized identity.

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UK trustees approve Wildcat Coal Lodge despite students' protests

By Andy Mead, Herald-Leader, October 28, 2009

 

A proposal to build a $7 million Wildcat Coal Lodge was approved Tuesday by the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees in a 16-3 vote.

 

The vote set off shouts from about 30 protesters, mostly students, who attended the meeting.

 

"Big Coal is about to go down, and the university's going down with them," said Cor de Jong, who described himself as "a Lexingtonian and a basketball fan."

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For the Turfland redevelopment, I think this is a step in the right direction although I believe the reason that the outlots have not been included in this phase is because a deal to purchase those properties has not yet been worked out or is just too expensive for right now.

 

Posted another new article above.

 

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Planning for redevelopment

HERALD-LEADER EXCLUSIVE: The state of retail in Lexington | Part 1 of 3

By Scott Sloan, Herald-Leader, October 26th, 2009

 

Ending a long period of speculation, the owners of Turfland Mall, which closed last year but had been weak for years, hope to transform the site into a development that would be primarily commercial office space but also include residential and some retail space.

 

091026turfland.gif

 

That is one of a number of changes coming to the areas surrounding the Harrodsburg Road corridor, where longtime landmark The Springs Inn is being demolished and sold for redevelopment.

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Distillery District projects get green light from state

By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, October 30, 2009

 

FRANKFORT — A state board gave final approval Thursday to the Urban County Government's plan for $45.8 million in public infrastructure improvements for redevelopment of the Distillery District along Manchester Street.

 

The city plans several major improvements — new curbs, sidewalks, storm sewers and construction of the Town Branch Trail — for Lexington's historic bourbon corridor, west of downtown.

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