Lexington council to file financing application for Angliana development

bfortune@herald-leader.comDecember 4, 2009 

A proposed $70 million development on Angliana Avenue that would include a 12-screen movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants, shops and apartments will become the city's third tax-increment financing project.

At its meeting Thursday night, the Urban County Council authorized the city to file a TIF application with the state Economic Development Cabinet on behalf of ShowProp.

ShowProp is requesting $36 million in TIF funds to pay for infrastructure improvements, said attorney Chris Westover, who represents the developer. Under the TIF arrangement, the money would be repaid with new tax money generated by the development.

"Without TIF, the project would not be economically feasible," Westover said.

Improvements include $1 million for a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks on South Broadway, $3.5 million to bury a utility transmission line and $14 million for a five-story parking garage.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority now will hire a consultant to analyze the feasibility of the project.

ShowProp is proposed for an area once dominated by tobacco warehouses. An exceptionally well-built warehouse on the 15-acre site will be converted to apartments, Westover said.

Behind the project is George Krikorian, who has built several theater complexes in Southern California, some combining new construction with renovated buildings. Krikorian owns a farm in Woodford County where he breeds and trains racehorses.

The council voted 14-1 to create the TIF project. First District Councilwoman Andrea James voted no, expressing concern about the lack of affordable housing in the development.

The city's other two tax-increment projects are the Distillery District and Phoenix Park/Courthouse Area District.

Reach Beverly Fortune at (859) 231-3251 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3251.

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