Atlanta architecture firm submits revamped design for Lexington's CentrePointe

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comOctober 2, 2013 

Revamped designs for CentrePointe include tweaks to the facade of the development's apartment building, according to plans filed Wednesday with city officials.

In August, the Courthouse Area Design Review Board voted 2-1 to approve the $393.2 million CentrePointe development that includes office space, an apartment building, a J.W. Marriott hotel, retailers and restaurants, including a Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse. Making alterations to the exterior of the apartment building was part of the conditional approval of the CentrePointe design. The development is at Main, Vine, Limestone and Upper streets in downtown Lexington.

Designs submitted Wednesday show that the color of the brick of the apartment building was changed. Space was added for signs for first-floor retail space. Some of the exterior is now recessed. The top of the building also has a distinctive "cap," which courthouse design board members said they wanted during the August meeting.

The CentrePointe designs submitted Wednesday included other changes. The 10-story office building now has a flat glass surface rather than picture-type frames on the side of the building. The hotel complex also has slight design changes, the renderings show.

Developer Dudley Webb said the changes were made in response to concerns raised by the board at the August meeting.

"We're tweaking the designs to make them better," he said. Webb said changes to the office building — making it a flat, reflective surface — also were made at the request of the building's main tenant.

The new design will be discussed at a special Oct. 9 meeting.

Webb said the project could have gone forward under the designs approved in August. But The Webb Companies wanted to make the changes to address the board's concerns.

After the Aug. 21 meeting, EOP Architects, the architects for the development, announced that it was pulling out of the project. CMMI of Atlanta, the original architects for the project, filed the latest designs Wednesday.

The project has gone through several architects since it was announced in 2008. It also has been followed by controversy. Properties on the block were razed, but the development stalled for years after an unnamed European financial backer died.

Webb said Wednesday that a ceremonial groundbreaking was scheduled for mid-October; construction could begin in early November.

He has said that all construction — except the inside of the hotel — would be completed by June 2015. Webb has said he has a tenant for the office space but has not disclosed the tenant's identity. The $393.9 million price tag includes construction and financing costs.

Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter: HLCityhall.

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