CentrePointe's big reveal: Engineering firm to be office building's first tenant

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comDecember 17, 2013 

An international engineering firm will occupy 21/2 floors of the CentrePointe office building, company and city officials announced Tuesday.

Stantec, which employs 160 people in Lexington, plans to move its offices into the CentrePointe development and add 30 jobs, company officials said.

"Our new downtown office will help fulfill our company purpose: We create communities," Stantec vice president Don Armour said. "We've appreciated the concerted public-private effort that has moved this project to this milestone."

The Webb Companies, CentrePointe's developers, have said a nationally known engineering firm needed to be in the 10-story office building by May 2015. That's why it was so important for construction on the downtown development to begin. The name of the engineering firm was not released until Tuesday.

Crews started initial site work Sunday for the long-delayed project, which is to include an underground parking garage, an office complex, retail space, an apartment building and a hotel. CentrePointe developers have said construction on the 700-space underground parking garage will begin first, followed by the office tower.

Stantec officials said Tuesday that in addition to creating 30 jobs, it will invest more than $2.5 million in its expansion.

Stantec has more than 200 offices across the world, including in Louisville and Cincinnati.

Gov. Steve Beshear praised the firm's expansion in Lexington.

"This expansion will have a positive impact for the community, creating quality jobs in the Lexington area," Beshear said.

Mayor Jim Gray said Stantec's move will help revitalize an already growing downtown.

"Fifty years ago, people moved to where the jobs are," Gray said. "Today, jobs move to where the people are, where the talent is. And talent moves to where there's a premium attached to quality of life. This attracts companies like Stantec to Lexington and encourages them to expand."

Commerce Lexington, the Lexington Downtown Development Authority, the city and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development worked with Stantec on its expansion and move to downtown.

Stantec has been approved for incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program, which gives corporations tax credits and other incentives for bringing new jobs to an area.

Dudley Webb of The Webb Companies has previously said that he has tenants for five floors of the office building. Including financing costs, the price tag for the entire CentrePointe project is estimated to be $393.9 million.

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

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