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.
Webb said conversations with the man's family indicate they are aware of his commitment of $250 million to finance Webb's luxury hotel and condominium project on West Main Street in downtown Lexington.
Their concern is, on the advice of their attorney, that the funds are there, Webb said.
Never miss a local story.
Recently, Webb and the family reached a compromise that Webb will not look to them to finance CentrePointe if the money isn't in the estate.
Webb was notified in late September of the death of the major investor in this project, Webb said. The investor had signed an agreement to provide the funding for the project in June 2008, he said.
Webb and his nephew Woodford Webb are developers for the proposed project. A major portion of the land is owned by businessman Joe Rosenberg and his family.
Webb said he had evidence one year ago that the investor had earmarked $550 million for three projects in the United States, one of which was CentrePointe.
When Webb revealed in April that the investor had died without a will, concern was raised about whether the building would be built. Lexington Vice Mayor Jim Gray said the community had been hoodwinked.
"Believe me, neither the Rosenberg family or we would have gone in and torn down buildings if we didn't think the funding was there for building this project," he said Thursday morning.
Webb also revealed that an original partner in the CentrePointe project, John Anderson, backed out of the project a year ago. Anderson had lined up financing with a bank in Atlanta, Webb said. Anderson has developed other projects including Marriott hotels, Webb said.
Webb's Plan B includes another unnamed investor, he said. Plan C, he said, involves an unnamed bank "in the States that is interested in getting involved in helping us do this deal."
Earlier in the week, Webb said he had an offer of 20,000 cubic yards of fill dirt that could be used to level the site. If The Webb Companies could get the dirt for free, it would spread it and plant grass, he said. But he said, he "would hate to spend $200,000 to $300,000" to fill the building site hole when in 90 days, construction might begin.
However, he's tempted to take that step, "to shut these people up," he said, referring to the critics of the site.