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.
"I think it's going to be very good for the downtown area," Brian Flynn said after looking at maps and drawings depicting the new streetscape plans for the city streets. Flynn, who will be the general manager of the new Skybar lounge when it opens at 269 West Main Street in August or September, said he particularly liked the plans for the Cheapside Park and Limestone areas.
The plans for downtown "will showcase what we have in this area," he said.
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Robin Feeney said she thought the plans were beautiful, but said that the drawings and maps lacked specific information, such as construction timetables, which would be helpful to downtown business owners such as herself.
Feeney, who operates Caros Restaurant at 113 South Upper Street, said her business has already been affected adversely by traffic congestion, construction equipment noise and dust caused by the South Limestone project and others.
"We've endured this Centre Pointe mess about a year now," she said, referring to the city block that has been vacant for months because plans have stalled to build a hotel and condominium complex there. Feeney's restaurant is across the street. "It's about put us under," she said
Harold Tate, president and chief executive officer of the Downtown Development Authority, said Wednesday's display was about the sixth such display for the public. Several city officials and others involved in the streetscape projects were on hand to answer questions.
Bids for the Main, Vine and Cheapside projects are expected to be let in the fall or early winter, Tate said. The South Limestone work is expected to cost $17 million, according to city officials.