The state gave final approval Thursday to begin making infrastructure improvements at a proposed development on Angliana Avenue in Lexington.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in Frankfort gave the nod to what's called tax-increment financing. The idea behind TIF projects is for governments to invest in improving infrastructure and then pay for those improvements using new tax revenue, which developments are expected to generate when the projects are completed and areas are revitalized.
The proposed $120 million development on Angliana would include an upscale movie theater complex, bowling alley, restaurants and shops.
Developer George Krikorian, who owns a farm in Woodford County where he breeds and trains racehorses, had requested $36 million in tax-increment financing for the project. Krikorian has previously built several theater complexes in Southern California.
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The state will contribute up to $17.5 million, and the city will provide the remaining $19 million, said Bruce Simpson, an attorney for Krikorian.
"It's going to be of substantial assistance to moving the project forward and making it successful," he said Thursday after the state's decision. "We were very pleased with the board's unanimous approval."
The 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.
With the approval, the developer will begin conducting feasibility studies on the utility work on the 30-acre development, Simpson said, and construction might begin as early as next spring.