Most days we hear a lot more than we see about creating a new, knowledge-based economy that will attract imaginative and innovative people and their projects.
Wednesday was a wonderful exception.
In northern Fayette County local, state and national officials heralded the University of Kentucky's new energy research lab, which is itself very energy efficient while downtown the proposed 21c Museum Hotel gained a critical, if conditional, local approval to renovate the 1912 First National Bank building, Lexington's first skyscraper. If all goes well, it could open in 2014, adding another significant attraction to downtown's dining, lodging and entertainment scene.
Both projects represent significant financial investments — $20.8 million for the lab, and undisclosed millions on 21c.
That's welcome and important but they also represent the intellectual and imaginative investments that our community and economy need to stand out in a competitive world.
The lab's work will focus on renewable energy and energy storage, particularly the batteries that power hybrid automobiles. The museum hotel will be the fourth in a Louisville-based chain of boutique hotels that are also contemporary art museums.
Welcome to both projects and thanks to the people who worked hard to develop them.
They set the bar high, Lexington should continue to reach for it.