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Webbs to discuss TIF project

A city delegation charged with negotiating tax increment financing proposals with developers will hold an organizational meeting in Lexington on Thursday to establish the scope of its work.

The committee will receive an overview of tax increment financing and establish objectives, a timetable for work and a meeting schedule.

The first group the city will negotiate with is the developer of CentrePointe, a proposed $250 million hotel, condominium, retail and office complex planned by developers Dudley and Woodford Webb on a prominent downtown block.

Woodford Webb said he would be at the meeting to answer any questions the committee may have regarding a potential TIF project in conjunction with CentrePointe.

“We're open to hearing what the city council committee has in mind,” Webb said. “We have no agenda. It's up to the committee to decide how TIF funds might be used for the public.”

The Webbs have said they want to build $35 million in public infrastructure — including parks, parking garages and public art — as part of the project. Tax increment financing would allow the company to recoup that money over time from the tax revenue generated by the project.

The city committee is made up of Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, Vice Mayor Jim Gray and council members Tom Blues, Julian Beard, Dick DeCamp, Peggy Henson, Jay McChord and David Stevens.

The organizational meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the third-floor conference room of the Phoenix Building at 101 East Vine Street.

The meeting is open to the public.

Other development projects that could seek TIF funding include a downtown basketball arena to replace Rupp Arena and the Distillery District — a project that includes restaurants, entertainment venues, loft apartments, businesses and offices — along Manchester Street.