Now that the first phase of The Summit, a massive retail and apartment development at Nicholasville Road and Man o’ War Boulevard, has begun opening, I thought it was time for updates on other major local construction projects.
Most notably, workers are making steady progress on the underground garage at CentrePointe, which has had many delays, design changes and money shortages since the Webb Companies broke ground on it nine years ago.
Ralph Coldiron, CenterPointe’s project coordinator, said the 700-space garage is scheduled to be finished Sept. 1. About a month after that, depending on the status of financing, work will begin either on the hotel or office building planned above it.
Plans now call for CentrePointe to be finished by the end of 2018 and include a Marriott hotel, a Residence Inn, a Jeff Ruby Steakhouse and a 12-story building that will have nine floors of offices and three floors of luxury condominiums.
Scheduled to open by the end of this year is the five-story Field & Main building, a mixed-use development rising on East Main Street on the site of the old A1A bar complex. The $7.5 million project by developer Jeff Morgan will house Field & Main Bank offices and 24 two-bedroom condos.
It will be the first residential development on East Main Street since Phil Holoubek’s Main & Rose Lofts opened a decade ago. But Holoubek hopes to break ground in a couple of months on his long-delayed Main & Vine project, a five-story mixed-use building at the point where East Main and East Vine streets meet. It is to have 15,000 square feet of retail on the first floor, including a bank office, and 60 one- and two-bedroom apartments above.
Holoubek said he had hoped to get started earlier, but bids came in 12 percent higher than expected and construction drawings needed to be revised. The revised plans are now out for bid, he said.
Holoubek also hopes to break ground later this year on two projects he is developing for Community Ventures Corp. near the corner of East Third Street and Midland Avenue. One building, on the north side of Third, will have 5,000 square feet of retail, including a pizza restaurant and coffee shop, with 16 two-bedroom apartments.
On the south side of Third, a building called “The Met” will have 15,000 square feet of retail, including a restaurant and bakery, and 34 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments. Seventy percent of the two buildings’ apartments will be rented at market rates, with the other 30 percent designated “affordable” housing for tax-credit purposes.
The University of Kentucky has been a major source of new construction since 2004, when it began a $1 billion expansion of its medical facilities.
Since 2011, UK has spent more than $2.2 billion — or more than $1 million a day — on 126 campus projects totaling more than 6.3 million square feet of space. That includes 10 new residence halls built in partnership with Education Realty Trust. The Memphis-based company provided capital for construction of the residence halls, which it will own and manage for 50 years, sharing profits with the university.
Two major projects finished last fall were the $100 million Jacobs Science Building and a $65 million privately funded renovation and expansion of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The $74 million University Flats student housing development will open in August, as will the $37.1 million Lewis Honors College.
One of the most high-profile projects on campus is a new $200 million-plus Student Center, which includes renovation of the 1938 portion of the old Student Center. The adjacent 1924 Alumni Gymnasium has been incorporated into the complex, and its classical façade is being restored.
Scheduled for completion later in 2018 are a new $265 million research building and a $49 million baseball stadium.
As UK finishes up its construction binge, another couple of projects should begin taking shape downtown: the Lexington Center expansion and Town Branch Commons linear park.
Lexington Center’s $250 million expansion and renovation is scheduled to begin in January 2018 and be finished by December 2020. It will include a new 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall and additional meeting space.
The Lexington Center Corp. also has sought development proposals for ground leases on the 20-acre surface lot between High and Maxwell Streets along South Broadway. Surface parking there and in what will become Town Branch Park will be replaced with garages.
SCAPE, a New York landscape architecture firm that won a design competition for the project four years ago, will soon be unveiling final designs. In March, it showed initial designs for a bicycle and pedestrian path.
Lexington has secured $40 million in federal, state and local grants and loans for Town Branch Commons. Businesswoman Ann Bakhaus and the Blue Grass Community Foundation are working to raise another $30 million in private funds for some of the park facilities.
Infrastructure work for Town Branch Commons will begin along Midland Avenue later this year, with most of the construction is planned for 2018 and 2019. Plans call for it to be finished in 2020.