Lexington council approves new CentrePointe development agreement

CentrePointe Lexington Herald-Leader

Lexington's Urban County Council on Tuesday approved a new CentrePointe master development agreement, which now includes plans for a hotel, apartments, space for offices, retailers and restaurants and a three-story underground parking garage.

A site plan emailed to council members Monday shows a hotel and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse facing Vine Street and apartments and offices facing Main Street.

Buildings on the two-acre block that CentrePointe would occupy were razed in 2008 to make way for the project, which was originally planned to stand about 40 stories tall. The project has since been scaled back.

The project as it is now envisioned would be about 19 stories — about the same height as the nearby Park Plaza apartment building, developer Dudley Webb said Tuesday.

The new plan calls for an estimated capital investment of $193.3 million, including $45.5 million for public infrastructure, according to a report in June by AECOM for the state Cabinet for Economic Development. Including financing costs, the price tag for CentrePointe is estimated at $393.9 million, the report states.

The project would include a 286-key full service hotel with eight condominiums. Webb declined to name the hotel chain that might occupy the development. The report says there would be 96 apartments with 10,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. An office building would have 157,710 square feet of offices as well as restaurants and retailers.

Construction is estimated to start in January and continue for two years, according to the report.

The council approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and other officials to execute agreements with CentrePointe's developers regarding tax increment financing. The tax increment financing program (TIF) dedicates increased tax revenues generated from a significant development to finance debt issued to pay for the project's public infrastructure.

Much of the incremental tax revenues generated from CentrePointe would be used to reimburse developers for the cost of a 700-space parking garage, up to $32 million in capital costs and $19 million in financing costs.

The city would incur no debt under the new agreement with CentrePointe's developers.

CentrePointe's developers would have to spend at least $150 million to get the incentives under the agreement with the city, which replaces a previous TIF plan.

The agreement is on track to be considered by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority at its meeting this month.

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