Fayette County

CentrePointe construction on track

With the country on the brink of recession and money for construction projects drying up, the CentrePointe complex remains on track to start in December, although with a slightly different look, developer Dudley Webb says.

Even with a looming recession, Webb said Thursday that he did not anticipate the hotel and condominium project's being affected. "Remember we're looking 25 to 30 months out for completion," he said. "And by then, if the economy stays with traditional cycles, it would have cycled through a recession and, hopefully, into recovery."

CentrePointe is being 100-percent equity-financed from an undisclosed source, and Webb said his equity partners have assured him "the money is on reserve and they are ready to go."

Slight changes have been made in the building's design, including adding a different top, reducing the base from four floors to three, altering some windows and increasing the width of loading dock doors.

"It's just some tweaking," Webb said of the changes. "It's going to look basically the same except for a different cap." Changes were made after peer review of the design by several architects.

The proposed changes will be filed Friday with Billy Van Pelt, staff administrator for the Courthouse Area Design Review office. The project received the go-ahead to build in June from the courthouse review board.

"We're bringing in elements we've tweaked slightly to get them blessed," said Darby Turner, attorney for The Webb Companies.

The changes will be taken up by the board at its next meeting on Nov. 10.

Engineering has begun with core drillings completed on the west half of the block to be occupied by the 35-story J.W. Marriott. Drilling has halted until the demolition contractor has cleared out of the east half of the block, "which they're getting close to," Webb said.

The site will be excavated 30 feet below street level for a 600-plus space underground parking garage.

As for the core drilling, Webb said, "So far we're 45 feet down and still on solid rock."