Fayette County

From Oct. 29: CentrePointe bonds to be sold soon to pay for parking garage

Main Street by the CentrePointe development will have to close for two days for installation of a tower crane. No dates have been set.
Main Street by the CentrePointe development will have to close for two days for installation of a tower crane. No dates have been set. Lexington Herald-Leader

CentrePointe developers say up to $30 million in bonds for an underground parking garage probably will be sold at the end of November or first of December.

Meanwhile, developers say work has stopped at the downtown development, which will include a hotel, apartment building and an office tower, until a tower crane may be installed at the site. Moving and installing the giant crane probably will shut down Main Street for two days, they said.

Darby Turner, a lawyer who represents CentrePointe's developer, The Webb Companies, said that they were working on the financial information typically included in the sale of the bonds and that the financial due diligence takes time.

The bonds will be sold through a nonprofit created by the Kentucky League of Cities.

Temple Juett, general counsel and chief operating officer for the League of Cities, said Wednesday that a November or early December sale date was realistic. "Their team is working on a lot of details to get the offering statement out," Juett said.

Officials with CentrePointe and the League of Cities say that new tax revenue generated from the development will be used to pay off the bonds. The League of the Cities and the Urban County Government will not be required to pay off the bonds if the project goes south, city officials have said.

CentrePointe and its construction company, Hunt Construction, were issued a building permit for the 10-story office tower on Oct. 15. According to the permit, the cost of the office tower is $24 million. The parking garage will cost $21 million. Those, however, are just estimates. The underground parking garage is projected to be three stories and have 700 parking spaces.

Turner said Wednesday that the next phase of construction would have to wait until the tower crane can be delivered and secured on the site. A second tower crane also will be used, but that crane probably won't be delivered until January. The first tower crane must be in place before work resumes.

"These are the cranes that will erect the garage and the office tower," Turner said. "It's not really an issue, it's just a matter of scheduling it with the city."

The closure of Main Street is probably weeks away, and city residents will get plenty of notice if Main Street is closed, city officials said. The long-delayed development covers an entire city block bounded by Main, Vine and Upper streets, and Limestone.

Jamie Emmons, Mayor Jim Gray's chief of staff, said there have been discussions between the city and CentrePointe about shutting down Main Street to install the crane.

"It's been preliminary at this point," Emmons said. "We want to do it at a time that would have the least impact to traffic — perhaps on a weekend."

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