Fayette County

CentrePointe developers hope to sell $30 million in bonds for parking garage

CentrePointe developer Dudley Webb hopes to sell as much as $30 million in bonds to finance a parking garage. Webb said financial papers have been filed, and he's waiting on bond sellers.
CentrePointe developer Dudley Webb hopes to sell as much as $30 million in bonds to finance a parking garage. Webb said financial papers have been filed, and he's waiting on bond sellers. Herald-Leader

CentrePointe developers said this week they hope to sell as much as $30 million in bonds for a 700-space underground parking garage by the end of January, but a firm date has not been set.

Dudley Webb, whose company is developing CentrePointe in downtown Lexington, said the Webb Companies submitted financial documents and is waiting on the bond sellers to complete due diligence, including a site visit.

"We have not been told of any problems," Webb said.

Temple Juett, general counsel and chief operating officer for the Kentucky League of Cities, said a late-January or early-February sale date is possible.

"We are in a waiting period," Juett said. "We are just waiting to hear if all of the details have been worked out."

Juett said he has heard of no problems with the financial information that the Webb Companies has submitted as part of the bond sale.

The League of Cities, through a new entity created to issue bonds for economic-development projects, is issuing the bonds for the CentrePointe developers.

The bonds are to be paid off using tax revenue generated from the downtown development that is to include a hotel, an apartment complex, an office tower and retail and restaurant space.

Neither the League of Cities nor the Urban County Government will be on the hook for the bond payments if too little tax revenue is generated to pay off the bond, League of Cities and city officials have said.

Construction began on the parking garage in late 2013. The site has been blasted, creating a hole that is more than three stories deep. Tower cranes are currently on the site — a downtown block bounded by Main, Vine and Upper streets and South Limestone.

Meanwhile, the Lexington Parking Authority and the Webb Companies are in talks regarding how much the Webb Companies owes the parking authority for taking out 17 parking spaces in that block during construction. If a parking space with a meter is out of use either because of an event or because of construction, the parking authority charges the organization or company a $9-a-day fee, said Gary Means, executive director of the parking authority. The fee is not applied during weekends, when people don't have to pay city-run meters.

The Webb Companies, through its contractor, Hunt Construction, had paid the fees for the 17 spots until February, according to documents the Herald-Leader received through an Open Records Act request.

Webb said that most of those 17 spots — probably as many as 10 — will never return. Those spots will become taxi lanes or loading zones for deliveries.

The Webb Companies shouldn't have to pay fees for parking spots that no longer exist, Webb said. Moreover, the city and the state approved the development plan that called for those parking spots to be removed, he said.

"This is not adversarial at all," Webb said. "We are ready to pay ... once we determine what is fair to pay."

Means said the parking authority board and the developer are still discussing what CentrePointe developers owe. According to documents, the total amount the Webb Companies have been charged and haven't paid is $32,283. The board has not pursued legal action against the developer, Means said. The parking authority and the developer are trying to work it out, Means said.

"We believe the city and the parking authority will greatly benefit from this project," Webb said. "They will be getting an additional 700 parking spaces."