Fayette County

Lexington gives new CentrePointe developers second 30-day extension

palcala@herald-leader.com

Lexington officials have given the new developers of CentrePointe a second 30-day extension on an order to fill in the site. The city is waiting for a real-estate consultant’s report that will help the Urban County Government determine whether moving its offices to the proposed downtown development is a wise use of taxpayer dollars.

Mason Miller, a lawyer for the city, said the developers — Bridgeton Holdings of New York and Matt Collins of Lexington — were given a second 30-day extension on Jan. 5. The group can get a third 30-day extension after the current one runs out in early February.

In an email to the Urban County Council on Friday, Miller said the developers were given the extension because the city still needs the consultant’s report.

“Otherwise, there have been no further developments to report, and I anticipate we will have a much larger update for you once the consultant’s report has been completed,” Miller wrote.

He said the extensions on the fill-in order were expected.

“We anticipated ultimately granting these extensions unless the developers did something that would give us pause,” Miller said.

After the new developers announced in August that they were taking over the project, the city set aside for 90 days an April 28 order issued to The Webb Companies to fill in the site. The city issued the order after alleging no work had occurred on the site for 60 days, a charge The Webb Companies vehemently denied. The new developers were given their first 30-day extension in early December.

The original CentrePointe development was supposed to include a hotel, an office tower, an apartment complex, and retail and restaurants. The new developers have proposed moving the government center to the project and nixing the office tower.

The city is paying Jones Lang LaSalle $198,500 to conduct a market analysis to determine whether it’s more cost-effective for the city to lease a new government center or build its own. That report will be completed and presented to the Urban County Council in the next several weeks, said Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city.

The current government center in the former Lafayette Hotel on Main Street has become a drain on the city’s finances. One estimate shows it needs more than $1 million in upkeep and repairs in coming years.

The proposed CentrePointe development takes up an entire city block bordered by South Limestone and Main, Vine and Upper streets. The Webb Companies dug a hole for a three-story underground parking garage, but the garage has not been built. Tower cranes have been siting on the site, unused, for more than a year.

Jonathan Miller, a Lexington lawyer who is representing Bridgeton and Collins, said the city has asked that all questions about the agreement between the developers and the city be referred to Mason Miller, the city’s lawyer. In an interview with the Herald-Leader in August, Collins, one of the developers, cautioned it would be at least six months before work could begin on the site because of the complexity of the project.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

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