Construction crews have poured concrete for four columns of a three-story underground parking garage on the CentrePointe site in the last few weeks. Work will begin soon on the interior walls of the garage, CentrePointe developers said this week.
Dudley Webb of the Webb Cos., said Hunt Construction crews are now using high-powered spray washers to clean the interior walls of the site that is an entire downtown Lexington city block. Next, crews will prep the walls with a series of treatments — including a substance that looks like a swimming pool liner — so concrete can be poured for the interior walls.
The three-story underground parking garage’s walls are nearly 34 feet tall, Webb said.
The garage will take approximately 8 to 10 months to complete, Webb said.
“Fortunately, spring is the best time of the year to start doing concrete work,” he said.
Questions about financing for the project have dogged the development during its eight-year history.
Webb said the Webb Cos. are relying on private financing for the construction but said a bond from the nonprofit arm of the Kentucky League of Cities could be used for the development that was originally slated to include a parking garage, hotel, office tower, apartments and restaurant and retail space.
“We need to get the garage started first,” Webb said.
The Kentucky League of Cities had previously offered to sell bonds for construction of the garage for the project that was announced in 2008. The sale of those bonds was placed on hold after new developers led by Matt Collins of Lexington announced in August 2015 that they were taking over the project. In late February, the group announced that it was backing out of the development after the city and the new developers could not come agree on building a new city hall on the site.
The site has been excavated for nearly two years. After the Collins group backed out, the Webbs moved construction crews back onto the site on March 2. The city had issued an order in April 2015 for the site to be filled in because the city alleged then that no work had occurred on the project for 60 days. That order was set aside a number of times while the Collins group explored taking over the project. City officials have said that they will watch developments on the site closely and have not moved to enforce the previous fill-in order.
The city recently issued an extension on the building permits for the project as work continues. The site is privately owned. Besides money spent on attorney fees, no city money has been spent on the project.
“We have extended CentrePointe’s building permits for 30 days and continue to monitor progress at the site,” said Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city.
Webb said that once the walls are complete, crews will finish the other concrete uprights for the garage. A ramp leading into the site has blocked construction on some of those uprights. That’s why those pilings will have to wait until the interior walls are completed. Once the uprights are completed, the floors of the garage will be added, Webb said.