The solution to the enigma of the Rosenberg block is to stop thinking of the historic downtown area as the center of office space in Fayette County. Multistory office buildings already exist in areas inside and outside New Circle Road.
The whole idea of downtown as a growing city whose buildings must logically get bigger has to be given up, because the central area is not big enough to redevelop that way. Every downtown redevelopment project of this type (office space on top of office space) — Festival Market, Lexington Center, Victorian Square — has disappointed.
CentrePointe is actually a big success by failing before it’s even built. Eight long years have not been for nothing.
The city should purchase the block and designate the central downtown area — Broadway to Midland, Vine to Short — as an historic area, which must be developed to promote crowds and pedestrians. Opportunities to increase green space will be taken, and public recreational facilities will be arranged downtown.
Lexington has tried empty space for eight years. Try this for four, and the property will be valued at more than CentrePointe would ever have been worth.