CentrePointe developer, city decide next step for financing

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington city leaders say they will consider another financing option for the CentrePointe project's underground parking garage.

"The city is being asked to consider participation in a new form that we had not agreed to before," said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

Developer Dudley Webb had asked for $30-million in bonds from the state to help finish the garage. The bonds would have come from the Kentucky Economic Development Authority or KEDFA.

"The state has taken a different view, so we are back to the city option," said Darby Turner, Webb's attorney.

In a letter to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, the state's top economic development official said the state should not be the one issuing the bonds over the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

"We recognize the value of this project, but cannot determine any financial or economic development benefit that will be gained by KEDFA, rather than LFUCG, being issuer of these bonds," wrote Larry Hayes, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

The mayor's office told WKYT that Webb's attorney and the city's development officer met Thursday afternoon. Both sides agreed that the developer will now apply for that $30-million in bonds from the city.

Developers say work is still going on and will continue no matter what the council decides.

It'll be somewhere between a week and month before a bond proposal is ready for review.

In addition to a 12-story apartment building, plans call for an office tower, hotel and retail space.

It's been six years since the CentrePointe block was demolished. Construction on the estimated $393.9 project started in December 2013.

Webb says the long-awaited structure should be open in 2016.

"None of us think that we are the perfect downtown until that block has something in it," said Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.

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