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Start of CentrePointe construction brings mixed emotions

For five years plans to develop a mix of residences, office space and a high-rise hotel in downtown Lexington have been debated but until now not much has happened.

Construction crews blocked off the CentrePointe lot with concrete blocks Sunday and Monday they started taking down street lights to make way for the development.

Nearby business owners say they're torn because they want to see progress but they also love the grassy area.

Isaac Benson, the assistant manager of Alfalfa, a Main Street restaurant across the street from the CentrePointe lot doesn't want to see the green space go. But he does want the extra customers that he says the project will bring downtown.

"Alfalfa and a lot of other local businesses will theoretically will do better because there will be more people coming downtown, more retail coming downtown, which is better for a thriving, local city center," he said.

Because the project has had quite a few stops and starts over the past five years the developer has agreed to pay the Urban County Council $4.4 million if construction doesn't start on the parking garage after the excavation.

Dudley Webb, the developer, says the parking garage should be finished by spring. The hotel and office space should be completed by September 2015.

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