Changing The Face Of Downtown Lexington

Lexington's skyline may be in for a major change.

Tuesday morning, the Webb Company unveiled its plans for a new development downtown.

The 40 story hotel would be built on the block from Limestone to Upper, between Main and Vine Streets.

The developer says the hotel would include space for retailers and restaurants. It would include an underground parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. It is expected the new complex would bring about 920 on-site jobs.

In all, it would cost about 250 million dollars for the project, which would make it the most expensive building in Lexington.

Developers say to help pay for it, they'll rely on TIF, tax increment financing. That funding will go to pay for public infrastructure like sidewalks and sewers.

If it is built, businesses such as The Dame, Mia's, Busters and others would have to move to make room for the tower. Developers say those buildings cannot be saved because they'll have to totally excavate the area.

Maribeth Tolson, co-owner of Mia's says she would like to be given a spot in the new development.

"I think it's only fair for those of us who have been here already if they are going to put retail and restaurants in the new development," Toloson said.

Tolson says the city has said it would work with her to relocate, but she says no matter what Mia's will remain downtown.

If approved, developers say they hope to break ground in August and would like to have the project finished in time for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

We'll have much more on this story coming up on 27 NEWSFIRST at five.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Michael Location: Lexington on Aug 18, 2008 at 08:50 PM
    I think that it is so funny how people are complaining about how ugly this building is going to be. The funny thing is, if you drive downtown you will see at least 10 to 15 buildings that are empty and havent been used in over 30 years. These buildings are falling apart and there is no parking anywhere in a mile radius. There are people out there saying that we should restore these buildings to new. The cost to restore these buildings would far exceed the cost of buiding a state of the art skyscraper. LEXINGTON....welcome change!! Create JOBS!!
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Mar 8, 2008 at 11:15 PM
    Has anybody noticed that the building design has some particularly *ahem* MASCULINE characteristic? Can we get Christo to wrap it in pink plastic?
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Mar 7, 2008 at 12:55 PM
    To Concerned Citizen - "Isn't a great deal of downtown just barely above the water table anyway? And didn't Vine Street used to be Water Street because of a creek (that still runs under downtown)?" This being said, should we bulldoze the entire downtown area as it is apparently, by your estimation, unsuitable for development? By the way, the water table fluctuates with seasonal and weather related variations. It is a moving target. There are a select group of people called "engineers" that are trained to deal with these matters. Maybe you've heard of them?
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Mar 7, 2008 at 08:03 AM
    Historic sometimes = dilapidated, unfit for habitation. Rip 'em down.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2008 at 06:44 AM
    These comments are funny! Andy, how does building a skyscraper preserve horse farms? People buying detached single family houses do not want to live in high rise condos. And do you really believe horse farms are being sold to developers? Farms yes, but not horse farms. The only people that can afford to buy horse farms are other horse farm owners. Why do you think there is so much out of state and international ownership of these horse farms? And Roger, if you want this block gone because you don't like to look at it, what about any other "old" buildings on your way to work? Should they come down too since they don't fit in to your aesthetic? Just get your windows tinted darker so you don't have to see them. And to anybody that says the buildings are not historic, how do you know? Have you researched their history? What makes you the experts? Get over yourselves. The proposed design is unimaginative and disappointing, bottom line.
  • by Amos Location: LexVegas on Mar 7, 2008 at 06:32 AM
    Diane, the City isn't paying for this. Webb Brothers are. It's not the Webb Brothers responsiblity to keep up our storm and sanitary sewer system other than what their building affects...
  • by Get r done on Mar 7, 2008 at 02:22 AM
    I guess roof tops would look bad from your big blue trash can tower- GET R DONE
  • by Eric Location: Lexington on Mar 6, 2008 at 03:16 PM
    It's truly amazing, yet not surprising to see how so many comments are made by closed minded individuals who have no vision or imagination. Many of you just want to complain, be complacent, and enjoy the status quo. You remind me of the neighbors in my homeowners association who only complain but never offer solutions or even participate when topics are being discussed. Things happen because words are followed by action, not by words alone. So if you don't like what is happening then take some action instead of watching the rest of the world make decisions for you, and that is exactly what happens everyday. I am also a patron of this area and enjoy the street life, but why can't it move somewhere else downtown? Did you hear that the owner's are fine with another location? The block is dirty and dilapitated and needs to be restored. Do you really think these building will last forever? Things change everyday and it is certainly time for a change in Lexington!
  • by Rob Location: Lexington on Mar 6, 2008 at 02:11 PM
    Unfornuately,Roger is right.This block of downtown is in very bad shape structurally.Maybe this will give the Dame an option of building something bigger downtown that they will be able to fit a couple thousand in instead of a few hundred.The Dame could outsell Rupp on any night and would be glad for them to expand!!!
  • by Early Cuyler Location: Squidville on Mar 6, 2008 at 10:00 AM
    So Roger, you work in the building that looks like a kitchen trash can, huh? I like the way you "look down" on Downtown. You sound like you want to be part of the Lexington elite. Sorry buddy, they won't let you in. Now get back to your cubicle and get to work & stop dreaming. lol

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