Business owners watch, wait as workers prepare for CentrePointe work

For five years plans to build a high-rise hotel and office space in downtown Lexington have started and stopped.

Sunday construction crews started preparing the two acre lot once again for the construction of the CentrePointe development.

As crews set up concrete barriers to block off the CentrePointe lot, business owners, such as Pat Gerhard, questioned if the development will finally be brought to life.

"There have been so many conversations I just put it out of my mind, I didn't think about it. I'm still skeptical because it has been sitting there as a grassy area for so long," she said.

Dudley Webb, the developer of the project, says they will start by building a three story underground parking garage.

Webb says the garage should be finished by the spring and the office buildings and the hotel should be completed by September of 2015.

"Are you going to miss the green space?” Mark Barber asked downtown resident Melena Van Arsdall. “Just a little, just a little," she said."

Some business owners worry the closed sidewalks, the end to curb side parking on the block, traffic detours and blasting will keep customers away.

Gerhard thinks it's worth it - if it means progress.

"Sometimes you just have to make little sacrifices," Gerhard said.

She sees the construction of the projects as short-term and says in the long run the development will attract more people downtown, which would mean more customers in her coffee shop.

But she isn't betting on it yet. After waiting years to see it happen she says she just wants to see CentrePointe finally open.

Webb has agreed to pay the Urban County Council $4.4 million if construction doesn't start on the parking garage after the excavation.

Due to construction, Limestone Street's left turn lane for Main Street is now closed.

City officials say drivers will have to use Limestone's through and center turn lane instead.

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