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Phoenix Garage to be demolished, replaced with parking lot

A downtown Lexington garage, that city officials call unsafe, will be torn down.

City officials announced Wednesday afternoon that the Phoenix Garage, on Vine Street, will be demolished, and replaced with a surface parking lot.

"Four structural engineering firms have examined this garage and all have come to the same conclusion: leaving the garage open is dangerous for anyone who parks there or uses the sidewalks surrounding it," Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said. "I have to confess, it's a lot better announcing a new structure going up, than taking one down. But sometimes taking one down is the best business decision, especially when it's based fully on sound financial and safety reasons."

City officials say repair costs to the garage could cost $500,000, and would only add 2-3 years to the life of the garage. They say replacing the Phoenix Garage with a new garage would cost $1,010,000.

The concrete panel fell to the sidewalk below back in May. The garage was closed then, but later reopened.

The city closed the garage again in early October, saying more evaluations were needed.

City officials say demolition of the Phoenix Garage is expected to begin in December, and take around three months to complete. The cost of demolition is expected to cost between $150,000 and $280,000.

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