It appears construction on a major downtown development in Lexington will start within the next week or so. Since, before the recession, the multi-million dollar Centre Point project has been on hold. Financing for the office-retail and residential high rise has been the sticking point. Finance Commissioner Bill Omara Tuesday told council member Steve Kay financial support for the project now appears solid.
“I ask this question because it’s been something that has been in public discussion and it would be good in this public setting some clarity about that, so commissioner?” asked Kay. “Yes council member, we have reviewed their financing plan and are satisfied that it’s in place,” responded Omara. “That’s all I needed to hear,” said Kay. Concrete barriers could go up later this week and bulldozers are expected shortly there-after. Construction crews will first dig a 34 foot deep hole for an underground garage. The city has received a four million dollar guarantee from developer Dudley Webb that ensures, if the project's cancelled, the site will be restored to its current state. “I think there’s been discussions and concern about it before, digging a hole as deep as we were, 34 feet down through in the center of downtown that they wanted to be sure that urban landscape was protected and we had no problem with that. We’re in agreement with that,” said Webb. Mayor Jim Gray believes the surety agreement is important to move forward with this project.... “Now my job is to assure job creation on the one hand, but also to protect the city. So, say, for whatever reason the project is not completed, then this agreement and the security that it provides, well, we would be able to restore the block to its current condition and that is very significant,” said Gray. Developer Dudley Webb says financing for the multi-million dollar project is solid. He says the retail-office-residential complex should be complete by the end of 20-15.