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[Lexington] Encourage infill development downtown...

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'Fabulous' neighborhoods, but downtown needs work

Nice word of the use 'fabulous'. I wonder if they used this after a nice report was released that stated Lexington was one of the top 10 cities in the U.S. for gays and lesbians ;)

Key --

1. The modern buildings of the 1970s and 1980s (e.g. Radisson) have mostly been bland and generic. The exteriors are cheap and not decorative, and their street fronts are empty.

2. "Preserve the historic fabric!"

3. Typical rate of appreciation of houses are 3%... in the historic neighborhoods around Lexington, it is 4-7%.

4. Any positive character comes mostly from historic buildings.

Article information: "'Fabulous' neighborhoods, but downtown needs work, By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader [Lexington], Sat, Mar. 17, 2007"

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Newberry wants infill land bank

Notes --

1. Mayor Jim Newberry has earmarked $2 million in the proposed city budget for a land bank. The proposed bank would enable the city to buy land for infill and redevelopment. The money would be used to by individual parcels of land and collect larger tracts that would be more attractive to developers. It could also be used for affordable housing by city and non-profit organizations. The initiative would not be necessarily limited to downtown -- just inside the urban service area.

1a. The idea is that once you spend money to acquire property, you will later sell it and generate money back into the fund.

1b. The idea was pitched to ~100 developers, real estate agents and architects that were at the Downtown Spring Expo 2007 -- an event designed to explore opportunities and challenges for the downtown real-estate market.

1c. Some of the suggestions at the expo included infill (obviously), making Vine Street two-way, burying the utility lines and reconstructing sidewalks and curbs.

2. The council still has to approve of the budget plan. One administrator for the new land bank could be the Downtown Development Authority who considers the land bank a "very exciting prospect for Lexington."

3. The program is similar to the successful Purchase of Development Rights program, which purchases development rights from property owners to preserve rural lands. That program is receiving $2 million for this budget.

Article information: "Newberry wants infill land bank, By Beverly Fortune, Herald-Leader, May 24, 2007"

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