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[Lexington] New development updates

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1. CenterCourt: The construction of all five floors is progressing nicely and most of the framework has been completed. The facade, comprised of brick and brown-decorative block, is being installed along Upper Street and glass was being installed Monday. I'll grab some photographs tommorrow.

2. 500's on the Main: The facade is well under construction and is coming long at a fast pace.

3. Main+Rose: Ground work is still underway, with the rear retaining wall under construction.

4. Kimball House project: Wow, they are s-l-o-w with this project, it seems. Maybe thats because its on my daily walk, but I did notice that they have some rear cinder-block emergency stairwells constructed in the rear. Some new piping has been installed visible on the outside, for which I presume would be connected to the furnaces.

5. Along S. Broadway: (Can't remember name at the moment) Demolition is almost complete on the old tobacco warehouses. The old B&O Freight Depot I surmise is next.

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5. Along S. Broadway: (Can't remember name at the moment) Demolition is almost complete on the old tobacco warehouses. The old B&O Freight Depot I surmise is next.
Do you know what will be built in that space?

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South Broadway is shaping up to be a very dense and active urban blvd.

Shelbourne Plaza (I believe that's the project mentioned above) will be 7 floors and add 200 residential units to the area as well as ground floor retail.

I saw in the "active plans" (linked in another thread) that something called Mark Acre Properties is planning a 6 story mixed use (ground level retail, residential above) building to encompass that whole block. There's no word yet about how many units or the design. The project financed sign is a good indicator that the development is making progress.

The Newtown Pike Extension will intersect with S. Broadway just past Shelbourne Plaza.

Mazurka (partners in the 500's on Main) have been toying with the idea for an arts and entertainment district in the area (as mentioned in an issue of Business Lexington this past spring.)

An apartment complex just south of the railroad viaduct opened last fall (i think it was last fall) and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 850 people living there.

CenterCourt, University Lofts, South Hill Station, and all the townhomes going up in South Hill should add patrons and foot traffic to the ground floor retail on Broadway and the S. Limestone retail.

Hopefully the momentum will continue to build!

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South Broadway is shaping up to be a very dense and active urban blvd.

Shelbourne Plaza (I believe that's the project mentioned above) will be 7 floors and add 200 residential units to the area as well as ground floor retail.

I saw in the "active plans" (linked in another thread) that something called Mark Acre Properties is planning a 6 story mixed use (ground level retail, residential above) building to encompass that whole block. There's no word yet about how many units or the design. The project financed sign is a good indicator that the development is making progress.

The Newtown Pike Extension will intersect with S. Broadway just past Shelbourne Plaza.

Mazurka (partners in the 500's on Main) have been toying with the idea for an arts and entertainment district in the area (as mentioned in an issue of Business Lexington this past spring.)

An apartment complex just south of the railroad viaduct opened last fall (i think it was last fall) and has somewhere in the neighborhood of 850 people living there.

CenterCourt, University Lofts, South Hill Station, and all the townhomes going up in South Hill should add patrons and foot traffic to the ground floor retail on Broadway and the S. Limestone retail.

Hopefully the momentum will continue to build!

Thanks!!

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1. CenterCourt: Windows are being installed (they are all one-piece units! cheap...). Something in the back, constructed in all steel in comparison to the wood-frame construction of CenterCourt, is being constructed. Is this "Phase II"?

2. 500's on the Main: The exterior is all but being completed. Windows IIRC will be installed next week. The interior shelling has been completed as well.

3. Main+Rose: Retaining wall is all but complete.

4. Kimball House project: They are doing gutting on the interior now - about time :)

5. Along S. Broadway: Ground prep work is being conducted right now. The old B&O Freight Depot has yet to be demolished, so I'll be down there this evening taking photos.

6. Mark III Lofts: (Is this the right name?) This development at Woodland and High is undergoing ground prep work.

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1. CenterCourt: Windows are being installed (they are all one-piece units! cheap...). Something in the back, constructed in all steel in comparison to the wood-frame construction of CenterCourt, is being constructed. Is this "Phase II"?

2. 500's on the Main: The exterior is all but being completed. Windows IIRC will be installed next week. The interior shelling has been completed as well.

3. Main+Rose: Retaining wall is all but complete.

4. Kimball House project: They are doing gutting on the interior now - about time :)

5. Along S. Broadway: Ground prep work is being conducted right now. The old B&O Freight Depot has yet to be demolished, so I'll be down there this evening taking photos.

6. Mark III Lofts: (Is this the right name?) This development at Woodland and High is undergoing ground prep work.

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I was back in Lexington for the first time in 3 years. Lexington has a lot of exciting stuff going on. I was particularly impressed with the development that has occured (and still ongoing) in the South Hill district. Also, the Kimball House project will do wonders to that block of South Limestone and make a nice connection to campus from downtown. I lived in that area while I was in college and it has been improved vastly. My trip back really made me miss Lexington. One day I may end up back there.

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I love this area, but the downtown is still a bit lacking. They need more infill projects, since its looking unlikely that the urban service boundary will be expanding - due to a huge glut in housing stock here. It's decreased well over 25% in the past few months alone.

Here is a status update:

Main+Rose: Steel superstructure is going up quite fast. I was amazed that within a period of two weeks (I was going on recalled memories the last post), they managed to get a lot of steel framing done!

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Did a walk-by of that new "envrionmentally friendly" eco-building that will be condos on the 500 block of W. Main today. Structure is actually going up quite quickly. I cna't remember the name offhand.

Now if they can do something about the Lexington Center parking lot...

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Center Court: Two new banners have been installed, one advertising "A" if the property is available, and "S" if it is sold. They are plastered on the windows of their respective units. The other is announcing a Starbucks "coming soon." Moe's Southwest Grill has also been announced, along with Nucci

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1. CenterCourt: The remaining facade elements are being installed on Phase I. Construction is on-going on the five-level parking structure in the rear, but all structural elements are in place.

2. 500's on the Main: Windows are currently being installed on the very top floors, and interior work is ongoing.

3. Main+Rose: All structural steel is installed (and quite fast too!). Just the steel going up gives a sense of how much depth the new complex has. It will add a lot of new residents to downtown Lexington, even without the additional three-levels!

4. Kimball House project: The buildings were painted over in white, even over some windows. The windows will be replaced. Interior work is ongoing, and some roof awning are being demolished and rebuilt with new wood. The rear features new condos with garages and work is progressing nicely. Sewer work is on-going along Upper Street, as its been closed for over a week.

5. Along S. Broadway: Ground prep work is being conducted right now. Grading has begun and I expect stablisation to begin next month.

6. Mark III Lofts: Ground stablisation and prep work has been completed. Some structural elements are being prepared.

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7. Nunn Building Lofts: Renovation continues on the historical structure with interior gutting appearing to be complete. The steel structure is being erected adjacent, facing E. Short Street next to the courthouse.

8. ARTEK Lofts: Work continues. The historic white house was demolished. I am unsure what happened to this (I believe a fire ripped through this a while back - pre-ARTEK) and was originally going to be salavaged as a new focal point, but was probably too far gone.

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I haven't done this in a while and a lot has changed...

1. CenterCourt: The parking garage has been completed. Most of the main building is complete, and interior work is ongoing. The exterior panels have been installed, landscaping is now ongoing, and work on Firehouse Subs and Starbucks continue.

2. 500's on the Main: The five story building is all but complete on the exterior. Work is ongoing on the interior, and a sign now states they are selling for Phase II since Phase I is all sold out essentially. A pull-in has also been constructed along W. Main for drop-offs and possibly for a future bus stop.

3. Main+Rose: All structural steel is installed and work on the exterior is ongoing. Some brick has been laid, especially in the rear, while in the front, prep-work for the panels/brick is ongoing. It's a tremendous improvement over the parking lot that was there! Most units have been sold for this.

4. Kimball House project: The awnings over the front porches have been replaced with beautiful replacements. Not your everyday Lowe's or Home Depot awnings at that -- but ones with great detail. The houses along S. Limestone are further along in renovations, with the interior now being paid attention after the roof was essentially replaced. Houses along S. Upper are just beginning their renovations, which include new window casings, porches and the like. The interior condos feature a red brick facade, which I assume will be painted over to match the rest of the project -- which will have varying pastel colors.

5. Shelbourne Plaza: Work will begin this fall -- see new article for more information.

6. Mark Lofts: The first floor work is ongoing, and construction is beginning on the upper levels.

7. Nunn Building Lofts: Renovation continues on the historical structure, and the steel superstructure is being erected on the new addition. Most units have been sold for this.

8. ARTEK Lofts: Work continues on the construction of the lofts, and a new structure is being erected for new lofts in place of the white house.

9. Biological Pharmaceutical Complex Building: Ground breaking was in April but no work has begun yet. It is expected to begin in late May.

10. Patient Care Facility Parking Garage: Work is ongoing, and it is now up to the third floor out of seven.

11. Student Health Facility: The steel superstructure is being constructed at a fast pace in the bit of triangle between the Charles T. Wethington, Jr. Building and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. The facade that faces S. Limestone on the Wethington Jr. Building might be removed since the Student Health Facility will adjoin it, but I'm unsure if they are leaving any space in between. At any rate, the Wethington Jr. Building was only constructed several years ago!

12. Albert B. Chandler Hospital: Ground work is now beginning for the new patient towers and hospital. A very large chunk between the existing hospital and the Ag Building has been fenced off, and demolition of the sidewalks and streets have begun.

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New development map

To make it easier to find the new developments, I've posted them on Google Maps! A few of the recently completed projects are listed as well.

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Here is something interesting. A while back, I made the mention that the lot across from CenterCourt had a new sign proclaiming that the two parking lots and the former church were going to become a "multi level parking deck". You can see the lot highlighted in light blue.

Now, a Cane's Chicken Fingers is coming to the site. I'm unsure if this will be a mixed-use development, or if it will be a parking garage with retail at the base, or what, but this looks to be exciting!

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'NBC Nightly News' to cover downtown

NBC Nightly News will be in Lexington Friday to do a segment on the city's downtown revitalization. The Lexington Downtown Development Authority received a call from Nightly News reporters who wanted to know "what was going on downtown". It was replied with, "We had a half-billion dollars in projects going on. Some are finished, some in progress."

The projects, he stated, "are targeting young professionals and baby boomers." In reply, NBC News stated, "We're coming."

Article information: "'NBC Nightly News' to cover downtown, Herald Leader, May 10, 2007"

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Lexington, Kentucky featured on NBC Nightly News (~20:00). 20 new downtown development projects, located close to activity centers, are catering to the baby boomers and empty nesters.

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I know that Main+Rose will be getting a small urban grocery store; I wonder if that influenced the decision at 500's on the Main to amend their plat. Or if it was Shelbourne Plaza receiving a full-sized grocery store (although that won't open for years).

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1. CenterCourt: The parking garage is open and the main building is complete. Starbucks and Firehouse Subs are now open, along with South Hill Eye Care. I know that a desert dining establishment was set to open...

2. 500's on the Main: The five story building is complete on the exterior. Interior work is finishing up except for the first floors, where they are being shelled out. An urban grocery store, once rumored to be Trader Joe's, will now be a jazz venue supposedly.

3. Main+Rose: Brick is still being laid! All structural steel has been finished at least.

4. Kimball House project: The awnings over the front porches have been replaced with tasteful replacements, and interior renovations are continuing. The rear features the new condos and they are coming along quite nicely -- all the brickwork appears to be done. The houses along S. Upper are being gutted and renovated, and some are sporting some nice new siding and porch treatments.

5. Shelbourne Plaza: Work will begin this fall.

6. Mark Lofts: The first floor's concrete shell is complete, and structural steel for the upper three floors is being placed.

7. Nunn Building Lofts: Renovation continues on the historical structure, and the steel superstructure is nearing the 75% mark new addition. Most units have been sold for this.

8. ARTEK Lofts: Work continues on the construction of the lofts, and a new structure is being erected for new lofts in place of the white house.

9. Biological Pharmaceutical Complex Building: Fencing has been installed around the new footprint, and a backhoe is in place to tear out the parking lot.

10. Patient Care Facility Parking Garage: Work is ongoing, and it is now up to the fourth floor.

11. Student Health Facility: The steel superstructure is being constructed at a fast pace in the bit of triangle between the Charles T. Wethington, Jr. Building and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. One lane of S. Limestone (inbound) is blocked at night to allow structural steel to be hoisted up and installed.

12. Albert B. Chandler Hospital: Groundbreaking was held Friday (IIRC) and a construction trailer is now on site.

Exciting stuff! Driving by UK is like driving in China :D

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Urban housing lures variety of buyers

By Jim Jordan, Herald-Leader [Lexington], July 2, 2007

Young professionals are leading the charge to urban living -- followed by empty nesters and retirees, college students, and out-of-town residents buying a second home and investors who might lease units to those who do not want to buy. Families with children are typically not buyers of the new projects. Many are seeking freedom from yard chores, commuting, and the freedom to "lock and leave." The more than a dozen condominium and loft apartment developments are bringing hundreds of new residents to the downtown.

Most of the new downtown apartments and condos are small -- 500 to 2,200 sq. ft., and have only one or two bedrooms with no play areas. Prices range from $160,000 to $750,000. Exceptions include the proposed 26-unit Blackhorse at Gratz Park, where at least one unit would have up to 3,025 feet, with prices ranging from $585,000 to $1.9 million. The project is in "limbo" currently due to the real estate market. Developers of other, less expensive projects, have said that 50 to 80% of their units are sold, and construction is going at "full speed" in what has been called a "demographic perfect storm." The two largest population segments "in the history of the country" include the 80 million baby-boomers and 80 million empty nesters -- the two leading buyers of condos. One developer has went as far to say that there is a "seismic shift in housing patterns from the suburbs to downtown" and that the new developments is "basically the tip of the iceberg."

Some examples of people moving in include --

* Meggan Faulkner, who travels a lot, enjoys the 500s on the Main -- "...the last thing I want to do on weekends is clean a big three-bedroom house." She recently moved from the suburbs of Lexington to the new development. Her biggest surprise came when she got home on a Thursday and took an off-day on Friday. When she got into her car on Monday, she realized it hadn't moved all weekend -- "It was the weirdest feeling."

* Bill Coffman will transition from a 6,500 sq. ft. house on 2 acres in Jessamine County to a 2,200 sq. ft. condo at Main+Rose, which is expected to open in November. They will receive "two valuable parking spaces downtown", and will be able to walk to restaurants and other places without worrying about a house.

* Tom Stern can't wait to move into Main+Rose. He has put his suburban Hamburg townhouse up for sale and will be relocating to "have everything right in front of me."

Another group moving downtown appreciates old and historic buildings, such as the 86-unit University Lofts and the 66-unit South Hill Station Lofts, both on Bolivar Street, and the 42-unit Lorillard Lofts on Price Road. Many appreciate the rough, raw experience in the exposed buildings. There are concrete floors, 15-18 ft. ceilings, and all exposed beams and conduit. The Nunn Building Lofts combines the renovation of a circa 1916 building and a new wing of condos.

According to developer Robin Schneider, there are two downtowns, each with their own collection of condo projects. Those near East Main Street, like the Nunn Building Lofts and Main+Rose, are close to the city's central business district and government center. Those on West Main, including 500s on the Main, are close to the entertainment district, including the Lexington Center and the Opera House. But the downtown is so small that it is all walkable.

Schneider also states that there are so many condos going up in a city that was slow or reluctant to even embrace the concept. At one point, downtown living was regarded for only low-income people, but it has "turned upside down from years past."

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Plenty of space for business, too

By Karla Ward, Herald-Leader [Lexington], July 2, 2007

There will be plenty of new businesses in Lexington, as a result of the new mixed-use projects springing up in Lexington.

* A high-end personal training franchise, Fitness Together, will be part of The Mark Lofts at Woodland Park at Woodland and East High. It is a 340-location chain that offers a personal trainer in a private suite by appointment.

* Firehouse Subs and Starbucks is open at CenterCourt, at S. Upper and Bolivar, and will soon feature Moe's Southwest Grill and South Hill Eye Care. A barber shop and clothing+accessories store will open soon as well. One other spot at CenterCourt is available, and three businesses are vying for the spot.

* Main+Rose, whose inspiration came from the Market Common, Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia,has 25,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 120 parking spaces for customers. The Market Common project attracted retailers such as Pottery Barn, The Container Store, Imaginarium, and Crate & Barrel; Main+Rose's focus is on convenience-oriented retail, such as an outdoor cafe. The developers are looking at vendors that can bring in a steady traffic flow during all hours of the day.

* Shelbourne Plaza on S. Broadway will have 80,000 sq. ft. for businesses. It will include a grocery store and several upscale restaurants.

* At 500s on the Main, the project can accommodate two or three bigger businesses, or six or seven smaller ones in the 12,000 sq. ft. available.

* at Trinity Flats, which could break ground this summer, there will be 50,000 to 60,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space overlooking Throughbred Park.

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Urban housing lures variety of buyers

By Jim Jordan, Herald-Leader [Lexington], July 2, 2007

Young professionals are leading the charge to urban living -- followed by empty nesters and retirees, college students, and out-of-town residents buying a second home and investors who might lease units to those who do not want to buy. Families with children are typically not buyers of the new projects. Many are seeking freedom from yard chores, commuting, and the freedom to "lock and leave." The more than a dozen condominium and loft apartment developments are bringing hundreds of new residents to the downtown.

Most of the new downtown apartments and condos are small -- 500 to 2,200 sq. ft., and have only one or two bedrooms with no play areas. Prices range from $160,000 to $750,000.

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