CentrePointe Development is a proposed development in downtown Lexington, Kentucky that would be built on the existing historic "Woolworth" block located between South Limestone, Main Street, Upper Street, and Vine Street. The proposed development would feature a 35 plus story high rise hotel, 26,000 square feet of retail space, 77 condominiums, and a 10,000 square foot restaurant. The proposed design would require the demolition of 14 structures. 
CentrePointe is being developed by The Webb Companies. Construction is being planned for mid-August 2008 and is planned on being completed in time for the World Equestrian Games in 2010. The project has a projected cost of $250 million dollars.
The development has been controversial because of its use of public financing, lack of public support, and the dramatic changes it will bring to the Lexington skyline and nightlife.
In order to fullfill the $250 million cost of the project, CentrePointe, LLC (a company established by Dudley Webb for the purpose of developing CentrePointe) is seeking a $70 million contribution from the city of Lexington.  Webb insists that an investment by the city is crucial to the success of the project. The $70 million subsidy would utilize Tax Increment Funding (TIF). TIF was introduced by the Kentucky General Assembly in House BIll 549 in 2007 and empowers local governments to seek public funding for local development areas.   CentrePointe would be the first project in downtown Lexington to make use of this legislation.
It is the developer's hope that CentrePointe will be much more inviting to the public than the current buildings on the block that contain an "an air of deterioration" and possess a "compromised architectural character".  The developers anticipate creating 900 jobs for Lexington with the CentrePointe project. Proponents of the project view this as the last chance to renovate an entire block in Lexington and serve as a catalyst for future renovations in the core of downtown Lexington.  A feasibility study for the development was completed by C.H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. in February 2008. The study determined the project to be feasible in the Lexington market as CentrePointe would fullfill the need for a luxury quality hotel, supply Class A office space, bring jobs to the greater Lexington area, and make significant contributions to the Commonwealth both fiscally and economically. 
A major concern about the development expressed by Lexington vice-mayor, Jim Gray, is whether Lexington will reap the benefits of subsidizing CentrePointe with taxpayer money. The proposed plan features very little input from the community that would be funding the project. Preserve Lexington, a local non-profit organization, advocates the inclusion of ideas from the public and has hosted forums at the Kentucky Theater as well as funraisers such as "Save Our Blcok" to generate community discussion for the project. Preserve Lexington advocates including some of the existing 14 historic structures in the development of the block.
Another concern is the preservation of the downtown Lexington aesthetic. If built, CentrePointe will be at least 35 stories tall thus putting it out of scale with the existing Lexington skyline. The base of the structure would remain at 4 stories tall in order to be to scale with the immediately surrounding buildings. In a recent
It is also debated that the demolition of the 14 buildings on the proposed Main Street block will result in adverse effects on the downtown entertainment industry. Local bars, restaurants, and music venues such as The Dame, Mia's, and Buster's comprise a fair portion of nightlife venues in downtown Lexington. Dudley Webb amended the plans for CentrePointe to include a music venue however he stated that none of the existing venues would be featured in the CentrePointe development.
The most recent revisions to the Webb Company's designs for the block will be presented to the Courthouse Area Design Review Board on June 25, 2008.
- The Dame
- Rite Aid
Comparable Developments in Other Cities
Frost Bank Tower
In 2003, Austin, Texas experienced a similar development situation. A proposed 33 story skyscraper was vehemently opposed by the city's creative class. The concern with the skyscraper, Frost Bank Tower, was that the four walls of the massive structure would not engage the city through providing accessible retail and restaurants at the street level. When completed however, the building featured several retail and dining options that all but hid the view of the large skyscraper from the street level. Despite the concern raised over the building, The Frost Bank Tower was voted best new building in Austin for five consecutive years. 
- What Will City Get For CentrePointe Subsidy? accessed June 18, 2008
- Kentucky General Assembly and Legislative Update accessed June 18, 2008
- House Bill 549/GA accessed June 18, 2008
- Webbs Tweak CentrePointe Design accessed June 18, 2008
- Developers Address CentrePointe Projects Architectural Changes accessed June 18, 2008
- CentrePointe Feasibility Study accessed June 19, 2008
- cptlex.com accessed June, 19, 2008
- An Austin Perspective On CentrePointe