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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #1
krosejr
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Lexington Development News

From the Lexington Herald-Leader
This is a shame!
Posted on Wed, Feb. 16, 2005
Proposed condos cut to 7 floors
Neighbors in historic district praise reduction
By John Stamper
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
A condominium complex proposed for a historic downtown neighborhood got a buzz cut last night, dropping from the 15 floors proposed in September to seven.
Many residents of the Historic South Hill neighborhood praised the height reduction during a meeting of the Urban County Board of Architectural Review, saying they now feel more comfortable with the project proposed by Gameday Centers LLC of Atlanta.
"This is a vast improvement," said Dan Terrel, who is vice president of the Historic South Hill neighborhood association.
The neighborhood group's president, Jack Ballard, is also owner of the proposed development site.
Positioned a bounce pass away from Rupp Arena at the southeast corner of Broadway and High Street, the 119-unit project is expected to provide luxury living space for "those who live for the game."
The 1.3-acre lot is now home to a vacant lot, a historic home and a one-story office building. The historic home at 316 West High Street, built in 1808 and now used as office space, will be preserved as a fitness center and conference facility. The one-story office building will be demolished.
The latest plans for the proposed development call for 8,000 square feet of first-floor retail space, topped by a two-story parking garage and four stories of residential space.
Those plans were unveiled last night after Ballard withdrew a set of drawings that called for an 11-story structure, which the Board of Architectural Review was set to vote on.
All new buildings and modifications to existing buildings within the city's historic districts must receive the five-member Board of Architectural Review's blessing. The board is now expected to vote on the new proposal at its March 15 meeting.
Ballard also asked for a postponement of a separate but related proposal to remove the project site from the South Hill Historic District, an action that would eliminate any limits on the building's height.
As part of the historic district, the new development must be on a similar scale with adjacent neighbors. The city's historic preservation office interprets that requirement to mean that any new building must be similar in size to the two and three-story residences that sit south of the development site.
However, as a property on the historic district's edge, Ballard has argued that high rise buildings along the north side of High Street and the West side of Broadway should be considered when deciding an appropriate height for the condo complex.
Although height had been the development's major stumbling block, some board members still expressed reservations about the latest proposal. Most notably, they questioned why the building was planned to extend all the way to the sidewalk's edge. Most other properties along the south side of High Street are set back about 35 feet from the sidewalk.
"I'm concerned about how the structure relates to the street," said board member Terry Hainley, who suggested he would support raising the building's height by one floor if architects would move the structure away from the street.

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Old February 17th, 2005, 03:00 PM   #2
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Lexington Airport

Posted on Thu, Feb. 17, 2005
Sisters end fight to keep airport off historic farm
RUNWAY EXPANSION WILL USE 14 ACRES

By Brandon Ortiz
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
Five sisters have given up their longtime fight to keep about 14 acres of historic Stony Point Farm, which Blue Grass Airport will now use for an expansion of the primary runway's safety area.
The final sale price has not been determined, but the farm's owners have agreed to drop their claims that the airport does not have the right to take the land in a condemnation case in Fayette Circuit Court, said Tom Halbleib, an airport attorney. In exchange, the airport will pay about $200,000 to four of the sisters for the land.
Frances Lee McKinney, the only sister who lives on the land, has indicated that she might ask a jury to determine her share, Halbleib said. She owns 6.2 percent of the property. Court-appointed appraisers valued the land at $150,000 last summer.
The agreement means that the airport could own the land by May, airport officials said.
"From a big-picture perspective, this is good for the community," Halbleib said. "It allows this project to proceed."
Attorneys for the McKinney sisters either declined to comment yesterday or did not return phone calls.
The settlement ended 20 years of feuding between the airport and the McKinneys. In 1985, the airport wanted to take much more land for a proposed 6,000-foot parallel runway, a plan that eventually stalled. More controversy erupted in the 1990s over other runway proposals.
The family had vowed to fight expansion into its property from the outset.
"This is devastating for the family," Frances McKinney told the Herald-Leader in 1985. "We'll fight to the end, we'll fight on the beaches with bottles, we'll do whatever we have to do to protect our farm."
As part of the agreement, the airport will build an access road reaching Stony Point Farm. Halbleib said the airport also will work with the family on landscaping to reduce the effect of a 328-foot long retaining wall on the scenic area.
The airport has said it needs the land to expand the runway's safety areas to 600 feet at both ends and to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Airport officials said they had to acquire land south of the runway because they are boxed in to the north by Versailles Road and part of Keeneland Race Course, a National Historic Landmark.
The family, which trains thoroughbred horses at the farm, has said in court filings that the $35 million project will build on the only piece of flat land suitable for galloping and exercising horses on the 154-acre property.
The farm, built by Revolutionary War hero Capt. John Parker in 1790, is eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Old March 23rd, 2005, 09:15 PM   #3
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280-acre bequest set to become Hisle Park

IT'S THE BIGGEST PARCEL OF PRIVATE LAND EVER GIVEN TO CITY
By Michelle Ku
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
A picturesque piece of land in rural northeast Fayette County with rolling hills, large pastures and several ponds will soon become Lexington's newest community park.
And the city didn't have to pay a cent for the land.
That's because Robert E. Hisle and Anita E. O'Roark Hisle donated their 280-acre farm at 3601 Briar Hill Road to the city. The Hisles deeded the farm to the city in 1989 with the stipulation that they be allowed to live on it until their deaths.
Robert Hisle died in 1996 at age 88.
Anita Hisle died March 1. She was 92.
In honor of the Hisles and to memorialize their gift, the city plans to name the property Hisle Park.
At 280 acres, Hisle Park will be the second largest park in Fayette County. The largest is 660-acre Masterson Station Park.
The Hisles' donation is also the largest private land donation for a park that the city has ever received. The largest parkland donation came from the federal government in 1972, when it deeded Masterson Station Park to Fayette County.
The Hisle farm is valued at $790,000.
Everyone in Fayette County should be grateful to the Hisles, Mayor Teresa Isaac said earlier this month in a tribute to Anita Hisle.
"It is through the gifts of people like the Hisles that Lexington has been able to acquire land we could never afford to buy and to guarantee green space for generations of citizens to come," Isaac said.
The farm the Hisles donated had been in the family for several generations. It was a working farm where hay and tobacco were grown. It also had an apple orchard.
Robert Hisle, a native of Fayette County, was born on the farm. Robert Hisle married Anita O'Roark in 1936.
Anita O'Roark Hisle was born in Rutherford, N.J. She grew up in New Jersey, but her family had roots in Kentucky and West Virginia. Her father was a graduate student at the University of Kentucky.
Robert Hisle was a combat engineer in the U.S. Army who fought to recapture the Philippines from the Japanese in World War II. He retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 1966 and the couple returned to the farm.
"He was a rugged gentleman of the South, and he was very loyal to Kentucky and particularly Fayette County," said Del O'Roark, Anita Hisle's nephew.
Robert Hisle loved Fayette County so much that in 1987, he decided to donate his family land to the city. The Hisles didn't have any living children. Their only son, Larry, was killed in a car wreck in 1980.
The decision to donate the land was consistent with his loyalty and love of the Bluegrass, O'Roark said. "His son was gone. He felt the Hisle Farm should be dedicated to the citizens of Lexington."
When the Hisles donated the land, no one knew that residential development in Lexington eventually would move toward the northeast part of the county.
The Hisle farm is located in a part of the city that is now experiencing tremendous growth, said Chuck Ellis, director of the city's Division of Parks and Recreation. "It's really a godsend. It will definitely give us some options of how to go forward."
The size and location of the property presents the city with plenty of options for using the park.
The city hasn't yet decided what it will do with the park, but ideas range from construction of walking trails and ball fields to equine facilities and picnic tables. Another idea is to stock the ponds with fish to provide a community fishing spot.
"It's a beautiful piece of land," said Kathy DeBoer, the city's general services commissioner. "It's what all of us who live in Central Kentucky love about Central Kentucky."
The city's 1996 parks master plan recommends the Briar Hill property be developed with a mixture of active and passive park facilities to eliminate overcrowding and overuse at Kenawood, Dixie, Mary Todd and Coolivan, nearby neighborhood parks.
The parks department wants to involve the neighborhood, community members and the Hisle heirs in deciding what to do with the land. At this point, no process or deadline has been set. For now, the city is renting out the land as horse pasture.
O'Roark said the family hopes the city will honor the Hisles with a plaque at the park's entrance.
It would also be nice if the city named the park something along the lines of the Robert E. and Anita E. Hisle Memorial Park, he said. "The family would appreciate they get the appropriate recognition for the gift," he said.
But in terms of soccer fields, equine facilities or playground, the family does not have a specific vision for how the park is used, he said.
"We hope that the land will be used in a way that will give the greatest number of citizens in the community access to it," O'Roark said. "We trust the city to honor the intention of the gift, and I have no doubt that they would do it."
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Old March 24th, 2005, 12:06 AM   #4
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Urban Housing

Urban Housing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted on Tue, Mar. 08, 2005
Lexington Herald-Leader
Program to help urban housing
$4.1 MILLION IN LOANS AVAILABLE TO DEVELOPERS
By Beverly Fortune
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
A $4.1 million loan program to spur residential growth in downtown Lexington will be available to developers later this month.
At a news conference yesterday, downtown supporters said they hope the economic impact of the Lexington Downtown Housing Fund can be leveraged into $40 million worth of new housing. Developers can begin applying for loans within 10 days.
The fund is a public-private for-profit partnership between the city of Lexington, nine local banks and the Kentucky League of Cities.
With 200 downtown residential units completed and 678 more in the works, there is growing interest in downtown living, said Harold Tate, president and executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, which will administer the money.
"But many developers have had trouble getting financing. This is to educate bankers about the demand for downtown living," he said.
Tate called the program "gap funding," where a developer who gets an 80 percent loan from a bank can apply to the Housing Fund for another 10 percent. Developers can receive a maximum 10 percent loan, repayable over 10 years. Competitive interest rates will vary.
"On a $5 million project, we would put in $500,000, the developer would put in $500,000 and the banks would put in $4 million," said Steve Grossman, chairman of the Development Authority.
The League of Cities contributed $2 million that will be disbursed by the city to the fund. The banks matched that with $2.1 million.
Participating banks are BB&T, Bank of the Bluegrass & Trust, Bank One, Central Bank, Community Trust Bank, Fifth Third Bank, National City Bank, Republic Bank and-USBank.
Grossman said that if the fund proves popular, banks have indicated their willingness to increase the loan pool to $5 million.
"I suspect we've got $40 million in projects ready to submit right now," he added. As the borrowed money is repaid, "We can loan it out again and again."
Tate said banks have not done a lot of urban projects, "so hopefully this will make them feel a little bit more at ease about downtown housing." By pooling their money, "It's not as big a risk for each one."
The authority and bank presidents have worked six months to set up the housing fund. "A lot of banks have contacted their banks in other cities and found out what's going on in Cleveland, Chicago, Columbus, Nashville," Tate said. "They are beginning to realize this is not just a movement occurring here in Lexington, but is happening everywhere."
A similar loan pool of money was set up in Louisville three years ago, said Garry Throckmorton, senior vice president at Republic Bank & Trust Co. in Louisville. It has sparked more than 2,500 urban housing units.
In Lexington, Robert Tru-jillo, developer of City Court with 54 units under construction on Martin Luther King Boulevard, said the housing fund "will be a tremendous help."
"What it means is we have to come up with less money, and that's always helpful," he said
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Old March 24th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #5
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Leestown Rd Bridge replaced

Posted on Thu, Mar. 24, 2005
Leestown Road bridge to close for replacement
By Brandon Ortiz
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
The Leestown Road bridge is showing its age.
Concrete has been chipping off the pillars of the Depression-era bridge, exposing the steel beneath. Rust covers the steel arch of the bridge, which 16,000 vehicles travel daily.
The steel truss bridge built in the 1930s is nearing the end of its life, state engineers say. On April 4, contractors will begin to put it to rest.
The bridge will be closed for up to 99 days so crews can demolish and rebuild it. The project will not significantly improve traffic flow, but during the $9.4 million project thousands of motorists will have to find other ways to get downtown. The project will mean a new turning lane just beyond the bridge, and wider shoulders, but no additional travel lanes.
State highway officials say they have no choice.
"It is deteriorating bad," said Randy Turner, project manager for Highway Department District 7, which covers Central Kentucky. "If you look at it, 'Is it going to fall down?' It's not that kind of deal," but it still must be replaced.
State highway officials say they've done everything possible to alleviate inconveniences to nearby residents and businesses. They met with neighborhood groups, talked to businesses and even set up a Web site, us421.ky.gov, said David Thacker, District 7 spokes-man.
The project was timed to avoid conflicts with University of Kentucky basketball and the high school Sweet Sixteen, which generate traffic on U.S. 421 to downtown and Rupp Arena.
The state went to the unusual length of requiring the contractor, Faulkner Construction, to pay $25,000 in "damages" for each day it goes past its mid-July deadline, Thacker said. When examining bids, state officials also considered how quickly contractors said they could finish the project.
"We're doing everything we can to get this project over as soon as possible," Thacker said. "You are talking about a major arterial into Lexington, and there will be some inconvenience."
A center turning lane will be added north of the bridge to the Forbes Road intersection. Officials say that's the only addition that will improve traffic capacity.
Crews also will expand the bridge's negligible shoulders to 6 feet.
The wider shoulders will eliminate a blind turn off Price Road south of the bridge, Turner said. A concrete wall currently impedes motorists' line of sight.
"You have to get your nose out in oncoming traffic just to see the cars," Turner said.
'A lot of accidents'
News of the intersection's improvements drew sighs of relief from employees at Palumbo Lumber and Manufacturing Co., adjacent to the intersection.
"We have seen a lot of accidents, more than should be allowed really," said Jack Tucker, who calls himself semi-retired as general manager. He worked there 45 years.
Employees recalled one fatal wreck about a decade ago when a driver, blinded by the sun, could not see over the bridge's incline and ran into a tractor-trailer turning onto the road.
In 1996, a police patrol car crashed into the Palumbo office after smashing into a car making the turn. A hydraulic rescue tool was used to free the officer, who survived.
The turn is so dangerous that Palumbo's truck drivers are asked not to turn left onto the bridge, Tucker said. He conceded that some do anyway.
Tall enough for trains underneath
Tucker's biggest complaint is the bridge's incline, which makes it difficult to see cars on the other side of the bridge.
Highway officials say they can't flatten the bridge, because it must be tall enough for trains on the Norfolk-Southern rail line below. The line will close for part of a day when crews dismantle the truss, the steel arch structure that props up the bridge.
Improvements aside, some neighbors said they are irked at dealing with three months of construction noise and hassles for a project that doesn't alleviate traffic problems.
"They could at least widen it or something," said Tamra Perry, who lives on Clyde Street. "If they are going to put that much work into it, they might as well do something useful while they are at it."
Historic cemeteries that line both sides of West Main Street limit what highway officials can do, Thacker said. Federal highway regulations make it extremely difficult for states to disturb historic properties, he said.
And buying right-of-way access would have been prohibitively expensive, he added. State engineers have worked on the project since 1995.
Transportation officials said that without room to widen U.S. 421 south of the bridge, they will have to rely on alternate routes to get residents of Masterson Station and other subdivisions off Leestown Road to downtown.
There are new subdivisions going up off Leestown but traffic along the stretch of road is not projected to grow dramatically, despite the planned residential growth north of New Circle Road, according to the Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The vehicle count on U.S. 421 just before New Circle, for example, is expected to grow from 21,800 in 2003 to 25,000 in 2020.
Metropolitan Planning Organization director Max Conyers said the planned extension of Citation Boulevard to Leestown Road will funnel more traffic onto Georgetown Road. That construction is scheduled to begin in 2007.
"It will help that traffic distribute more evenly," Conyers said
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:07 PM   #6
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Main & Rose



Downtown Lexington's Newest and Best Mixed Use Community

Quality of life has come to downtown Lexington!

Imagine living in a downtown Lexington community where you can walk downstairs one level to work out, walk down another level to eat, grab a cup of coffee and do your grocery shopping, and then take the elevator back up to your residential loft condo.

The Lofts at Main and Rose will range in size from 600 - 3000 square feet, and sales prices will start in the $140's.

Among the features and amenities included at Main & Rose:
- 150 loft condos
- 2 story fitness center
- Swimming pool, basketball court, locker rooms, etc, etc
- Downtown urban grocery
- First floor retail
- Restaurants with open air seating
- 500 space parking garage with reserved spaces for condo owners
- Valet parking
Expected completion date: 2007
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #7
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Nunn Building Loft -- Downtown



Dramatic 17 foot ceilings. Large, expansive balconies. Open floorplans. Exposed brick. Secure, covered parking.
These are just a few of the features and amenities awaiting owners of the Nunn Building Lofts.
Unit sizes range from 1600-2400 square feet, and prices range from the $250's to the low $500's.
Construction will begin in May 2005, and will be completed in May 2006.
To learn more about purchaseing a unit in Lexington's premier downtown loft condo development, please contact us via e-mail, or call Phil Holoubek at 859.225.3476.
We'll be happy to send you an information packet, and answer any questions you may have.
We're taking reservations now!

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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #8
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Southend Park; Social justice built into urban project

Visit the website for pics and info:
www.newtownextension.com

Editorial
By Ed Holmes And Stephen D. Austin
LEXINGTON, KY -- Lexington is on the verge of beginning one of the largest urban development projects in its history.
The Newtown Pike project, which will create a connector from West Main Street to South Broadway near the University of Kentucky will open up dozens of acres on the southwest side of downtown Lexington for rehabilitation and redevelopment.
Most significant, the project will usher in a plan for the complete transformation of one of the city's poorest, most needy areas: Southend Park.
Unlike failed urban projects of the past, this transformation will not come about at the expense of residents in this area.
The plan for the extended Newtown Pike, which will affect this neighborhood, includes a unique component: a concern for social justice.
Without this part of the plan, there would be no funds to build the new road. This relationship between road building and civic responsibility is unique in Lexington's history, if not Kentucky's.
Our team, which also includes Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects, was chosen to develop the plan that would accommodate the road, protect existing residents and prepare for new development.
To set a defining goal for the project, the team met extensively with local residents, developers and city officials.
The resulting goal was for this development to become a diversified, vibrant and vital community, where people of all races and social strata could live together.
To achieve this goal, the design team set about creating plans for an urban village. Successful urban villages, new and old, are based on timeless principles such as human scale, handsome architecture, interconnected streets and lively pedestrian activity. Parks, squares and public buildings are used to link a development's various elements into a cohesive whole.
The designers of the Southend Park plan have laid the foundations for a great urban village, one that will be a model not only for Lexington, but also for the rest of the state.
In the plan for Southend Park, buildings are close to the street, wide sidewalks line the street grid and there are many mixed uses, such as offices, small shops and restaurants.
A central plaza will serve as the community gathering space. Prominent public buildings will give the neighborhood a strong character. Buildings will screen parking lots. The existing ballfields will be incorporated into the plan along with new community vegetable gardens.
To ensure that the area does not become gentrified at the expense of existing residents and that it does not remain disadvantaged, the project designers have created a delicate balance of residential uses.
Housing units here will be the most varied in the city. Not only will the existing residents be accommodated in new units at or near the same housing costs they are paying now, but also they will have an opportunity to buy new single-family homes if they desire.
Other types of units -- such as apartments, loft condominiums and townhouses -- will be reserved at affordable market rates. This mix will create a diverse yet stable neighborhood.
The success of the Southend Park plan bodes well for the future of Lexington and the Bluegrass region. Downtown developers will strive to match this plan's socially fair and physically beautiful principles.
The University of Kentucky will have a new front door worthy of a world-class institution.
Preservation advocates will gain new confidence that the tide of development is truly turning inward, away from the region's greenfields.
The city will gain not only vital new tax resources but also a model of sustainable economic development.
This is an exciting time for Lexington. We are overcoming our late-20th-century lethargy. The plan for Southend Park proves that concern for people, fairness, and beauty are great principles on which to move a city forward.

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Old March 24th, 2005, 10:39 PM   #9
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All of this stuff looks so awesome and somewhat cosmopolitan for a city of Lexington's size. I love that you take the time to post all of this, good reading.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #10
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^Thanks! I enjoy doing it. There's a lot going on here...
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Old March 25th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #11
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The 500s on Main







Scheduled for completion in September 2006, this will be the first major, mixed-use development in downtown Lexington in over 100 years.
The 500's on Main will be a complete and vibrant community where people will live work and play. Situated on two acres of downtown Lexington's most desirable real estate, the community will feature soaring residential lofts, contemporary workspaces, and Lexington's finest retail. This development will be located on almost two acres of land on the 500 block of West Main Street across from the newly completed Civic Center. The development will consist of 8 new buildings and 1 renovated building.
Planned for the residential space are 64 loft condominiums. Each loft will contain a versatile and open living space with highest quality interior finishes. This includes hardwood flooring, interior brick, and European kitchens. All residential spaces will have balconies that overlook Main St. or the 10,000 sq. ft. courtyard located in the center of the community.
The most prominent building in the devel-opment will be the seven story residential tower. Each floor will be an extraordinary individual living unit with private elevator access opening directly into the unit.
The 500's on Main will also contain over 30,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Most of this space will be located on Main St. level. The List of possible venders include restaurants, clothiers, and urban cafes/grocers.
Parking for The 500s will be in a garage beneath the courtyard and restricted to loft residents. However, there will be street parking all around the community, several Historic Architecture and Preservation, says about The 500s: "This is a perfect block."
The 500s on Main is being developed by Robin, Butch, and Kerry Schneider of Schneider Designs.

Schneider Designs, Inc.
Building tomorrow — today
351 Beaumont Center Circle
Suite 300
Lexington, Kentucky 40513
Tel 859.224.9700
Fax 859.224.9722
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Old April 4th, 2005, 02:16 AM   #12
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The development in Lex you are posting about is pretty impressive. Whats really impressive is that this stuff is designed to more or less fit-in with the city, which is key as Lex has such a great old cityscape.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #13
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Lexington considered for ACS headquarters

By Jim Jordan
HERALD-LEADER BUSINESS WRITER
A Fortune 500 company with operations in eight Kentucky cities won preliminary approval yesterday for up to $5 million in state tax incentives if it opens regional headquarters in Lexington.
Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, or ACS, said unidentified sites in Lexington, Oregon and Utah were being considered for the center, which would have 128,000 square feet and 409 employees.
Wages would range from $10.30 to $43.27 an hour, plus benefits, if the center is located in Lexington, the company told the Kentucky Economic Development Financial Authority.
The authority's board approved the ACS application yesterday for benefits under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act.
No other details about the Lexington project were available from the company yesterday.
In February, ACS, which provides corporate outsourcing and information technology services, announced plans to open a 43,000-square-foot call center in Pikeville.
At that time, ACS had 10 other Kentucky locations, including four in Lexington and one each in Beattyville, Liberty, London, Louisville, Monticello and Richmond.
In March, the company bought the human resources consulting business of Pittsburgh-based Mellon Financial Corp. for $445 million.
ACS was ranked 445th on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest companies in 2004. In the fiscal year ended June 30, the company had sales of $4.1 billion and profits of $529.8 million.
The company's stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACS. Shares closed yesterday at $53.24, up 27 cents.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #14
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UK pushing again for Rose's closure

AN EXTENDED VIRGINIA OFFERED AS ALTERNATIVE
By Brandon Ortiz
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
On any given weekday, students outpace the slowly moving cars on Rose Street, the south Lexington artery that runs through the heart of the University of Kentucky campus.
For more than 20 years, the university has floated ideas of closing the congested two-lane road to protect students who must dart across it. None have ever gained much traction with neighbors, elected officials or city traffic planners who say Rose is a crucial connection from downtown to South Limestone Avenue, or U.S. 27.
Taking a new approach, UK is making its most serious and concentrated push at permanently changing Rose Street.
This time, improving medical facilities -- rather than pedestrian safety -- is the driving force, officials say. A plan to close Rose from Limestone to Huguelet Drive is linked with a $375 million inpatient care building that officials say will boost the local economy.
And the university has offered to give commuters an alternate route to downtown by extending and widening Virginia Avenue from Limestone to Rose.
Officials will present their plans to the Urban County Council "within the next several weeks," said Bob Wiseman, UK vice president of facilities management. The council would have to approve any changes.
With the council's approval, that part of Rose would close in late summer of 2006. The Virginia Avenue extension could be finished about the same time.

No options, officials say
Regional traffic planners appear poised to sign off on the plan, but it could prove controversial among neighborhood groups who fought previous proposals.
"UK is trying to totally block us out of that area," said Lisa Johnson, a self-described community activist who lives on Transylvania Park. "There is a lot of people against closing Rose."
The medical center has no other options, officials say. A planned 1,000-space parking garage and horseshoe driveway to the hospital's entrance make closing part of Rose Street necessary to avoid congestion, according to a traffic study by Wilbur Smith Associates, an engineering firm hired by UK.
The hospital plans to tear down its current 680-space garage, which is about 15 years old, and build the new patient care facility there.
Murray B. Clark Jr., associate vice president for medical center operations, said UK has nowhere else to put the complex. The bed tower must be near surgery suites so patients can be wheeled easily to their room, he said.
"I've got to create for the hospital and the consumer the most efficient care delivery system possible," Clark said. "And that is what this is set up to do."
That will require building a new garage. Officials plan to place it on the west side of Limestone between Conn Terrace and Transcript Avenue, where a shopping center and apartments now rest.
If Rose stays open, then there would be three stoplights between Conn and Rose, clogging Limestone traffic, according to the traffic study.
That still means that several residents and small businesses will have to move. Wiseman said the university is negotiating with 11 property owners. If negotiations falter, the university has the authority to condemn the land, he said.
P.J. McDonald, who owns P.J.'s Barber Shop, is not pleased about having to move after being located across the street from the medical center for 13 years. The proximity of the hospital and university gave her a steady customer base.
"It took a long time to build a business," McDonald said. "I'm going to have to start all over."

Rerouting traffic
Officials have shied away from saying they want to "close" part of Rose Street. Instead, they have referred to it as a realignment.
The university proposes extending and widening Virginia Avenue to three lanes -- one of which is a center turning lane -- with additional right turning lanes as an alternate route, said John Carr of Wilbur Smith Associates.
A greenhouse on campus will be torn down so Virginia will connect from Limestone to Rose.
"You're really not closing Rose Street ... and letting traffic disperse across throughout the network," said Carr, a former Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineer. "We're closing the Rose Street intersection and giving them a realignment to use."
That realignment might be enough to get the Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's blessing. Director Max Conyers thinks the extension will adequately reroute traffic.
"Every concern we have raised they have taken care of in their proposal," Conyers said. "We won't go (to the council) and say, 'Hey, we're scared about this and they're not doing anything about it.'"
The study found that about 60 percent of Rose's southbound traffic in the morning and evening goes to the medical center. Only about 26 percent of northbound traffic was headed downtown.
Past traffic counts have shown that between 11,000 and 20,000 cars a day travel on Rose, said Rob Hammons, a city senior transportation planner.

Residents concerned
Some neighbors fear drivers wouldn't use the new route.
Jim Dickinson, an attorney who lives on Transylvania Park, thinks commuters will opt to take Woodland Avenue, wrap around the university library to University Drive and then take Cooper Drive to get to South Limestone.
But it's doubtful motorists will choose to make so many left and right turns and deal with student traffic from dormitories and the library, Carr said.
Lea Terry, president of the Elizabeth Street Neighborhood Association, says she's leaning against the proposal but is still undecided. She's waiting to see the plans before making up her mind.
"I can tell you my knee jerk reaction is going to be a negative one," she said." ... I think it boils down to traffic and exactly what impact that is going to have on streets and homes, quality of life, quality of sleep (and) quality of pedestrian safety. I want to see what they are going to pitch."
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Old April 7th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
The development in Lex you are posting about is pretty impressive. Whats really impressive is that this stuff is designed to more or less fit-in with the city, which is key as Lex has such a great old cityscape.
I agree Jeff, they are trying very hard to keep the new developement to certain standards so it doesn't take away from the "old charm" of D-town Lex.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #16
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New Engineering Design Center in Lexington

Frankfort, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong, along with officials from the University of Kentucky and the City of Lexington are pleased to announce that Belcan Engineering Group has been selected to open a new Engineering Design Center for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Belcan expects to open the new Center in Lexington in early January 2005, with up to 40 Belcan employees and could grow the operation to over 300 engineers by year's end if Sikorsky is successful in winning future U.S. government and international contracts.
"It is an honor to welcome such a highly respected partnership between Belcan and Sikorsky to the Commonwealth of Kentucky," stated Governor Fletcher. "This announcement sends a strong message to the global business community that Kentucky has proven we can compete and succeed as we pursue higher quality employment opportunities for the citizens of Kentucky. We look forward to building upon the relationship we have created with Belcan and Sikorsky to help make this endeavor a successful one for all parties involved including the City of Lexington and the University of Kentucky."
Belcan has been providing engineering services to Sikorsky Aircraft for more than 3 years with an offsite Engineering and Technology Development Center since achieving UTC "Preferred" Supplier Status for Engineering services. Belcan will perform targeted engineering detailed design activities in support of projected growth in Sikorsky's domestic and international development program requirements. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses.
"This is a great opportunity to continue developing our relationship with Belcan Engineering Group. Belcan's expansion into Lexington, Kentucky is fully aligned with our strategy of utilizing domestic Engineering Design Centers for targeted airframe and subsystem detail design activities. The work performed at the Lexington Design Center will be complementary to the system integration, vehicle definition and dynamic systems design activities ongoing at our home office in Connecticut, and will be a key element in meeting anticipated growth in engineering requirements," said Mark F. Miller, Sikorsky's Vice President of Research and Engineering.
Belcan plans on working closely with the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering to cultivate opportunities for graduates. The College of Engineering has earned a place among the nation's best and strives to attract and retain exceptional students wishing to remain in Kentucky and prepare them to become future leaders and entrepreneurs within the Commonwealth.
"Building partnerships like this is exactly how we all move forward," said University of Kentucky President Lee Todd. "Belcan, the university and the state all benefit from this type of cooperation. It creates opportunities for our students and faculty, Belcan capitalizes on UK's talents and resources and the state's economy grows from the addition of significant jobs."
"We are very excited for Central Kentucky to have been selected for this project," said Robert L. Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington, Inc. "It takes a strong sales team to land any economic development project, but one of this magnitude requires an even stronger one. We believe the collaborative efforts of the Cabinet for Economic Development, the University of Kentucky, Commerce Lexington, Inc. and the city were instrumental in this location decision."
"An internationally recognized company like Belcan Engineering Group is the kind of high tech company our city and the Commonwealth have worked extremely hard to attract," added Lexington Mayor, Teresa Isaac. "Our selection tells the nation and the world that we can meet the needs of high tech industries now and in the future. I am very excited for our city and the state of Kentucky."
Belcan, an ISO 9001 registered company founded in 1958 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers full service engineering, product design, information technology, specialty equipment engineering, temporary staffing and multimedia services internationally from its 36 offices with over 3,000 employees throughout the world.
Sikorsky helicopters are flown by all five branches of the United States' armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) Board preliminarily approved Belcan for tax benefits under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), an incentive program aimed at increasing the number of service- and technology-related jobs in the state. A community profile for Fayette County may be found at the following link: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/edis/cm...3/Location.htm.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #17
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GOING DOWNTOWN

March 16, 2005, Page D6, Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
It's worth taking note of recent news reports that are encouraging about downtown revitalization.Belcan, an engineering design firm, announced last month that it will move into two floors of the World Trade Center Tower, instead of in a suburban office park.The design center will initially employ 40 workers who will design Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. helicopters. The company expects the staff to grow to more than 300-500 by year's end.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #18
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Fastest growth seen near cities

Areas off interstates 'struggling'

By Roger Alford
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Suburban counties in Kentucky continued to grow rapidly over the past four years, while rural counties in Eastern and Western Kentucky faltered, according to population estimates released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

"The trends are continuing," said Ron Crouch, head of the Kentucky State Data Center at the University of Louisville. "We're becoming a more urbanized society, and areas along interstates are the ones that are benefiting. Areas off the interstates are the ones that are struggling."

Overall, Kentucky's population grew by 2.4 percent between 2000 and 2004 to 4,145,922, an increase of 96,929.

The largest percentage increases were in counties within commuting distance of Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati.

Boone County added the most people -- 14,346 -- pushing its population to 101,354, and becoming the fourth Kentucky County past 100,000.

"What's happening in Boone County is amazing, because this is not just population growth," Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore said. "What's happening here is the creation of quality, high-paying jobs, and the people who are moving in here are coming to take those jobs."

Moore attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for the North American headquarters of Ticona, which is moving from New Jersey to Boone County and bringing 150 jobs.

Because of the rapid growth, Moore said, new housing developments are sprouting up almost daily as state highways become more congested and schools deal with overcrowding.

Crouch said the growth in Northern Kentucky is the result of an economy that is growing jobs in the area.

He said population declines in rural counties also are largely the result of economic factors, especially in the heavily agricultural sections of Western Kentucky, where Fulton (4.5 percent) and Crittenden (4.3 percent) suffered the biggest losses.

Among agricultural counties, Christian County had the largest numerical loss, 1,625 people.

"As farms get bigger and get more automated, you need fewer people to work on the farms," Crouch said. "That's resulted in people moving to more suburban counties."

Eastern Kentucky counties losing the largest percentage of population over the four-year period include Harlan, 3.3 percent; Leslie, 2.8; Carter, Letcher and Lewis, 2.2 percent; and Pike, 2.1.

Numerically, Pike County had the largest population loss in the eastern coal fields over the period with a decline of 1,459.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:57 AM   #19
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Lexington builders learn about New Urbanism

By Art Jester
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER
If Lexington is going to protect its green space from urban sprawl, the solution may lie in a new trend that uses an old concept.
One of the biggest influences on city and residential planning today is New Urbanism, as more than 200 people with a stake in the home-building industry were told yesterday in a seminar at Fasig-Tipton Co., 2400 Newtown Pike.
New Urbanism is a return to old-style neighborhoods, with houses of different yet compatible styles sitting side-by-side; narrow streets to slow traffic; lots of public spaces; and stores, restaurants, cafes, churches, offices and many other necessities at a neighborhood center within a five-minute walk from one's front door.
Surveys show that more and more Americans want to get away from subdivision sprawl and return to old-timey neighborhoods that are finding new life in New Urbanism.
Bluegrass Tomorrow, a regional planning group, and the Homebuilders Association of Lexington co-sponsored yesterday's event to help the area's home-building industry learn about New Urbanism's goals and methods.
Steve Austin, president and CEO of Bluegrass Tomorrow, said that when buying houses today, "Americans prefer to live in walkable communities."
In an interview, Austin said the best example of New Urbanism in Lexington is an older neighborhood -- the row of stores, restaurants and other businesses along Romany Road in Chevy Chase.
But ground has been broken on another example of New Urbanism. Patchen Wilkes, on Winchester Road between New Circle Road and Interstate 75, is owned by Warren Rosenthal and is being developed by Jimmy Nash.
Lexington City Planner Chris King said yet another example can be found in the Dominion Homes development at Tates Creek Road and Man o' War Boulevard.
Tim Busse, an architect for Whittaker Homes in St. Louis, gave a presentation on his company's New Town at St. Charles, the largest development in the St. Louis area's history. He said 400 houses were sold in the first four months after plans for New Town at St. Charles were announced, but nothing had been built.
"You're not building houses, you're building a place, a community," Busse said. "People are thirsting for this kind of civic life."
But some city planners, such as Ann Hammond of Nashville, pointed out that zoning and building codes and regulations are geared toward suburban sprawl.
They said flexibility in codes and regulations is essential for New Urbanism to take hold and flourish.

Last edited by krosejr; May 27th, 2005 at 04:21 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:40 AM   #20
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I really like what Lexington has going on.. Many of the same things that are going on around me in Downtown Louisville..
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