Groundbreaking ceremony on east end Lexington multiplex

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Monday marked a groundbreaking ceremony for a mixed-use development in the East end of Lexington, the ‘MET’.

‘MET’ stands for Midland and East Third which is where this multiplex will sit at in the east end of downtown Lexington. It’ll feature apartments, restaurants, retail, a grocery store and fitness.

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It’s being put together by Community Ventures.

“This is the gateway into the downtown Lexington but it’s the gateway into the east end neighborhood and when you’ve got a neighborhood that is so rich in history you need a better gateway,” says Community Ventures CEO and founder, Kevin Smith. “And that’s what this is going to serve as.”

The ‘MET’ is part of the long-delayed Midland Avenue and East Third Street redevelopment project, 18 years in the making.

It will be three stories, and 75-thousand square feet. It will include apartment space on the top two levels.

“Our goal is to have 44 apartments and 13 of those will be affordable so you’ll see rents less than a thousand dollars a month and that’s very hard to do is downtown Lexington and that’s why we still need to raise more money,” says Smith.

He says they’ve raised $18-million of the $22-million project.

The first floor will include retail stores, a restaurant and a much-needed grocery store which is something this side of town doesn’t have.

The project was originally announced in 2016 but was delayed because of financing problems.

Smith says the goal is to bring more people and stores to Midland Avenue, something you don’t see much of now.

“And then it’s our goal to go on and try to get businesses all the way down Third to sort of bring it back to what it used to be and to get the services these residents really need and want.,” says Smith.

D.W. Wilburn is the contractor.

“Everybody likes to use the word climate change in this day and time so it will be different for this part of the town and it ought to give it a little more uprising,” says project manager Jeff Edwards with D.W. Wilburn.

The ‘MET’ is scheduled to open in April of 2020.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.