Lexington Business News – October 2021

Lexington Business News – October 2021

Photo by Megan McCardwell
Barnhill Chimney celebrated their new showroom at 824 Winchester Road. 


Photo by Megan McCardwell
Elwood Hotel invited guests for a “first look” at their new space on Broadway. 


Photo by Megan McCardwell
Silent Guard hosted a ribbon cutting in September 



Small Business of the Year 2021

Commerce Lexington announced the 2021 Salute to Small Business Award winners in September. Crank and Boom Ice Cream received both the  Business Success Award and the Small Business of the Year Award.

Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream (C&B) is a premium ice cream maker in Lexington. What started as a simple dessert option in the back of Toa Green’s family restaurant, Thai Orchid Cafe, has since grown to a business with two scoop shops, 40-plus employees, nationwide shipping through Goldbelly, and recognition through national press including PEOPLE Magazine, the New York Times, and Cooking Channel. Crank & Boom’s mission is to Create Joy, Ignite Laughter, and Inspire Compassion. This has been accomplished through various community giving programs like FEED Backpack program and the popular Small Batch Club program that has raised over $56,000 since 2020 for local organizations. In addition to its location in the Distillery District, Crank and Boom recently relocated its second location from The Summit at Fritz Farm to a spot on Clays Mill Road in the Stonewall Shopping Center.

Guide Realty received the Minority Business Award. Started by Phyllis Alexander and Raquel Carter, Guide Realty opened its doors in January 2008 with a vision of a small, family-owned, boutique-style real estate office. 

Entrepreneur Award: Peer House, LLC

Founded in 2016 by Ozlem Eva Davis, CPA, CFE, CFF, Peer House, LLC is an accounting and consulting firm located in Lexington and serving clients around the nation. The business currently serves clients in 55 cities covering 29 states from diverse work sectors and varying industries, including nonprofit, technology, beverage distribution, construction, legal, and education.

Non-profit Community Impact Award: Lexington Rescue Mission

The Lexington Rescue Mission began in 2001 when Jim and Becky Connell started the ministry to the poor and homeless. On November 21, 2001, services started with a Thanksgiving banquet at Broadway Christian Church. The mission then opened its doors to anyone in need of food, clothing and financial assistance, and began offering Bible studies and chapel services for guests. Over the last 20 years, the mission has grown and changed to meet the needs of those who are hurting, including the addition of programs that help unemployed people learn workplace skills and get jobs.  The organization now has four facilities (The Outreach Center, The Potter’s House, The House of Hope, and Grace Place), 25 full-time employees, 11 part-time staff and hundreds of volunteers.



Lexington Center President and CEO Bill Owen
Lexington Center President and CEO Bill Owen will retire summer 2022.

Oak View Group Facilities will begin managing the day-to-day operations for the Lexington Center Corporation (Rupp Arena, the Convention Center and the Lexington Opera House) on October 1. Bob Elliston, Chairman of the Lexington Center Board says, “Central Bank Center has been fortunate to have tremendous leadership from Bill Owen and his team for the past two decades. As we prepare for Bill’s retirement in the summer of 2022, the selection of OVG Facilities was the right choice to position the Center to achieve even greater heights as our nearly $300 million capital expansion comes online.”

According to a statement released by Central Bank Center, “Oak View Group is the largest developer of sports and entertainment facilities in the world with $4.5 billion of deployed capital across eight projects.”

Inside Rupp Arena’s new Club + VIP Experience. Photo courtesy Rupp Arena


RFP near Rupp

The Lexington Center Corporation (LCC) announced that it will accept proposals to qualify a developer(s) to develop property in the heart of downtown Lexington.

The specific site location of the High Street Development Project is currently utilized as a large surface parking lot located directly across High Street from the newly expanded Central Bank Center (CBC) and renovated Rupp Arena and is generally bordered by Lexington Center Drive, Maxwell Street and High Street. The site is approximately 17.5 contiguous acres. 

This project, planned to build out a site assembled in the 1970’s into an urban environment with greater density and higher utilization, has long been considered in the downtown long range planning process.  Proposed development should support Central Bank Center activities, especially parking, but also add opportunities to contribute to a more vibrant downtown.

It most recently was envisioned in 2012 as part of the proposed Rupp Arena Arts & Entertainment District. A Request for Qualifications from prospective developers issued in 2016 was suspended pending an application to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for a tax increment finance district or TIF that was granted in late 2019.Detailed information about responding to this HS-Project RFP is available at www.centralbankcenter.com/rfp




Aviation Maintenance opened its new consolidated headquarters operation at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, a project creating up to 47 full-time jobs over the next three years with an $800,000 investment. Founded in 1988 as Thoroughbred Helicopters, TAM has grown to include maintenance of aircraft from small Cessna planes to corporate jets, and helicopters from the helicycle to an AS365 N3 Airbus medium utility helicopter. Thoroughbred is excited about our consolidation and expansion at Blue Grass Airport, said Joe Otte, vice president of TAM. We are grateful for our partnership with Blue Grass Airport and Commerce Lexington, and the positive business environment they foster. We believe the greater amenities, business diversification and access to commercial flights will enhance our customers’ experience and help our business expand.”



A new James E. Pepper Distilling Co warehouse broke ground in Midway, as the Lexington-based brand expands following the revival of its historic distillery after a 50-year hiatus. “We can’t bottle our whiskey fast enough,” said company owner Amir Peay. “By building our own warehouse, James E. Pepper can double production capacity at the historic distillery. We’re proud of the success we’ve experienced in revitalizing this iconic American brand.”


This article also appears on page 4 & 5 of the October 2021 print edition of Ace. 

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