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Wed November 16, 2016 - Midwest Edition
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Lincoln's mayor and developers have announced a project that will include a 15- to 17-story hotel and condominium complex linking downtown to the Haymarket.
Officials announced plans for the Block 54 project, which also includes another hotel, event space, parking, a restaurant and bar. It is expected to cost $65 million to $70 million, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. In addition to the two hotels, the project will have around 40 to 50 upscale condominiums and penthouses.
“There are several things I thought I'd never see,' Mayor Chris Beutler said. “An election of a black president, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series and a 15-story building on the corner of Ninth and O.'
Construction is scheduled to start next spring and officials hope to open the building in early 2019. It's expected to be the tallest structure built in Lincoln since the 1970s, and the third tallest building overall in the city.
Developers expect to use tax increment financing for the project, and have considered using a site-specific sales tax. They added that the new condominiums would help the city, since the demand for downtown housing continues to not be met. In recent years, the largest portion of downtown housing has been aimed at the student market.
“People today want to work downtown. People today want to play downtown. And we are going to give people new options to live downtown,' said Clay Smith, Speedway Properties general partner. Smith added that people have already shown interest in purchasing condominiums in that building.
The two hotels will each be aimed at different markets. Developers said the Holiday Inn Express will be tailored for family and business markets, while the boutique hotel will be more upscale.