Earlier this month, I wrote an article about how census figures showed that Lancaster County was among the top 200 counties in the country for housing growth over the six years from 2010-15.

That growth has been due mostly to apartments, and though apartment complexes have been and are being built across the city, nowhere is the trend more evident than downtown.

The Downtown Lincoln Association recently quantified this in a blog post on its website (downtownlincoln.org).

According to the group, the number of downtown residents has grown by more than 140 percent, from around 1,200 in 2010 to nearly 3,000 currently. The increase in physical living units, including traditional apartments, condos and student-oriented housing, is 81 percent.

That, however, is nothing compared to what's planned. DLA says that over the next four years, the number of downtown housing units is projected to grow 243 percent. That includes the two student housing complexes that are expected to open in August as well as other projects that are in the works.

It looks like the group might have to change the "L" in its acronym from "Lincoln" to "Living."

Downtown market coming?

With more downtown residents, prospects for a downtown grocery store remain a question mark. Plans for one on the ground floor of Latitude Lincoln at 10th and M streets never materialized, and another potential store at Canopy and N streets is hanging in the wind, waiting for city approval of the overall redevelopment project it is part of.

A third possibility has emerged, however.

The developers of the former Schwarz Paper building at Eighth and O streets recently applied to the city's Urban Design Committee for approval of signs for the building, and one of the signs was for a U-Stop Market.

It appears from the planning documents that the market would occupy most if not all of the first floor of the building.

The developers did not respond to a request for more information, so it's unclear at this point if the U-Stop Market will be simply a convenience store without the gas pumps or if it will be a bit more like a small grocery store.

Lists just keep on coming

In my last Biz Bits column, I highlighted several of the lists on which Lincoln or Nebraska ranked highly. In the eight short weeks since that column, we've wound up on several more:

* Best state for middle-class residents (SmartAsset).

* Second-best state for fiscal health (Mercatus Center at George Washington University).

* Second-best city for creative professionals (SmartAsset).

* Third-best state for millennials (MoneyRates.com).

* Fourth-best state for work-life balance (Zippia).

* Fourth-best city for starting a business (WalletHub).

Best of the Buzz

Excerpts from recent Biz Buzz posts:

* It looks like the former Grandmother's location at 6940 A St. will live on as a sports bar.

Tanner's Bar & Grill filed a liquor license application last month for that location.

It would be the second Tanner's in Lincoln -- the first one opened in 2014 at Wilderness Hills near 27th and Yankee Hill Road -- and the fifth in Nebraska.

* Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has finally filed a building permit for its second Lincoln location at about 30th Street and Yankee Hill Road, on the east edge of the Wilderness Hills shopping center.

The first Freddy's opened Jan. 1 near 48th and Van Dorn streets. Last summer, when he announced plans for the 48th and Van Dorn store, local franchisee Ron Oberg said he hoped to have a second one open near 27th and Yankee Hill by February or March.

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Go to Journalstar.com/bizbuzz to read more Biz Buzz posts.

Have a business news tip? Send it to businessnews@journalstar.com.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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