One of downtown's most iconic buildings is going to get a major face-lift.
A developer has a deal in place to buy the 10-story Terminal building at 10th and O streets and is proposing a redevelopment of the century-old structure that would turn much of it into condos.
According to a plan submitted to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department, the redevelopment would involve extensive renovation of the first floor to restore much of the building's historical features, including ticket windows for the city's trolley system in the early 20th century.
Urban Development Director Dan Marvin said the building got its name because it acted as the "terminal" location for that system.
The first floor will also feature floor-to-ceiling windows, which were a fixture when the building opened in 1916, and awnings on the building's exterior will be restored.
The first floor would continue to have restaurant and retail space, and there also would be a small amount of private office space. The plan is also to give the public access to the main atrium of the building.
The second and third floors would be renovated and continue to have office space.
The big change planned for the building is on floors four through 10. Those floors currently have office space that has been largely vacant since a fire in 2018 heavily damaged the eighth floor of the building.
While some tenants returned to the building, a major one, the Nebraska Department of Insurance, did not. Current building owner Arnold Wassenburg told the Journal Star last year that five floors of the building were vacant.
The redevelopment plan calls for the upper floors to be redeveloped into 30-35 residential condo units.
Marvin said the company planning to buy the building "sees a great opportunity in downtown residential condo units" and considers the Terminal building a "premier building" that is a gateway between downtown and the Haymarket.
"I think they're pretty excited to make an investment in Lincoln," he said.
According to the planning application, that investment will be about $24 million. That includes the purchase price of the building, about $12 million the new owner will spend on renovations and about $3.9 million in tax-increment financing. That would put the price for the building at about $8 million.
Marvin declined to provide any details about the buyer, a company called 947 Terminal LLC. The company registered with the Nebraska Secretary of State's Office last month. It lists as its registered agent Lincoln hotel developer Mike Works.
Works is one of the investors in the six-story Holiday Inn Express hotel that's under construction directly west of the Terminal building at Ninth and O streets.
Neither Works nor an attorney representing 947 Terminal LLC could be reached for comment.
Marvin said he believes the group wants to move forward as quickly as possible on the redevelopment plans.
Marvin said he feels confident a redevelopment agreement, which spells out elements of the project and which ones are eligible to be paid for with tax-increment financing, will go before the City Council by early January at the latest.
The Terminal building project will join a number of other large downtown redevelopment projects either under construction or planned.
In addition to the Holiday Inn Express, they include the Lied Place Residences, a 20-story condo building under construction at 11th and Q streets; a $15 million-$20-million redevelopment of the Gold's building at 11th and O streets; and a 15-story apartment building proposed on city-owned land near 14th and N streets that could cost as much as $100 million.
Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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