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Matt Stricker and his wife, Jane, always had a dream of owning a downtown building.

The Lincoln couple, who own clothing and shoe stores Footloose & Fancy and Threads, made that dream come true in 2014 with the purchase of the former Swanson Russell headquarters at 1222 P St., across the street from their downtown store.

In 2016, they announced plans for a $4 million redevelopment of the building into first-floor retail space and apartments on the upper floors.

On Thursday, they showed off their work to the community during an open house and ribbon cutting.

The Strickers preserved the two-story limestone facade of the building, which was added in 1921 when it was converted from its original use as a row house to an office building. Behind it, they essentially built a new five-story building.

"The Stack was a vision to preserve an old building downtown and reactivate the sidewalk," said Stricker, who along with his wife are both Lincoln natives.

Mayor Chris Beutler said the Strickers, "literally built the future on top of the present and the past."

On the first floor of the building is a nearly 4,000-square-foot retail space, which Stricker said has not yet attracted any interest from potential tenants.

On the upper floors are 27 market-rate apartments -- three two-bedroom units, 20 one-bedroom units and four studios.

Construction on the building was mostly complete in February, and some of the apartment units were leased out then. Stricker said nine of the units currently have tenants.

The apartment units are modern, with wood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, high ceilings and exposed brick on some of the walls. Some units also have balconies.

The Strickers had originally hoped to have the building open by last October, but, like most other downtown projects, it ran into weather and other delays.

Stricker, though, said he was pleased with the way everything worked out.

City Councilman Carl Eskridge, whose district includes downtown and who lives in University Towers at 13th and P streets, less than a block away, called it a "great addition" that adds both housing and retail downtown, two things that the city wants.

"This (project) helps to make for a vibrant community and a great neighborhood for us all," he said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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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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