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Nebraska Innovation Campus hotel

An architectural rendering shows a six-story hotel proposed for 21st Street and Transformation Drive on Nebraska Innovation Campus. 

A hotel proposed at Nebraska Innovation Campus will be a new-to-Lincoln brand.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of a $47 million plan to bring a hotel and office building to the research park on the former state fairgrounds.

The six-story, 153-room hotel would be a Marriott Tribute property, which the company describes on its website as an independent boutique hotel, meaning it can be customized while drawing on Marriott's booking system and rewards program to attract guests.

Tom Huston, an attorney representing Tetrad Property Group, the company developing the project, said it would be a University of Nebraska-branded hotel.

A rendering of the proposed hotel shows the name "72 Hotel" but that's just a place-holder, Huston said.

Plans are to build the roughly $31 million hotel first. Construction would likely start early next year, with a target opening date of June 2021.

In addition to the rooms, the hotel would have a full-service restaurant, coffee shop, gym and other amenities.

The proposed hotel could also serve as a learning space for some University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, as plans filed with the city call for 2,600 square feet on the first floor to include education space, a student lounge, conference room and faculty offices for the Hospitality, Tourism and Restaurant Management program. But UNL said no plans have been made yet to do that.

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The proposed office building would be three stories and have 80,000 square feet of space. Its construction timeline is not set. It would cost nearly $16 million.

Both buildings would be built near the intersection of 21st Street and Transformation Drive, adjacent to the new Rise Building that just opened last year and across the street from The Mill Coffee & Tea on Innovation Campus.

Along with providing lodging accommodations for those attending the conference center at Innovation Campus, the hotel could also be used for businesses located at the park to host clients, and it would be a short distance from the Devaney Sports Center, according to plans filed last month.

The project would mark the next step in the evolution of Innovation Campus. Most research parks across the country have a hotel on their campuses, said Dan Duncan, Innovation Campus executive director.

The project plans to utilize about $7.5 million in tax-increment financing, which allows developers to obtain bonds based upon the growth value of redevelopment properties and to use the proceeds for projects that are considered public improvements.

Both properties' values are estimated at $150,000 now. After construction, the hotel's estimated value would increase to nearly $25 million, while the office building would increase to an estimated $12.5 million, according to city documents.

The plan will now move on to the City Council.

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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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