The developers of Lied Place designed its first floor to accommodate a restaurant, and that vision is finally coming to fruition.
Stark Enterprises LLC recently bought the first, third and fourth floors of the 20-story building on Q Street across from the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The $3.6 million deal also includes a portion of the second floor that is connected to the ground level, said Tam Allan, one of the partners in the Lied Place development.
Stark Enterprises is owned by the Peed Family, which owns Sandhills Global and other businesses, including Certified Piedmontese, an operation that raises, slaughters and processes the Italian cattle breed.
Joe Finegan, purchasing manager for Certified Piedmontese, said the company plans to open a restaurant in Lied Place sometime next summer.
Finegan said the new downtown restaurant will take "some elements" from Casa Bovina, the fine-dining restaurant at the Certified Piedmontese headquarters near 84th Street and Havelock Avenue, but will overall be a different concept.
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"The concept downtown is more of a modern smart-casual," Finegan said, although it will still offer a "higher-end experience."
He said the restaurant will offer signature Piedmontese steaks along with "really, really high-end delicious, sexy burgers."
Finegan said there are plans to have a bar with an extensive wine list and signature cocktails that you'd be likely to find in larger cities or at specialty local bars such as the Other Room. There also will be a small selection of beers.
The restaurant, named Aragon after one of the company's seedstock Piedmontese bulls, will have table seating for about 50 people and room for another dozen or so in its bar area. He said there also are plans for some limited outdoor seating.
The projected opening date is Aug. 1, although Finegan said that will be dependent on supply chain issues and other factors.
Allan said he's happy he and his partners found such a good fit to fulfill their vision for the building's first floor.
"From the beginning of the Lied Place project, we have been very careful to pick the right restaurant for the first floor space of the building. We have always regarded it as an important amenity to the project and the immediate Lied Center/University area," Allan said in an email. "We took our time to find the right fit for the project and are delighted that the Peed family will be taking over the space for what we know will be a very special restaurant experience."
In addition to the restaurant space, the Peeds will use the third and fourth floors for offices, including space for their new name, image and likeness project, the 1890 Initiative.
Matt Davison, who left the Nebraska Athletic Department at the end of October to run the for-profit collective that will focus on representing Husker football and volleyball players, said it will have the entire fourth floor of the building.
"We're really excited about it," Davison said. "The location in proximity to campus is going to be extremely beneficial for our student-athletes."
He said the space still needs to be built out, so it will be several months before the company moves in.
There are no current plans for the third-floor space.
The sale of the bottom four floors means Lied Place's commercial space is now pretty much filled.
Former Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who is one of the development partners, along with Allan, Joey Hausmann and Doug Rath, bought the fifth and sixth floors and moved his law practice, Bruning Law Group, there in September.
Allan said he purchased the seventh floor and is in the process of building out space for his company, Village Development Group. He said there is 2,500 square feet of space he isn't using that he plans to put up for lease in January.
As for the condo units, Allan said four of the 37 units remain for sale.
Lied Place, at just more than 253 feet, is the city's second-tallest building after the Capitol, but that could change in the coming years.
Another local development group has proposed a 22-story building at Ninth and P streets that would include apartments, condos and office space. If built to current specifications, it would eclipse the height of Lied Place by less than a foot.
Allan said there will be no hard feelings if the project, called Lincoln Bold, comes to fruition.
"The Lied Place developers are happy to relinquish the title of Lincoln's second-tallest building to the proposed Lincoln Bold building," he said.
In fact, Allan said he'd be perfectly fine if Lied Place wound up falling farther down the list of tallest buildings.
"What would be more exciting would be the announcement of more building projects for downtown Lincoln that would even be taller," he said.
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