Ninth and O

The southeast corner of Ninth and O streets sits empty after plans to build a 15- to 17-story condo/hotel tower failed. The developers are now planning a smaller building with one hotel and no condos.

Developers are planning to try again with a smaller project at Ninth and O streets.

Plans filed Thursday with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department show HLI Development LLC is proposing a six-story building on the southeast corner of the intersection with a hotel and possibly a bar/restaurant on the first floor. The project also will include underground parking.

John Klimpel, one of the partners in the project, said the hotel will be a Holiday Inn Express.

The project cost is estimated at $31 million to $32 million, with $28 million coming from the developer and the rest coming in the form of tax-increment financing.

The amended project is much smaller than what was originally proposed at the site.

The developers had in 2016 proposed a 15- to 17-story building with two hotels, restaurants, 40 to 50 condominiums and a parking garage. The project was originally estimated to cost about $70 million.

However, increased construction materials and labor costs sent the price tag of the project soaring by about 80 percent, one of the partners, Mike Works, told the Journal Star last month.

Existing buildings, including the popular bar Knickerbockers, were demolished to make room for the project and the site was filled in and leveled off before work was halted.

Works said one of the big issues with the project was the cost to construct 260 parking spaces.

The smaller project is proposed to have 91 parking spaces.

Another big change to the amended project is that the developers no longer plan to use a 2 percent occupation tax the City Council had approved for the original project.

Klimpel said the group hopes to start construction in June and have the hotel open in time for the Husker football season in 2020.

The Ninth and O streets project is one of two large projects proposed for downtown that failed to get off the ground.

The other was the City Centre project on the site of the Journal Star business office at 926 P St.

New York-based Newman Development Group had proposed to buy the Journal Star property, tear it down and build a nine-story, mixed-use building with apartments and retail and office space. That deal was officially terminated last month.

The Journal Star is accepting offers on both its business office and its production building at Ninth and Q streets. The company announced last month that printing of the newspaper will be moved to the Omaha World-Herald in April.

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

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


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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