A Lincoln developer plans to build a 20-story building, with retail, office space and condominiums, on the north side of the Que Place parking garage at 12th and Q streets.
The $30 million Lied Place Residences redevelopment project would include a 3,000-square-foot restaurant on the ground floor, about 4,500 square feet of office space on the second, third and fourth floors and about 40 condominiums on the upper 16 floors.
The building, at 240 feet, would be the second-tallest building in the city. The tallest is the Capitol, which measures over 400 feet to the top of the Sower.
Some of the proposed $5 million in city tax-increment financing would be used to beautify Q Street in that block, and the landscaping would become a model for streetscape improvements along Q Street, akin to the P Street improvements, said Tam Allan, the project's developer.
"The historic transformation of downtown Lincoln continues with another landmark building that will change our skyline," said Mayor Chris Beutler at a Thursday morning news conference.
The high-rise would offer a great view of the city and university, he said.
The building would bridge the gap between traditional downtown and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, dramatically improving the area by the Lied Center for Performing Arts, Beutler said.
“This is going to be one of the beauty spots of downtown,” he said.
Allan, along with Doug Rath, chairman of Lincoln human resources company Talent Plus, bought the space in 2014 for $1.2 million. It had been home to an Applebee’s restaurant from July 2000 until December 2013, when it closed.
The location, across the street from the Lied Center, has been vacant for five years, and the city was hopeful someone would come forward with the right project for the challenging site, Beutler said.
The city has waited more than 20 years for a developer to use the narrow site, nestled between elevator shafts of the city-owned Que Place Garage, floors of parking spaces and the sidewalk on Q Street.
Mike Johanns, who was mayor when the Que Place Garage was built, told Allan that Lied Center stakeholders didn’t want an ugly parking garage facing the university.
“There are actually punch-outs on the individual floors for a building that wasn’t built until now,” Allan said during the news conference.
It’s taken a long time because this is a very important site, and a difficult site, Allan said. Right now there are wind tunnel studies being conducted, he said.
Lincoln-based Hausmann Construction has been chosen to build Lied Place. The architect is the Atlanta firm Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart.
Thirty to 40 percent of the condominium units, which would be one- to three-bedroom homes, are already committed, said Allan.
The city approval process, including a review by the city’s Urban Design Committee, the Planning Commission and City Council, will take several months, Beutler said.
Construction may begin next spring and Beutler said he is hopeful there will be a ribbon-cutting on a "beautiful new Lied Place in 2021."
More information about the redevelopment project will be available online soon at liedplace.com.
Thursday's announcement comes as plans for two other high-rise projects downtown remain in limbo.
In September, developers told the Journal Star that a 15- to 17-story building planned for the southeast corner of Ninth and O streets would not go forward as intended.
The proposed $72 million project included two hotels — a full-service Holiday Inn and a smaller Indigo boutique hotel — along with 40 to 50 condos, a ballroom, restaurants and a 263-stall parking garage. Developers said those involved still hope a smaller project will take its place.
Also, a New York-based development group has been working to finalize plans to redevelop the site of the Journal Star's office building at Ninth and P.
The $85 million City Centre project, as proposed, included a nine-story building with underground parking, 35,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, 88,000 square feet of office space on the second and third floors and 238 apartments on floors four through nine.