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New Innovation Campus building eyed for March groundbreaking
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New Innovation Campus building eyed for March groundbreaking

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The University of Nebraska and developer Tetrad Property Group are eyeing a March groundbreaking for Phase 2 of the Nebraska Innovation Campus research and business complex at the former State Fair Park.

In documents filed with the city planning department last week, Tetrad is still planning an $18 million, three-story building with about 80,000 square feet of mixed-use space.

The Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation approved the new plans for the building in December, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said.

The amended plan shows the building slightly northeast of its original site at the corner of Transformation Drive and 21st Street.

That saves the corner lot -- a prime location on the research campus, according to Green -- for future development.

No building permits have been filed at this point, said Tetrad communications director Jennifer Brinkman, but plans have been drawn up for the next building to be located on the campus of the public-private partnership launched by the university in 2009.

Under an agreement between NU and developer Nebraska Nova, Tetrad was required to move forward on the latest building at Innovation Campus within 18 months of the last building becoming occupied.

The developer will own the building and be responsible for finding tenants.

UNL moved its food science department to the Food Innovation Center in summer 2015, triggering the clause that pushed forward development on the fourth building to be located on the 250-acre park.

At this time, there is no plan to move any academic unit into the new building, Green said.

"If there are partners who come into that facility and need university presence or partnership, we'll consider that," Green said. "We don't have anything like that planned at this point."

No lease contracts had been signed for the new space as of last week, Brinkman said.

Tetrad hopes to break ground as early as March, Brinkman said. Details will be finalized during the next few weeks in discussions between the city, the university and Tetrad.

One of those details will be the potential use of tax-increment financing to improve infrastructure at Innovation Campus.

According to the plan, increased traffic flow could require as much as $2.6 million in improvements to Transformation Drive, which cuts through the center of the research park. That work potentially could be done through tax-increment financing.

The plans also show a new surface parking lot to the south and east of the new building.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.

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