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The Schwarz Paper building, built 130 years ago in what was then a new industrial area around Eighth and O streets, is set to become the latest renovation project in the Haymarket.

The four-story building at 747 O St. will be converted into a modern multiuse building with commercial, office and retail space on the lower levels, topped by condominiums, based on the redevelopment agreement with the city.

The building was constructed in 1884 and occupied first by Hargreaves Brothers, a wholesale grocery. Around 1917 the Schwarz Paper Co. moved into the building, where it has remained for almost a century.

The building is currently owned by Schwarz Paper Co., which sells janitorial and office supplies.

But a newly formed company, CBLINC LLC, expects to purchase the property and handle the redevelopment, based on the agreement.

Craig Gies is listed as agent for CBLINC.

Gies also is a director for Lincoln-based Sampson Construction, but Kent Seacrest, attorney for the redeveloper, said that Sampson is not the redeveloper for the project.

The plan is to renovate about 9,000 square feet of the first floor and basement for commercial use and 19,800 square feet of the upper stories for residential space. In addition, plans call for a four-story addition on the south end of the existing building.

The Lincoln City Council will hold a public hearing on the agreement when it meets on Nov. 17.

Schwarz Paper Co. expects to move to a new location in south Lincoln, according to Patrick Jones, vice president.

"We love the Haymarket, but we have a four-story building with a 100-year-old elevator. It could be turned into something more appropriate for this area," Jones said.

The company's business, with semitrucks moving in and out, no longer fits in the entertainment district created by the Pinnacle Bank Arena, he said. 

The redeveloper expects to spend about $4.2 million on the project, and the city will add about $533,354 in tax increment financing.

The renovated Schwarz Paper Building will not look much different from the current building, said Hallie Salem, with the city’s Urban Development Department. 

There will be a lot of cosmetic improvements. Windows are being replaced, and additional windows will be cut out, she said.

The city will use a portion of the TIF funds for sidewalk and street improvements. The redeveloper will use a portion of the money for façade enhancement and to fill in the vault space that is under the street.

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TIF is an economic development tool that allows the city to bond against the higher taxable value of the redeveloped property. The bonds are paid off over 15 years using the additional property tax from the higher assessed value.

The assessed value of the building, now at $189,000, is expected to increase to at least $3.6 million after renovation, based on the redevelopment agreement.

The redevelopment agreement also includes provisions for people who live and work in the building to lease parking spaces in the nearby Lumberworks Garage.

The agreement allows 30 spaces for condo owners or apartment tenants, which can be used year-round, including on football gamedays and during events at the arena.

The people who lease the 36 spots set aside for commercial businesses can pay extra to have access to parking in the building on Husker gamedays and during big arena events.

The lease provisions acknowledge the parking problem for people living in the downtown area on Husker gamedays and on nights of major arena events, Salem said.

In some cases, people living in the area have to find another place to park on gamedays because they don’t have access to their garage space. “We don’t want people to have to park on the street. We wanted to find a better solution,” Salem said.

Based on historic use, the city expects the Lumberworks Garage to be full for home football games and for the 20 largest arena events each year.

The redevelopment agreement also prohibits bars in the space, defined as businesses where more than 50 percent of gross sales are from alcoholic beverages.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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