Major development in the works for 27th & Highway 2 lot in Lincoln

Major development in the works for 27th & Highway 2 lot
Major development in the works for 27th & Highway 2 lot(Ellis)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 9:52 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Big changes are in the works for the lot that sits on the northeast corner of Highway 2 and 27th Street.

Developers hosted a meeting Thursday night for those who live in the area and laid out three different sections that will be re-done.

Right now, plans are still fluid. They haven’t officially been submitted for approval from city and county entities, but most of the design work is already done or underway.

Just a few years ago, the area was a bustling shopping center, with a Shopko, Valentino’s, and other stores. Now, developers say it’s about 97% vacant and they hope to demolish everything that’s currently behind fences.

“We hope that we can get this demolition process started maybe late summer or fall and get going and have it substantially completed by 2024,” said Kent Seacrest, a lawyer with the project.

The first of the three sections will take over where Shopko used to be. Phoenix-based RED plans to reconfigure the layout of the building with a mix of restaurants, retail and office buildings that better utilize the adjacent Rock Island Trail.

“The opportunity to put building pads that would have uses that could engage that trail, outdoor and indoor uses,” said David Dawson with RED. “Retail and restaurants with patios that would be able to take advantage of that connection and simultaneously provide a pedestrian access point.”

Also going in will be a five-story high-end apartment building. Right now, the plan is to have up to 230 units with a median price point of about $2,500 per month for rent. It also has two different options for the area closest to 27th Street, with one or two office buildings.

“All this has to do with when we have to get tenants and the timing of when we get tenants, whether we go with a single or two building scenario,” said Tom White with White Development Company.

The developers said they’ve also done a traffic study. Preliminary results show the development will not generate any more traffic in the area. They’re also hoping for tax increment financing through a blighted status from the city.

“It’s tired. It’s time for a new look and we think we clearly meet the standard definition under the state law,” Seacrest said.

Developers hope permits and details start making their way through planning and City Council over the next three months and for demolition to start by early fall of this year.

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