LINCOLN –(KFOR April 18)–Plans for new development in the South Haymarket area were unveiled at a news conference Thursday morning inside the Mayor’s conference room at City Hall.

The 10-acre project area, Blocks 4 and 5, is south of “O” Street and west of Canopy Street.  The Mayor said the new development will build on the economic success of the West Haymarket and extend it south.

“The area has been a tremendous driver of job creation and economic growth, increasing local tourism and serving as an innovation hub to Lincoln’s cutting edge technology businesses,” Mayor Chris Beutler said.  “Today’s announcement is another incredible example of how public private partnerships achieve success for Lincoln.   The partnership on Blocks 4 and 5 will create economic development, affordable housing and a new downtown neighborhood park.  It represents nearly $40 million in investment by the private sector. The project is a win for economic development.”

Speedway and Nelnet propose a new development that includes nearly 200 market rate-apartments and first-floor commercial, retail and restaurant space.  The Lincoln Haymarket Development Corporation is partnering with Speedway and Nelnet to add over 40 affordable housing units for those earning 60 percent or less of the median income.

“This affordable housing is only made possible by LHDC and the City working together to match low-income housing resources like the arena turnback tax and tax increment financing fees with our private funding,” said Darl Naumann of the LHDC. “That strategic City investment of about $500,000 is then leveraged into a $14 million project that provides housing for a broad range of families”.

The plan also includes a new downtown neighborhood park that will include playground space, a dog park, festival space, play courts and other amenities.  A new public plaza on the south end of Canopy Street will provide gathering spaces.   The park will include a trail connection between “N” and “J” streets, providing a vital link between downtown and the overall trail system to the south.

The City will take a redevelopment agreement for Block 4 and related legislation for Blocks 4 and 5 to the City Council on April 22.  The City Council will hold a public hearing on the project April 29, with final action scheduled for May 6. The JPA will also consider legislation related to the project on April 25.

The City Parks and Recreation Department will seek community review and comment on the preliminary design for the new park and plaza area this summer.

An overview of the proposed development of Block 4 in the South Haymarket. (Courtesy of the City of Lincoln)

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