A Downtown Development Everybody Can Support?

January 25, 2006 at 1:23pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

It’s not a theater boondoggle. It doesn’t require the use of eminent domain. It won’t cost the public tens of millions of dollars. It doesn’t include a Wal-Mart. And it doesn’t require the sale of a public building that would be extremely costly to replace.

Is there any down side to the new parking garage and commercial/residential project proposed for the parking lot south of the Gold’s building?

As it is being presented right now, I’m all in favor of the project. There’s still plenty of time for deal-breakers to pop up, of course. But the project’s early goals match many of my long-held opinions about the best use for that block. (Hint: the current use is not the best use.) Sure, it could use more retail space (only 19,000 square feet planned), but they’ve included residential space in the plan, which is nice to see. And let’s be honest: downtown Lincoln doesn’t have enough draw right now to fill too much more retail space than that, especially when you consider some of the new projects in the Haymarket coming online in the next couple years.

The current plan does fall short on one of my hopes for the block. I would like to see the primary bus stop moved from in front of the Gold’s building to the project block. There is not enough space in front of the Gold’s building to effectively house the bus stop, and the current shelters are very insufficient. I would love to see StarTran work with the folks leading this project to see if a new bus stop could be integrated into the plan. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. The Powers That Be™ at StarTran rarely admit that Lincoln’s mass transit system—or any part thereof—is anything short of perfect. And the vast majority of Lincolnites don’t care enough about StarTran to demand excellence.

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beerorkid January 25, 2006 at 5:54pm

but what about the husker fans who get all drunky there?

I live and work downtown.  My main peeve is parking.  Not the lack of, but the cost.  I was in KC around the holidays, and in their main shopping district they had free parking garages.  It was awesome.  The streets were packed and I parked and was shopping in 5 minutes.

Good thing I ride my bike everywhere.

It would be nice to get a combo of residential and parking.  Looking forward to what they do.

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