Mayor Don Wesely today led the dedication ceremony for a new parking lot and streetscape improvements at the Bottlers Building, 643 South 25th Street. The building houses the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) Arts and Humanities Focus Program and several small businesses.
"Every since the building was developed in 1998, there have been concerns about the lack of parking and street lights at the site," Mayor Wesely said. "Iím pleased the city could play a role in making these improvements which address both parking and safety concerns for students, teachers and others who use the building."
The city used $190,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to develop the public parking lot and streetscape. The property was acquired by the city when the Rock Island railroad line was removed.
Also participating in the dedication were LPS Superintendent Phil Schoo and Kent Thompson of Bottlers, LLC and Thompson Realty Group. Thompson headed the development group which purchased and renovated the former Coca-Cola bottling facility, which had been vacant for many years. Private investment in the building is estimated at $1 million.
Three of the businesses in the Bottlers Building -- Suiter Medical, Bottlers Salon and Homestead Mortgage -- previously received financial assistance from the city through the job creation loan program, also funded by CDBG money. The cityís $100,000 investment in the three businesses leveraged $150,000 in private investment. The businesses have created 14 new jobs so far and are expected to create eight more. Other businesses in the Bottlers Building are Chase Fitness, the Edge Gym and Closeout Centralís office and warehouse space.