The Lincoln-Lancaster County Public Building Commission (PBC) today voted at a special meeting to recommend the purchase of the office building at 825 "J" Street for $1.77 million. The property would be leased back to the current owner, Alfred Benesch and Company, for $200,664 annually for five years. The recommendation now goes to the City Council and County Board for approval, and both bodies will have public hearings on the purchase.
Don Killeen, City-County Building Administrator, said Alfred Benesch and Company approached the PBC about the purchase and lease-back. The company has a policy of not owning its corporate office facilities. Killeen said the property has been in the PBC's master plan area for many years.
The building, directly west of the County-City Building and the Justice and Law Enforcement Center, has 19,668 square feet on the ground floor and 5,256 square feet on a lower level. After the lease expires, Killeen said the building could be used to consolidate County operations now located in other facilities.
The PBC is responsible for the management of buildings jointly owned by the City and County. The current members are County Commissioners Larry Hudkins and Jane Raybould, City Council members Gene Carroll and Jonathan Cook, and former City Council member Linda Wilson, the at-large public representative.
Alfred Benesch and Company in Lincoln was previously known as HWS Consulting Group. HWS has been in Lincoln sine 1944 and has been located at 825 "J" Street since 1966. Jim Linderholm, Business Development Manager of Benesh, said the company plans to continue to have a strong presence in Lincoln.