Lincoln's skyline will soon change again with a new hotel and condominium development rising 15 or more stories above the southeast corner of 9th and "O" streets. Mayor Chris Beutler and private partners today announced the project, named Block 54, which will include two hotels, 40 to 50 upscale condos and penthouses and parking, with a restaurant and bar in one tower. The high-rise will be the tallest structure built in Lincoln since the 1970s.
"This signature project will enhance the City in several ways," Beutler said. "It offers upscale living near downtown businesses, the University of Nebraska and the Haymarket entertainment district. The addition of more hotel rooms fills a need for business travelers, and makes Lincoln an even more attractive location for sports and entertainment events. Block 54 will be a beautiful addition to Lincoln's skyline."
A local partnership, Hotel Land Investments, LLC, led by Lincoln Hotel Group is developing the project. DLR Group is the architecture firm designing the project.
The $65 million to $70 million project includes about 200 hotel rooms. A Holiday Inn Express will occupy three floors of the tower, with two floors devoted to a boutique hotel. A ballroom and outdoor recreation and event space will be located on the fifth floor. The brand for the boutique hotel is expected to be announced soon. It will be a full-service hotel, with a restaurant. The hotels will have separate entrances and lobbies, and hotel parking will occupy floors two through four.
The upper floors of Block 54 will be devoted to the upscale condominiums, penthouses and a rooftop garden. The tower will be at least 15 stories above street level, but that could grow to 17 stories as the design is finalized. Heated and secured parking for residents will be provided in the basement level of the building.
John Klimpel, director of operations for Lincoln Hotel Group, said now is the time for this development. "Block 54 is right at the intersection of Lincoln's centers for business, entertainment and education," he said. "More people are looking for downtown living because of the energy of this area. And it's a perfect location for visitors who come here for business or pleasure."
Demolition of several structures on the site will start in mid-November and is expected to be completed by the end of December. Buildings housing an art gallery and print shop on 9th Street will remain, as will the Terminal Building east of the project on "O" Street. Construction is expected to begin in early spring 2017 and be completed in early 2019.
"Our investors are all local individuals and businesses," Klimpel said. "We love Lincoln and we want to leave a legacy for future generations. Block 54 will become a landmark image for people entering Lincoln from the north and west, and a development we can all be proud of."
Those interested in finding out more about the project can visit block54project.com.