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2004 Media Releases

May 18, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Dallas McGee, Urban Development, 441-7857
Polly McMullen, Downtown Lincoln Association, 434-6900

Mayor Opens Federal Place
Building also included in new historic designation

Mayor Coleen J. Seng will kick off the grand opening ceremony of the redeveloped Old Federal Building at 5 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, May 18 at the new Federal Place, 129 North 10th Street. NuStyle Development Corporation has redeveloped the historic building into 43 apartments with underground parking and first floor commercial space. The third floor courtroom has been restored and will be used for a community meeting room. The ceremony at 5 p.m. is part of an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Apartments and public spaces will be open to the public during that time.

"Today, we celebrate the 100th birthday of a Lincoln landmark," said Mayor Seng. "The Old Federal Building is now Federal Place, thanks to NuStyleís redevelopment, which has breathed new life into this building. I want to thank NuStyle for creating a beautiful new space while carefully maintaining the historic character of the building. I also want to recognize the Cityís Urban Development Department, the Downtown Lincoln Association, the Lincoln City Council and the others who made this transformation possible."

The City received news last week that "Government Square," the entire block from 9th to 10th streets and "O" to "P"streets has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to Federal Place, the block also includes Old City Hall and a small building at the corner of 9th and "O" known as the "comfort station." Ed Zimmer, the historic preservation specialist in the City-County Planning Department, said the designation recognizes the importance the buildings in the history of Lincoln and provides federal tax incentives to aid in rehabilitating them. "Each of these buildings alone is an architectural gem, but together, they are even more important, a real keystone of Lincolnís history," said Zimmer.

"This is a terrific addition to the downtown housing market, which is really booming right now," said Polly McMullen, President of the Downtown Lincoln Association. "Many people are choosing to live downtown, and that has resulted in an overall occupancy rate of 96 percent. Many of the downtown residential properties are at 100 percent occupancy, and many others are close to that rate."

The Old Federal Building was built in several phases beginning in 1904. It was used as the post office and federal office space until 1969, when the new post office at 7th and "R" and the Denney Federal Building at 15th and "O" were completed. The building was then acquired by the City of Lincoln, which declared it surplus in 1987, making it eligible for sale and redevelopment.

A 1998 study of downtown Lincoln identified the redevelopment of the Old Federal Building as a priority project. A redevelopment study of the building was completed in 2000. The City accepted proposals, and the redevelopment plan by NuStyle was unanimously recommended by a citizen review committee in the fall of 2001. After the City Council approved the redevelopment agreement, the sale of the building was finalized in May 2003, and work began later that month.

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