Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced that the City has selected White Lotus Group of Omaha to redevelop the City-owned property on the Pershing site, the downtown block bounded by Centennial Mall, 16th, "M" and "N" streets.
The developers propose to build a 100-unit, affordable housing apartment complex along with a wellness center, childcare facility, commons area and green space, retail, and underground parking. The proposed project is an investment of about $54 million, including the use of tax increment financing and low-income housing tax credits. In addition, the proposal designates a location for a public library along Centennial Mall and "M" Streets, if the community supports moving forward at that location. The proposed project includes over 300,000 square feet of new improvements. The existing building would be demolished.
"As we developed the 2018 Downtown Master Plan, we saw Pershing as an opportunity for a visionary catalyst project that would benefit the entire area," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "Although a great deal of work remains to be done, this is exciting news for our community, and it takes us one step closer to a new chapter for this historic block."
Pershing Center was replaced as the City's event center in 2013 when the Pinnacle Bank Arena opened. The Pershing Center Site Invitation for Redevelopment Proposals was issued in September of 2018. When a proposal was submitted earlier this year, the City advertised that additional proposals would be accepted until May 11. White Lotus Group was one of five developers to respond, and four of the five proposals included a public library as a possible use.
The selection committee included staff from the City Urban Development Department, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department, and the Mayor's Office as well as Todd Ogden, President of Downtown Lincoln Association, former City Council member Carl Eskridge with the State of Nebraska, and Lauren Pugliese with Ameritas.
The Urban Development Department will work with the developer and Lincoln City Libraries administration and board over the coming months on a schedule, a project amendment to the Lincoln Center Redevelopment Plan, and a redevelopment agreement. Once a redevelopment agreement is final, it will go to the City Council for public hearing and a vote.
For additional information about the project, contact Urban Development Director Dan Marvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.