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Business owners give Lincoln City Council a proposed skyscraper

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska) — Strong opposition arose Monday afternoon when the Lincoln City Council heard public comment on the proposed downtown skyscraper.

“As you deliberate this, please consider that this location is not the best one for this project,” said Russ Bayer of Bayer Family Partnership.

The nearly $90 million Lincoln Bold project would begin construction at Ninth and P Streets this year if approved.

The building would include 33 condominiums, 77 luxury apartments, four floors of retail space and a private club.

Steve Glenn, one of the developers, said it would attract people from all over the country, bringing business to the area.

“These people that we’re trying to attract live in New York, Chicago, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles,” Glenn said. “They are well paid and are great people to try to attract to our community. That was our goal, and also to integrate small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

But small business owners from the Haymarket district and surrounding area were there in opposition.

A major concern was the amount of parking that would be taken away from the Haymarket.

Glenn said this wouldn’t be a problem because the developers plan to reserve 200 spots in a garage.

“The Haymarket is running out of parking today without this building, and we have other residential units under construction,” Glenn said. “But this building is 100% valet parking. If you live in this building, you need to park your car. We will not allow you to use those street parking spaces.

The business owners said that won’t help because those 200 points will take up space that could be used by customers.

“The waiter won’t matter because they won’t come,” said Kevin Witcher, the owner of the Screamers Family Restaurant. “Lincoln residents will hear the news and hear about this massive construction project and stay home or go somewhere else.”

Another issue raised was the lack of communication with entrepreneurs.

Many of those who came to testify said they had no say in the plans, which could have made a huge difference.

“Give us a seat at the table,” said Joel Schossow, owner of McKinney’s Irish Pub and Tipsy Tina’s Taco Cantina. “We are open to suggestions; we are not just blindly against this project. We think there are things that can be done, and I think if Mr. Glenn had sat down with a lot of people beforehand, we wouldn’t even be here talking today.

Tags: Bayer Family Partnership, downtown skyscraper, Haymarket, Haymarket District, Haymarket Parking Lot, Joel Schossow, Kevin Witcher, Lincoln Bold, Lincoln Bold Skyscraper, Lincoln Skyscraper, McKinney’s Irish Pub, mckinneys, Russ Bayer, screamer’s, skyscraper, Steven Glenn, Tipsy Tina’s, Tipsy Tina’s Taco Cantina

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