Mayor Chris Beutler announced Thursday that the Hoppe Brothers have been chosen to redevelop 6.5 acres of property in the area of 21st and “N” streets. The “Exchange at Antelope Valley” will include a variety of housing options, retail space and a 32-000 square foot grocery store.
Four proposals were submitted for the project area, and Mayor Beutler said the Hoppe Brothers’ proposed investment of up to $32 million stood out for several reasons.
“The diversity of housing options is an attractive component,” Beutler said. “Market-rate home ownership and market-rate apartments combined with low-income housing make the Exchange open to virtually any Lincoln resident who wants to live in the area. Downtown residents have long needed grocery service, but have made little headway because finding the necessary parking for a large store is a challenge in an area of high density. A grocery store at 19th and ‘L’ solves the parking problem and allows for convenient access for downtown residents.”
The Mayor praised the Hoppe Brothers proposal for preserving the area’s history and character. The historic municipal pool bathhouse will continue to house Parks and Recreation offices. The historic Windstream warehouse will be renovated into apartments. The “Exchange” takes its name from the area’s history as the site of the Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The Exchange will include 64 three-story row houses for purchase. Other proposed housing options include the following.
• The Windstream Lofts at the site of the current Windstream warehouse will include 66 affordable rental apartments. Twenty of the apartments will be available for those with mental health challenges and will include supervision and casework facilities.
• A new building east of the warehouse will be known as the Lofts and will include 32 low-income apartments with geothermal heating and cooling. The Lincoln Housing Authority and CenterPointe will provide voucher rental assistance and onsite case management.
• A three-story building at the site of the former Williamson Honda building will be known as the Suites and will include 24 apartments along with retail and commercial space on the ground floor and a proposed restaurant.
The idea to create a large area for the redevelopment project was raised about two years ago by City Council member Gene Carroll. He proposed moving the Parks and Recreation maintenance facility to the new Municipal Services Center. At the same time, Windstream was looking at the future of its warehouse building. The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD), which owns the former Williamson building, was another partner in the project.
The Mayor thanked Carroll, Windstream and the LPSNRD for their roles in the project. “The partnership created an innovative and forward-looking plan that will greatly enhance the east downtown area while providing new living choices for your community,” Beutler said.
The City and the Hoppe Brothers will negotiate a redevelopment agreement that will go to the City Council for approval. Construction is expected to begin in a year. Over that year, designs will be finalized, the construction work will be bid and the site will be prepared.