Fargo City Leaders Visit Lincoln For Downtown Ideas

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Lincoln's downtown area has grown so much in the past couple years and with the new developments of the Railyard, Pinnacle Bank Arena and Innovation Campus, other cities are looking to Lincoln on how to improve their downtown areas.

Thirty-eight visitors from Fargo, North Dakota came Monday and Tuesday and toured downtown Lincoln. They weren't here for a vacation but rather to study how Lincoln has grown downtown.

Fargo city leaders are doing the same thing Lincoln did a few years ago touring other cities.

"A lot of the things that you are doing are things we're trying to do in Fargo and it's fun to learn and see what's going on here," said Fargo city commissioner Mike Williams.

Williams says his city's downtown is going through a transition.

"Our downtown's had a good Renaissance we've quintupled the value downtown and so we've got a good Renaissance of our own, but I'd say you're about 5-7 years ahead of us," said Williams.

Williams says one reason the group picked Lincoln specifically, the parallel with Fargo.

"Our demographics are similar, the wages are similar, housing prices are similar, even what you charge for a monthly rental in a parking stall are similar, so as we grow our downtown way of life is very important," said Williams.

The Fargo group was impressed with the partnerships between UNL, the city and private groups. They also raved on how Lincoln deals with downtown parking.

"They're really interested in how we provide parking and how they might have applied to some of what we've done in Fargo," said assistant urban development director Dallas McGee.