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The Railyard in Lincoln goes under new management

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 4:45 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Just two years after going under new management, The Railyard in Lincoln is switching hands once again.

Unlike for many other places, it wasn’t the pandemic that caused business here in The Railyard to dwindle. Over the last several years, many businesses closed down and left the space, saying rent was too high and there wasn’t enough traffic coming through. Hurrdat took control of operations in July 2019, but owners are now hopeful the new managing company taking over the day-to-day will reignite the spark and shift things in The Railyard in a new, impacting direction.

“Taking over management over The Railyard for us means an opportunity to impact Lincoln in a big way,” said Mike Smith, creator of Hey Mike.

The creative agency Hey Mike has launched programs and kick-started organizations all over the country. Revamping The Railyard is now their new challenge.

Smith told 10/11, “I want my friends to move to Lincoln, and I want people who I care about to come to this town. Everybody always asks, ‘Where can we go?’ What can we do?’”

Hey Mike’s plan is to give the Lincoln community that space by holding more live music concerts, happy hours, nonprofits and fitness activities.

“More than just sports, more than just nightlife, bringing more art and culture,” Smith told 10/11.

Hey Mike said they’re focused on reaching more diverse groups in Lincoln’s culture with their new plans for The Railyard.

“To find communities that wouldn’t typically end up in The Railyard and to bring them down to The Railyard and give them experiences and opportunities to explore this place as well,” said Smith.

This new management said they’ve gotten the support of city council members and other Lincoln leaders, including WRK who thinks the new plans will help Lincoln’s economy as a whole.

“We have an incredible entrepreneurial community that not only deserves attention but resources and funds to be able to track talent. I’d love to continue and enhance that,” said Will Scott with WRK, LLC.

Hey Mike tells us inclusiveness and equity will be at the forefront of all of The Railyard’s plans moving forward.

“That means that we have a program for everybody. So, when you have a space this unique and the screen as big as that, a street like we do, we want to make events useful for everybody,” Smith said.

Hey Mike is kicking off its new management Sunday, June 13, 2021 by hosting its first Makers Market. From noon to 3 p.m. more than 20 Lincoln artists and creatives will set up shop, selling homemade items in The Railyard.

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