New mixed-use development is proposed for UNL’s neighborhood

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -A new mixed-use development is proposed for UNL’s neighborhood. The University announced the $175 million development that will provide housing and retail space. It would be a first-of-its kind for the Lincoln area.

Developers said the space at 2100 Vine could house around 1000 people in the Unity Commons Development 9. The space right now is overgrown and used as a stationing area for construction projects.

“We got to thinking about how to best use this property going forward,” said Bill Nunez, Vice Chancellor Business and Finance, UNL. “What’s the best interest of the university, what’s the best interest of the community?”

The Unity Commons will be designed with an international focus, perhaps including faculty and graduate students combined with senior housing ranging from assisted living to memory-care opportunities.

“When we broke down the actual numbers of the type of housing and the type of things that are actually needed in the community, we felt like there was a need for more senior housing,” said Jeff Woodbury, Developer, Woodbury Corporation.

Seven Big Ten Schools have a senior-living partnership like the one proposed. The space also makes room for retail.

“Different cultures want different amenities,” said Woodbury. “What we plan on doing is creating unique spaces that will ring to the cultures in the community.”

The University bought the former Textron lot in 2003 for $5.9 million and said they’re excited to find a use for it, a s well as connect city campus to the Whittier and Prem Paul Buildings.

“It builds some life, activity scale and enhances the neighborhood as well as the city,” said Nunez.

And the University said close proximity to the core of campus is a cultural amenity they’re hoping will draw in renters.

“There is a lot of excitement about how we can use the university as an intellectual epicenter, to also bridge this senior living center and the occupants of that,” said Nunez.

Development plans will head to the Board of Regents for approval. That’s expected to happen in early 2022.

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