for Downtown Entertainment Center
Mayor Don Wesely today said the downtown entertainment center project has not ended, despite the decision by the San Francisco development firm to end its involvement. Wesely said the national economic slowdown affected the plans of Farallon Development Services. The firm had planned to develop the block bounded by 11th, 12th, "O" and "P" streets into a retail and movie theater complex.
"We are looking at the options with local and other national developers who see the great opportunity here," said Mayor Wesely. "This is an opportunity for all those involved to re-group. A big advantage is that much of the groundwork has been done, including agreements, permits and cost analyses. We also continue to have a thriving downtown area."
According to the Downtown Lincoln Association (DLA), construction permits in the downtown area have totaled more than $35 million from April of 1999 to mid-February of this year.
"Those involved in downtown Lincoln continue to feel positive about the continued investment," said Charlie Meyer, DLA Chair. "We are pleased the Mayor is looking at alternatives for the entertainment center project, which would benefit downtown and the entire city."
The city does not own the block proposed for development, but has facilitated the private development discussions and plans to use tax increment financing for the project. Mayor Wesely said the city has also continued discussions with the local Douglas Theatre Company about its potential involvement in the project.
"Our new Comprehensive Plan reinforces the downtown theater policy," said Mayor Wesely. "Other cities our size have undertaken similar projects, and we feel an entertainment and retail center would be very successful in our downtown."