North Bottoms Neighborhood: don't build it here! - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

North Bottoms Neighborhood: don't build it here!

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By: Megan Palera

Big plans are in the works for Lincoln's North Bottoms Neighborhood. But those plans hit a big road block - residents in that area.

Plans for a big apartment complex were unveiled to the neighborhood during a meeting Wednesday. The meeting quickly became heated.

"It's going to be a mess; a disaster!" Walt Bleich said.

The group did not give a warm welcome to developer, Elsey Partners of Kansas. The brothers want to build a $100 million complex catering towards students. It would be built on the site now occupied by Capital Steel, near 9th and X St. They've built similar developments in other college towns and believe it's a perfect fit for Lincoln.

"They can walk to school; walk to the Haymarket area where there's entertainment and shops," Developer Chris Elsey said.

But residents are worried about an increase in traffic since the complex would house a minimum of 1,200 people. They also say it doesn't fit with the historic nature of the neighborhood.

"There were a lot of homeowners here who have made their home here and invested to live down here. And to come in and say I just want to bring in 3,000 more students to your neighborhood because it's close to the university - that's disrespectful!" Annett McRoy said.

Not everyone sees the project as a bad thing. The apartments would be higher-end and some property owners say that's what the North Bottoms needs.

"A lot of the people are current owners who have been there for many years so they feel entitled to that area. I think they feel it has a little more value than it currently does but coming from a real estate perspective... I definitely feel that area would benefit," Derek Cats said.

The project is still in the very beginning stages. Capital Steel has not sold the property, and if it does the city council still has to approve the development and rezoning. The earliest the complex would be open is August of 2015.


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