By: Kayla Bremer
In a little more than a year, this dirt lot will be a thriving retail and business complex.
Nicknamed "Project Oscar", Friday's groundbreaking marks the beginning of a new four–story building in the southwest corner of Canopy and P Streets.
"If you truly want a place where people work, play, live...you know, the housing is going in, the retail is going in, without the work there's no one to use the businesses for lunch and things like that so to put the office component in is really the missing link," Project Developer Zach Wiegert said.
The nearly $17 million building will be the corporate headquarters of Olsson Associates.
The 57–year–old Lincoln engineering firm will house more than 200 employees on the second and third floors.
The top floor will also be office space and the first floor, all retail.
"We'll go after a lunch/dinner restaurant user on the main street that's active most hours of the day," Wiegert said. "Probably a bank user and a sandwich shop or something like that towards the back of the building for the lunch crowd coming from the office."
The west Haymarket area has several buildings under construction right now. The Pinnacle Bank Arena, Canopy Street Lofts and new parking garages are expected to open this fall.
Officials say it's an area they hope will provide more exciting entertainment and housing options.
"It's also a place for business and this is really the first big business project here for employment," City Councilman Carl Eskridge said.
The new building is expected to complete by August of next year.