By: Bill Schammert
Monday night, the Lincoln City Council listened to a public hearing about a possible student-housing development in the Russian Bottoms neighborhood. Elsey Partners and the Council have talked about student-housing in the neighborhood before, but this new proposal seems to have legs the previous ones didn't.
"We feel like the student-housing business is a good business to be in," Chris Elsey said. "We want to be good neighbors and invest in the community."
The proposal includes a four-story apartment building that would have 126 units with 210 bedrooms. Elsey says it would be contained by Y street on the south, 10th Street on the west and 12th street on the east.
Walt Bleich lives in the area and says he originally didn't support the idea, but after speaking with Elsey, thinks it's time for the neighborhood to move on.
"This developer is making a number of accommodations," he said. "He's agreed to a number of recommendations by the city."
Some opponents brought up the concern of increased parking, however Elsey says with 166 new parking spots and 72 spots for bicycles, the parking will be adequate. Elsey Partners has developed similar urban housing in midwest cities Manhattan and Stillwater, and says it's never experienced parking problems before.
"The perceived problem comes from people dealing with converted rental houses that used to have one person or a family and now have three or four cars," Elsey said.
The project would include several public upgrades as well. This includes the paving of Y Street, the construction of 12th Street and the building of a median on North 10th Street.
The city council is expected to cast a final vote on related zoning issues and amendments at next Monday's meeting.