Lincoln Chamber of Commerce outlines road map for boosting city economy

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting on Wednesday where it introduced the Lincoln Vitality Strategy.

The plan outlines the city’s economic future and was the result of a 42-member steering committee, one-on-one interviews, focus groups and survey results from over 3,500 respondents.

Chamber President Jason Ball said there are six key initiatives and 28 specific tactics they are planning to execute over the coming years “to really make sure we’re doubling down on the exciting growth that Lincoln has enjoyed in the previous two decades.”

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He said future growth will depend on several big projects happening in the next few decades.

“We’ve worked with a broad group of community members and business leaders to determine, ‘What’s our road map for future economic growth here in Lincoln? What’s gonna keep this community growing, keep it economically vibrant?”’ he said.

One goal is to attract more diverse talent and create ways that people can get better training and jobs, as well as provide for their families.

Ball said community development like housing and child care will help to achieve that.

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Another focus was destinations in Lincoln.

Ball said the chamber is looking to draw people in with places like the new downtown convention center, which would be partially funded by LB 709, introduced by Sen. Anna Wishart.

Derek Feyerherm with Visit Lincoln said additions like the convention center will make Lincoln a more “vibrant community.”

“It’s similar to where we were a little over a decade ago with Pinnacle Bank Arena and seeing everything that happened out of that development,” he said. “That’s really what we hope will be that catalyst again with the downtown convention center.”

Lincoln Chamber Of Commerce East Beltway 2

Another development that officials hope will attract visitors and businesses is the new youth complex for baseball and softball, which will be built on the southeast side of First Street and Cornhusker Highway.

And now that the South Beltway is complete, Ball said plans are being made for a new East Beltway, which would connect the South Beltway to the Waverly area.

He said the city has already begun to protect the corridor that the beltway will be built on but hasn’t yet set any specific timelines on the project, as it will likely be in development for at least the next 10 to 15 years.

Ball also said Lincoln will be partnering with Omaha to build sites along Interstate 80 to further develop the two cities’ economies.

“This is really modeled after initiatives that have been so successful in, say, the San Antonio to Austin corridor or the cultivation corridor around the Des Moines area,” he said.

Lastly, Ball said that one of the overall goals of the vitality plan is to boost Lincoln’s image and bring more attention to the city both statewide and around the country.

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