by Coby Mach, President and CEO Lincoln Independent Business Association 402.466.3419
In November, construction on Pinnacle Bank Arena passed its halfway point, utilities are scheduled to be up and running in just a few weeks, and the arena’s first national acts have been booked. However, one dilemma still remains; what to do with Pershing Auditorium. The Lincoln Independent Business Association advocates that Pershing be returned to the tax rolls as soon as possible.
Located at 226 Centennial Mall, the Pershing property is in the heart of Lincoln’s downtown and presents great economic potential. Lincoln taxpayers had been told that Pershing was in need of major repairs, and many voted for the Pinnacle Bank arena with the impression that Pershing, which received a $600,000 taxpayer subsidy in 2011, would be placed back on the tax rolls.
The city’s recent request for proposals for redevelopment of the Pershing property resulted in three proposals. While The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) did not support the library proposal, all three proposals were rejected by Mayor. The Mayor gave many reasons for the rejection, including cost to the taxpayers.
When Mayor Beutler spoke on November 20th at the LIBA Luncheon he hinted that the city would soon issue a new request for proposals. LIBA would like to take the opportunity to stress how important it is to the Lincoln community that plans are finalized for the Pershing property to be returned to the tax rolls. LIBA has great expectations for the Pershing property. Whoever gets the chance to develop the Pershing lot will have an opportunity to add to the value and appeal of a vibrant community poised for economic growth. The city owes it to taxpayers to capitalize on this unique location and choose the developer who has a vision for what Lincoln needs and can provide the greatest benefit the Pershing site has to offer.
We would like to thank Kent Thompson for serving on the Pershing reuse selection committee and encourage Lincoln to adopt his plan of action. Simply stated, “Pershing has been and is a unique site. It is time to return this property to the tax rolls.”
On another note, the 2013 LIBA Convention is just around the corner. We will celebrate our 33rd anniversary on March 7, 2013. This is always a major event for Lincoln with over 550 business and community leaders in attendance. If you would like to join LIBA and be part of the policy-making of our organization, please call me at 402-466-3419. I would be happy to talk to you about being involved in LIBA.
LIBA studies and promotes these types of issues that are important to businesses and our community. If you have an interest in joining LIBA, please call me at 466-3419. LIBA membership is not restricted to just businesses. We also have “individual” memberships for those who want to help influence our local government decisions.
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