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LIBA Calls on Mayor and City Council to Sell Pershing

The Lincoln Independent Business Association is calling on Mayor Chris Beutler and the City Council to sell Pershing Center and return the property to the tax rolls in an expedient manner.

In September of 2011, LIBA sent Mayor Beutler a letter suggesting that the City of Lincoln’s request for proposals to redevelop the site “contains too many rules and regulations to expedite the sale or redevelopment of Pershing Center.” We believe these extensive rules may have had a repressive effect on potential developers.

It has been nearly 14 months since Mayor Beutler declined the three proposals to redevelop the Pershing site. Mayor Beutler said that he hoped more proposals would come forward. LIBA fully agrees and encourages renewing the request for proposals prior to Feb. 1.

Lincoln taxpayers voted for the Pinnacle Bank Arena with the expectation that Pershing Center would no longer be necessary and would be returned to the tax rolls. Taxpayers expected to exchange one venue for the other and achieve financial gains for the city. Not only would the $400,000 per year ($600,000 in previous years) subsidy for Pershing Center no longer be necessary, but a new vibrant development on the Pershing Center site would generate tax revenues for the city.

The developer chosen to revitalize the Pershing property will have the opportunity to increase the value and appeal of a vibrant community poised for economic growth. The city has a responsibility to taxpayers to capitalize on this opportunity by finding and selecting a developer with a corresponding vision for the city that will provide Lincoln’s taxpayers needed relief.

LIBA believes the sale and development of Pershing Center is the responsible business approach and is more than willing to help promote its sale or to listen to potential solutions.