The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 10, 1975, Page page 8, Image 8

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    Wednesday, decern be r 10, 1975
page 8
daily nebraskan
What he though was a good, long-term investment may
be lost to the city according to Lincoln businessman Pat
Ash. And he's not a bit happy about it.
Ash, who owns property on the proposed Centrum
block bounded by 11th, 12th, N and 0 streets, has filed
three law suits against the city in his attempt to keep his
According to Ash, the city wants to purchase his 25 feet
of property facing 0 Street and a smaller lot facing 1 1th St.
to make way for the private development.
Questions legality
Ash is questioning the -legality of this purchase, the con
stitutionality of the Urban Redevelopment Act and the
validity of its blight interpretation and the denial of due
"I maintain that it's wrong for the city to have emmin
ent domain to condemn privately owned property for the
resale to a private developer," Ash said.
Ash, who owns Pat Ash, Inc., and the building housing
Duling Optical at 1 1th and O streets, said his property is
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Photo courtKV $f tha Lincoln Conttr Ocvtriopmant Program.
An aerial view of Lincoln shows the proxim
ity of the university campus which developers
say will keep the downtown alive.
..v.y. , .
: 1
1 . hv, a
courtesy of the
Nebraska Union
while you
study for
j in the
Sun. Dec. 14
Mm.-Wed. Dec. 15-17 7pm-1 1 pm
one of tlie prime comers in downtown Lincoln. He said he
understands why many businessmen would like to have it.
Morally wrong
It's morally wrong for government to take a large piece
of property away from several private owners and put it in
to the hands of a single owner, which the Centrum project
proposes to do, he said.
Made way
Urban renewal has been voted down twice by Lincoln
voters, Ash added. This time the city went to the Legisla
ture to a get a state law passed to make way for the Cen
trum. "By going to the legislature," he said, "they didn t have
to go to the people.
Although not opposed to progress in Lincoln, Ash said
he firmly believes businesses should stay in the hands of the
smaller businessmen. Ash is financing the law suits himself.
The lawsuits still are pending in court, he said, and
added: "I don't think they (the city) will push the court
case, because a feeling of resentment may arise."
Ash said he is not holding out for more money for the
property because he already has received higher offers.
The city made the offer for his property only 60 days
ago, long after the suits had been pending, he said, adding
the "price was no where in the ball park."
Calling the Burton-Aschman (redevelopment consult
ants) proposed plan for downtown "the most loosely com
piled of gobbledy-gook I've ever seen," Ash said, "It is easy
for them to sit on the outside and propose this tiling, but if
they were in my position they would be thinking quite a bit
Fifteen other lawsuits have been filed by property own
ers in the Centrum block against the project. Ash said there
were originally 24 lawsuits, but several have been dropped
and others consolidated.
"I don't expect people to agree with everything I've
done or said," Ash concluded, "but I plan to express my
opinions when I think I'm right and if I'm wrong I'll admit
Atrium plan proposes complex
dill , - iiiffi- n fe'm'm'BSlf
, id nn no mi p p mm
The Atrium, seen from the corner of 12th and N Streets.
While building projects are booming in Lincoln, many in
vestors are considering remodeling older structures into re
tail and office centers.
The Gunny's complex at 13th and Q streets, which was
completed last spring, was the first large-scale remodeling in
Lincoln. It sson will be followed by the transformation of
the temporary National Bank of Commerce (NBC) Build
ing, at 12th and N Streets into the $4.5 million Atrium.
Cary Neiman, vice president of the Chicago-based Haw
thorn Realty Group which bought and is remodeling the
Atrium, said the realty group picked Lincoln's strong down
town for its project.
"It's one of the strongest downtowns in the country,"
he said. "It is an extremely strong economic base, the
capital of Nebraska and the University."
He added that new construction in the area influenced
the developer's decision, along with the low Lincoln un
employment rate.
The main alteration of the NBC Building, he said, will be
the addition of a 40-foot square open area, or atrium, in the
center of the building, running through all seven floors and
tupped by a skyiiKiit.
At the base of the artrium area will be a dining and re
laxing area, Neiman said, surrounded by shops, eating
establishments and lounges.
Plants and greenery will hang in and be placed around
the atrium area, he added.
The first two floors and lower level, some 80,000 square
feet of leasable space, will house retail shops. The upper
floors will hold glassed-in office space facing the atrium.
"We are installing all new mechanical equipment,
Neiman said. "New escalators and elevators will be installed
in addition to the remodeling."
His firm invested in the NBC Building, formerly the
Rudge and Gunzel Dept. Store, then the Scars Building, be
cause of its location (between two major banks and close to
the State Capitol) and because the 1917 structure is still
Neiman said Ben Simon's has signed a long-term lease for
parts of the first two levels of the Atrium and "there are 10
retailers interested in some of the space.
"We are planning to house dynamic, high-quality ten
ants," ne noted, "and not the faddish type of businesses."
Completion date for the Atrium is scheduled for late
1976, he said. Work will begin on the building in February,
as soon as NBC moves out.
Put yourself into, the fashion scene
with "Designer Frame" glasses. Names
like Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and Nina
Rtcci mean "today" and express it through
bold and beautiful eyewear for men and
The Optical Shop brings you these
fashion eyeglasses and for a limited time
will allow you a 20 discount off the pur
chase price of any of their many styles to
choose from.
1. "-n
I .muni
This coupon allows the bearer
at time of order, a 20 discount m
on any pair of "Designer
Frame" glasses available at I
The Optical Shop. 333 North 1
12th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 1
Expiration data January 26. 1975
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