Since the release of the Downtown Lincoln Master Plan, the City of Lincoln has enthusiastically pursued the re-invigoration of its downtown community. Located just one block south of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, and in the Lincoln Center Business District, the City has identified the P Street District as the next great opportunity for Downtown Lincoln.
The P Street District currently serves as the “weekday neighborhood” for Lincoln’s downtown workers. With 32 restaurants and bars, 14 retail shops, two museums, and a movie theater, P Street attracts the mid-day lunch crowd and serves the neighborhood with a variety post-work entertainment options. On football Saturdays, Husker fans travel P Street on their way to the game or stop to get a bite to eat before heading home after the game. Activity in the P Street District is diverse, but due to the limiting conditions of the streetscape, its vitality is rationed into small windows of time throughout the day and year. The Downtown Lincoln Master Plan envisions P Street as the central hub of the city, a retail destination that is active, night and day, throughout the year, and attracts Lincoln residents and visitors to the downtown neighborhood.
In an effort to welcome new shoppers and visitors to the Corridor, the Master Plan includes a re-design of the P Street streetscape as a priority catalyst project. This project will connect the adjacent Historic Haymarket District to the Lincoln Center Business District and east downtown’s Antelope Valley for Lincoln residents and visitors. In 2012, the City released the Downtown Lincoln Master Plan Update. This final report refines the focus of the P Street District and addresses the importance of Complete Streets as an essential element to the creation of an active and vibrant downtown. Supporting a Complete Streets policy, the City envisions the P Street District as a pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhood that encourages business investment and retail development into the future.
In 2012 Design Workshop, Inc., in collaboration with a team of subconsultants, was hired by the City of Lincoln to program and design the proposed streetscape improvements to the P Street District. The objective of this work was to provide the City of Lincoln with a comprehensive plan for creating a vibrant retail corridor with Complete Streets while enhancing pedestrian safety, maintaining traffic flow, and improving the appearance and functionality of the District to encourage future investment and active engagement with the community in Downtown Lincoln.
The program begins with Phase One improvements which will take place along P Street between 11th Street and Centennial Mall and 14th Street between O and Q. Hausmann Construction is the contractor on site. A complete redesign of the streetscape, parking and right-of-way create a vibrant atmosphere that incorporates specialized lighting, plantings and key public spaces to make P Street a unique, must-see Corridor in Downtown Lincoln. These improvements will help to build the retail core of the master planned Corridor and initiate appreciation and enthusiasm for subsequent phases of redevelopment outlined in this Master Plan. In addition to design concepts for the physical environment, this program also includes retail strategies and storefront and signage guidelines to advise the City and the Downtown Lincoln Association about working with developers, business owners, and Lincoln residents to support the new character of the P Street Corridor.