Lincoln presents new plan for South Haymarket Park

April 1, 2024, 6 a.m. ·

Lincoln's South Haymarket Park is expected to be completed in Spring 2026 and include a dog park, playground and skate park. (Rendering courtesy of City of Lincoln)

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The City of Lincoln is changing its plan for the south Haymarket.

The new proposal, released Friday, requires the city to purchase two properties near the intersection of 7th and L Streets and expand the size of a proposed park.

Funding for the acquisitions will come from an anonymous donor and tax increment financing, or TIF, revenue.

The park itself will be funded through a variety of grants from the state and federal government, additional private donors and more TIF funds.

Lincoln mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said building a downtown park has been a priority for her administration.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build an iconic public space that will support the growth of residential living downtown, catalyze economic development and spark tourism here in the quality of life capital of the country,” she said.

President and CEO of the Downtown Lincoln Association Todd Ogden says he expects the park to become a catalyst for economic growth.

“With all these new added amenities and the new space that we're going to have, this is not a compromise project," he said. "This is going to be transformative, and there's going to be no stone unturned with this.”

Planned amenities include a dog park, playground, and the largest skate park between Denver and Des Moines.

President of the Lincoln Skate Park Association Phil Burcher says the investment means a lot to Lincoln’s skate subculture.

“It’s almost like a dream come true to see that this is happening," he said. "The city is very on board and really gets it, and I think it’s amazing to finally see that happen.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2025 with completion scheduled for Spring 2026.