Plan for Common Area near UNL's City Campus Sent to Regents

Oct. 4, 2021, 6:45 a.m. ·

unity commons virtual rendering
Digital rendering of what the 'Unity Commons' might look like. (Photo courtesy of UNL)

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A University in Nebraska is set to launch a new residential development, but not for students.

The plan to refurbish space northeast of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus may house senior citizens who graduated from UNL, said Leslie Reed with the university.

“The goal of the development is to provide housing for retirees and for Lincoln’s international community,” she said, “and other amenities on property that the university owns and has been underutilized for almost two decades.”

The university purchased the lot back in 2003, and has used it for staging construction crews.

The proposed area would be called the ‘Cultural Unity Commons.’ Reed said plans entail increasing retail options for the common area.

“This area is underserved with retail. They’re talking about walkable pharmacies and department retail stores that would be used by students residing on campus,” she said, “as well as people who are living in the neighborhood.”

Reed said the university hopes the area can become a bridge between the school’s two campuses in Lincoln, city and east campus.

In April a request for proposals was sent to private firms, and the residential-common area was one of two plans received by the university. The plan requires approval from the university’s Board or Regents in early 2022.

Seven other schools in the Big Ten Conference have already built and offered senior living for alumni.