A 22-story glass skyscraper has been proposed by the County Planning Commission to be built at the edge of the Haymarket. Some University of Nebraska-Lincoln students who work downtown have mixed feelings about the effect construction will have on their commutes and work lives.

The tower would be called “9 Lincoln Park,” and would become the second tallest building in Lincoln. The building would contain 33 condos, 77 luxury apartments, four floors of commercial space and a private club. It would be located at the northwest corner of Ninth and P streets, where the Melichar Gas Station has sat for over 50 years. 

Construction is set to start in August if it is approved and could take up to two to three years to finish. However, due to the location of the building, some streets in the Haymarket would be closed to stage areas for the builders. 

The estimated project cost is $87 million and includes $23 million of tax increment financing.

This has raised some concerns for businesses in the Haymarket and a petition has been started called “Save the Historic Haymarket” to stop the construction from starting. 

“I think petitioning, in general, is a good idea and a good use of your rights,” said Paloma Sanchez-McGee, a freshman majoring in journalism and textiles, merchandising and fashion design. “I know sometimes petitions do not always pan out, but in this instance, this is the citizens' only chance to have their voice heard. I signed it and I think anyone who wants to have an active role in this change also should sign it.”

The petition to stop the construction has over 2,000 signatures so far — with a goal of 2,500. 

“It’s going to make it much harder for people to access the Haymarket, and during the week it is already very slow so with the roads being closed off it is going to drive many people away,” Sanchez-McGee said. 

Sanchez-McGee works at the checkout desk at 3 Daughters Boutique in the Haymarket. The clothing store between Leadbelly and (402) Creamery is very busy on the weekends, she said, but on the weekdays it tends to be a lot slower.

“I love it,” Sanchez-McGee said about her job. “You meet so many different kinds of people and see how clothes can just change a person’s entire day.”

Many other students also work in the Haymarket throughout all the different shops, restaurants and other businesses. Elizabeth Luehrs, a freshman majoring in psychology, is a host at Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill. 

“I think business-wise, I don't think it will really affect us,” Luehrs said about the skyscraper project. “Just because we are a really popular restaurant and it's a go-to before games. So I don't think that it's gonna be a big difference. But I mean, driving wise and getting to work, it might take longer because of the construction since we are a pretty busy restaurant.”

Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill - Haymarket is the busiest out of the three locations in Nebraska and is a hot spot to go to before Husker games, which Luehrs attributes to the restaurant’s location near Pinnacle Bank Arena and UNL.

Despite having no strong feelings towards the potential construction, Luehrs thinks it won’t look appealing in the Haymarket. 

“I'm kind of indifferent about the skyscraper being near the Haymarket,” Luehrs said. “I mean, it's kind of an eyesore, but it doesn't really affect me in any personal way. And I'm kind of used to large buildings like that. So it's not a huge deal for me.”