Losing office workers, more residents mark changing downtown Lincoln | Local government

Over the past decade, the number of downtown residents has more than doubled: from 3,000 in 2010 to 6,500 today, Ogden said. When the new projects are completed, he said, the number of downtown residents is expected to reach 10,000. In addition, there are more than 1,100 off-campus student apartments in the downtown area. Ten years ago, that number was zero, Ogden said.

People still come downtown, continue to patronize businesses, but it’s on a longer schedule, he said, and it should continue.

Projections from national research indicate that up to 80% of the workforce will be hybrid in the future – working both remotely and in the office, Ogden said, and he wants to position downtown as a destination for them, offering cafes and other places to gather.

Other observers say a healthy downtown needs a mix of uses, including daytime office workers who support retail and restaurants. Lunch traffic will remain slow if there are no bodies downtown, Meginnis said.

“What’s good for downtown is a lot of activity,” he said. “We have to keep all kinds of businesses downtown. “

Parking revenues are an indicator of the health of the city center. And although he’s recovered some of the pandemic, he’s still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels, said Wayne Mixdorf, deputy director of urban development, who heads the city’s parking operations.

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