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Rainbow Market space to be renovated

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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If all goes as planned, the Rainbow Market space will be remodeled and the home of new businesses by the end of 2010. That’s according to Fred Katz of Katz Kirkpatrick Properties, owner of the building on G Street between Second and Third streets. Possible new tenants for the site include Big 5 Sporting Goods and Grocery Outlet, Katz said. “We’re sill working with those tenants,” Katz said. “We have no signed leases or solid commitments yet.” Katz said it is too early to speculate on whether Grocery Outlet and Big 5 will, in fact, sign leases, but he said there has been a lot of interest in the space. “Where we are now is that the city has approved the plan as far as remodeling the property, and we are trying to figure out the costs of doing that,” Katz said. The remodel is currently estimated to cost about $6 million. The Planning Commission approved the plans for a facelift of the currently empty building that formerly housed Rainbow Market Aug. 19, said Vice Chair Vic Freeman. “Everybody really likes the design,” Freeman said. “They took a lot of the elements that are in the buildings downtown.” Lincoln residents are happy about the prospect of having a business in the building, which has been vacant since Rainbow Market closed its doors about a year ago. “I think it’s great,” said Lincoln resident Alma Moody. “It’s wonderful. Put something back there. I cry every day I drive by and see that Rainbow Market isn’t there.” Moody said Rainbow Market used to be the place where she saw everyone she knew, and she said she hopes Grocery Outlet will be similar. Doug Duncan, who works in Lincoln, said he is happy to have a business back in the space, but he isn’t 100 percent convinced the architecture is perfect. “My only concern would be how it ties in with the old town,” Duncan said, adding that, based on the architect’s rendering, he thinks the building looks more modern that the historic downtown. Freeman said the decision to go ahead with the project was a unanimous decision by the five-member commission, and the property owner – Katz Kirkpatrick Properties – has been good to work with. The only difference in the design originally presented to the commission and the version approved was the height of the sign that will be erected in the parking lot, Freeman said. Originally, plans called for a 20-foot-tall sign, but the commission only approved a 12-foot-tall sign because that is all that will be necessary once the Highway 65 bypass is completed, Freeman said. With the design approved, construction should start next summer, and the new businesses could be open by the end of 2010, Katz said. Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at brandond@goldcountrymedia.com.