Suh to bring Nike store to Lincoln | Local business news
Months after selling his top-floor West Haymarket condo, Ndamukong Suh plans to open a Nike store in the former Nebraska Bookstore space in downtown Lincoln.
The University of Nebraska Board of Trustees on Friday approved a $1.25 million deal with Suh’s company, TFL Development LLC, to purchase 17,000 to 19,000 square feet of space at the corner of 13th Streets. and Q.
The deal calls for a “Nike store” in the space, although reference was made to a “Niketown” during discussions at Friday’s regents meeting. Further information about the Lincoln store was not immediately available.
Over the past few years, Nike has rebranded several of its large-scale, multi-level Niketown stores, including those in Chicago, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.
Nike also operates branded outlet stores, including locations at Nebraska Crossing Outlets near Gretna and Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kansas.
In its request for proposals, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln asked the developers to provide a “nationally or globally visible retail store,” particularly clothing or footwear, for the former bookstore space.
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TFL, one of six companies Suh started last year, beat a proposal from Tetrad Property Group, which is run by fellow former Nebraska player Zack Wiegert.
Suh’s company will pay a down payment of $100,000 to begin remodeling the space, plus a monthly fee of $1,000 over 20 years.
NU President Hank Bounds said the addition of a Nike store not far from Memorial Stadium will not affect the university’s relationship with adidas, the apparel supplier for Husker Athletics since 1995.
In 2013, the Regents approved a five-year extension to the deal worth $15.5 million, including $8 million in cash from adidas to NU and $7.5 million in apparel and sports equipment.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said Friday that adidas officials are aware of Suh’s proposal for a Nike store and are “agreed”.
Suh, who signed an endorsement deal with Nike shortly after his playing career at Nebraska ended in 2010, appeared at Niketown in New York in 2012 to kick off sales of the new NFL uniform. He played five seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions before joining the Miami Dolphins this year.
Suh, who is No. 16 on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes in the world, signed a six-year, $114.3 million contract with Miami in March. His off-court connections include real estate, aviation and a friendship with Omaha investor Warren Buffett.
Lincoln Regent Tim Clare withdrew from Friday’s discussion and vote on the Suh deal, saying he had a relationship with the former Husker All-American in the past.
Clare said he had no role in the deal between UNL and TFL.
The Nebraska Bookstore closed in June after the university purchased the property from Neebo Inc. for $4.75 million.
The other half of the building will be converted into an academic space for the UNL. Bounds said those plans would be revealed “in a few weeks.”