When completed, the new shopping center would offer 400,000 square feet of retail space, compared with the current mall’s 700,000 square feet. The center’s “smart” network will guide visitors via their mobile phones to available parking, promotions and ongoing events.

At a public Omaha Planning Department meeting last week to discuss the redevelopment of the 72nd and Dodge Streets corridor area, residents thronged around developer Rodney Yates and bombarded him with the names of retailers they would like to see occupy the new shopping center.

“I’ve heard REI, Nordstrom, Macy’s, H&M,” Yates said, smiling. “Every year $1.5 billion leaves Nebraska because we don’t have some of the stores where people want to shop — they take their money to another state and shop.”

EDIT: Be sure to check out The World Herald’s latest blog, “Money Talks”. It’s cool.

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