For the last decade, people have badgered La Vista Mayor Doug Kindig with questions about the dilapidated former retail center on 84th Street. “When is 84th Street going to have something happen?” he said they asked. “What are you going to do?”
And no one, he said, asked as often as his mother.
“Today, I get to give her an answer,” Kindig said Wednesday morning at a groundbreaking for the planned $235 million City Centre, a long-awaited redevelopment of 84th Street between Harrison Street and Giles Road.
About 100 people, including city and Sarpy County leaders, were in attendance.
“When someone asks, ‘Where is La Vista,’ we hope eventually that this is the place that they point to,” said Chris Erickson, a developer with City Ventures, who is leading the project.
The redevelopment aims to become the downtown the city never had, Erickson said. Plans call for 384 apartments, 23,000 square feet of offices and 70,000 square feet of restaurants, bars and retailers. The whole thing will overlook a city park and lake that will replace the La Vista Falls Golf Course. Erickson said he is still in the process of lining up tenants.
Phase one of the project is the north half of the downtown main street as well as construction of a First National Bank building. Permits have been filed for three buildings so far. Construction will start next week and continue the next few years, he said. Businesses are scheduled to open in late 2018 or early 2019.
The redevelopment has been a long time coming, Kindig said. But the patience of residents, elected leaders and city staff has paid off in “making a dream become a reality.”
What was once a two-lane state highway bordered by farm fields and a trailer park eventually became La Vista’s “Golden Mile” of retail development. But in recent years, that stretch has been marred by empty storefronts and a dilapidated parking lot. City Ventures has been involved for about three years, Erickson said. Buildings started coming down in December.
“It is a monumental day for us,” Erickson said.
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