Council to Reconsider Crossroads Funding Vote

The City of Omaha wants to take a step back from a plan to help finance a sweeping redevelopment of Crossroads Mall. The City Council will reconsider its vote to place the $50 million Crossroads Village General Obligation bond issue on the May ballot.

The project on the table for the mall at 72nd and Dodge is a $400 million rebuild aimed at converting the aging mall into Crossroads Village, featuring retailers, luxury loft residential units, office space, a hotel and more.

The council voted 7-0 on February 25 in favor of the ballot issue. If the council votes to rescind, the bond question would be removed from the ballot.

The developer, OTB Destination, proposed the General Obligation bonds to pay for infrastructure work including streets, sidewalks and sewers. The developer has agreed to create and maintain a $4 million reserve fund to make the bond payments over the life of the bonds if necessary.

According to a news release from the mayor’s office, the project has been getting some push-back from taxpayers.

Mayor Jean Stothert is quoted as saying, “I support the Crossroads Village development, but we need to re-evaluate the financing plan. We’re listening to taxpayer concerns about the bonds and I share their concerns. We need more information and more time to guarantee the taxpayers will be protected before we move ahead.”

The economic and fiscal impact study of the project is still in progress. The traffic and parking studies are being evaluated and may not be complete before early ballots are available in three weeks.

The Crossroads Village General Obligation bond is separate from the City of Omaha bond issue that would remain on the May ballot.

The council is scheduled to reconsider its vote on the Crossroads bond at its meeting on Tuesday, March 18.

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