It's one of the busiest intersections in Omaha and the area around 72nd and Dodge is undergoing a transformation. A lot of new businesses are coming to the area while others are leaving.
Charleston’s restaurant is a popular destination out west near 137th and Dodge, but the restaurant just announced it will soon be available at a more central location as well. “Same menu, same people running it and we're just excited about another venture here in Omaha,” says Charleston’s managing partner Vince Fletcher.
The restaurant will add a second location near 76th and Dodge where the Old Country Buffet once sat. “We're excited to see things get going and as a group we're really looking forward to going down there." Charleston’s is targeting an opening date of March or April 2013.
There has been a lot of movement in the area lately. Raising Cane's Chicken will replace the relocated Family Fun Center. Borders is gone, but other restaurants like LongHorn Steakhouse and Five Guys Burgers and Fries have come to the area.
City Councilman Pete Festersen says the biggest transformation will be turning Crossroads Mall into University Village. "We're on track for the $300 million redevelopment of Crossroads, which is very exciting for the area and also for the entire city."
Festersen is meeting with the development team periodically. “They're still actively marketing, but have had substantial interest from new to market retail that I think will be great for Omaha. Right now, they're anticipating construction in 2014 and 2015."
The future seems promising. “Really revitalize a property that's been the heart of Omaha for a long time, but hasn't had a lot of reinvestment in a long time, so we're excited for that."
The City Council has approved TIF Financing for the area, although no properties in the area are currently using those funds.