This time next year, Werner Park will have company. A drafthouse cinema and entertainment center is planning to build at the entrance of Pennant Place, Hwy 370 and 126th Street.
The critics have been plentiful over the years -- wondering if anyone would build around the $24-million ballpark.
While the Omaha StormChasers racked up championships and record crowds the last three years, the bean field around the entrance seemed poised to stay farmland.
Trenton Magid saw the potential. "Since Werner Park was built - there's been over 600,000 visitors a year and that's really driving the retail component here that people are inquiring about."
Magid, with World Group Commercial Real Estate in Omaha, is working with the Des Moines firm 360 Real Estate Services and Roger Langpaul - on developing Pennant Place.
"We saw that they came here but then don't stay," said Tyler Calabrese of Sound Management, who is bringing movie screens and more to the entrance. The closest screens to Papillion are seven miles from here. "The restaurants in Omaha are out of control -- they are all over. We decided to go with the Drafthouse Entertainment Center and Movie Theatre." He's shooting to open next summer.
For Sarpy County taxpayers -- the deal is the same. At the ballpark, for everything sold -- the county gets back a penny-and-a-half. That will work the same way at the Pinnacle Place businesses.
Patience didn't seem a problem for some taxpayers.
"It's a good investment," said David Wilson, who can see the ballpark from his front yard. "It's really taking shape and you can see the progress."
Work is underway for the 300 homes on the north side, where there will also be a new elementary school. 350 apartments are expected on the east side. NRD has a public lake in the works on the west end. Developers would also like a grocery store and hotel.