Bellevue’s Olde Towne breaks ground, working on new look

Officials believe this project will bring much-needed service to Olde Towne Bellevue
Bellevue’s Old Towne is working on a new look.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - Bellevue’s Olde Towne is working on a new look.

The ground was broken Thursday morning on the first phase of the Frontier District.

The first project was a multi-million dollar mixed-use building that will feature apartments and retail. Officials believe this project will bring much-needed service to Old Towne Bellevue.

Rebecca Zurcher owns Erwin’s Jewelers, for years she’s watched and wondered what would happen on the empty lot across the street from her business.

“I knew it probably would take some time we’re patience people over here so it’s just been very interested to watch the timeline and the progression,” said Zurcher.

Officials broke ground and Rebecca found out what would be constructed on the former site of Bellevue’s city hall.

The Bridge Flats is the first project of the city’s Frontier District. The $12.3 million project is the first phase of development. It will include 53 luxury apartments on top and 18,000 square feet of retail space below.

“In the 18,000 we hope to see a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center maybe, hopefully, a much-needed grocer will come in the area so we’ll be working on filling that space starting tomorrow actually,” said Jeff Gehring, Developer.

Rebecca is excited about the project and the possibility of a grocery store coming in right across the street.

A history making moment in Bellevue Thursday morning.

“We’ve all been talking and we would love to have some sort of like grocery store you know that would be very convenient for us, we would just kind of go over there after work and then go home,” said Zurcher.

Developers believe the Old Towne area is underserved they’re hoping the development of the Frontier District will not only attract people to the area but also help people who are already here.

“There’s 10,000 people that live right around us and then 10,000 in Offutt Air Force Base, there’s 20,000 people who are not served very well with what we see here today so this upgrade is needed probably more than any other neighborhood that we’ve seen in Nebraska,” said Gehring.

“We have tons of traffic coming by here every single day anyway just going across the bridge and to other work sites so it’s only natural that those people would probably stop and of course bring more customers more people down to the area,” said Zurcher.

There are also plans to cut Mission Avenue down to two lanes and include space for bicycles and pedestrians. Bellevue city officials hope this project will bring new life to Old Towne.

Officials believe this development will give Bellevue residents a place to gather and it will give the city an identity.

“Bellevue I think has lost a lot of its identity like I said when you say ‘let’s go to Bellevue where are you going to go? There’s no central place there’s no place where people can gather,” said Mayor Rusty Hike.

For Mayor Rusty Hike this project is kind of personnel.

“Got a lot of history here used to do everything on the street went into all these businesses back in the late 60s, I was born in ‘62 and then 70s I miss that and I missed it for a long time and I think some of our residents miss it and it’s going to be exciting to bring it back,” said Hike.

Developers hope to begin construction sometime in October. Plans are to have the project complete in 18 months.