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Omaha City Council vote advances redevelopment at 72nd & Center

 The Omaha City Council on Tuesday voted on a redevelopment proposal for 72nd Street and West Center.
The Omaha City Council on Tuesday voted on a redevelopment proposal for 72nd Street and West Center. (WOWT)
Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 7:12 PM CST
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A corner of 72nd Street and West Center has been dormant for years as an old hotel and nightclub sit there in ruins. On Tuesday, the Omaha City Council took the first step toward a possible solution.

The area is prime real estate but neglected and run down.

A motion to designate the property as a community development area and available for tax increment financing was before the council today.

A Quality Inn and the Shark Club stand empty on the site being eyed by

.

They plan to place a 270-unit apartment building on the four-acre site. Another three acres is necessary for right-of-way and street development.

But not everyone is excited about the plan.

Larry Storer of Omaha asked what was going to happen to the area.

“Yeah, somebody's going to come in and get the property and it will probably cost them very little because the city is going to contribute a lot,” he said.

Jon Blumenthal represents Meridian Development. He said the proposal will provide a solid return on investment by the city — and be a good fit for the surrounding area.

“I don't think it's going to have a bad impact on the neighborhood. You had the Quality Inn and the Shark Club there before which wasn't exactly drawing a group of great ...I hate to use the word, ‘element,’ but it wasn't a great element at the Shark Club by the end,” he said.

“But we think this is going to be a great project and draw a lot of professionals. A lot of medical professionals, other professionals to these apartments,” he said.

Blumenthal said plans for the area are still in the works and the developer plans to work with the city and neighbors on finalizing plans.

The council unanimously approved designating the site as a community redevelopment area, clearing the way for the project to move forward.

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