BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- A redevelopment project in Bellevue is moving forward after being shelved for more than 10 years.
The goal is to renew a once vibrant economic area that has fallen on hard times. Once the main connector between Omaha and Bellevue, Fort Crook Road looks forgotten and neglected.
Vacant parking lots, space to lease and property for sale and several businesses that have closed or moved out. So, back in 2008, the city looked into revitalizing this more than two-mile roadway.
Kevin Hensel of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce said it would be a gateway to the city.
“With the Kennedy Freeway coming through, it just took the traffic directly off of Fort Crook Road, so for years it’s just been in decline,” he said. “Overall, the stretch is just used too few and far between. The (proposed) plan looks at making this more of a boulevard lane, walking areas, kind of a multi-use destination type ideas.”
But that's all it was, an idea; though Hensel said the project hit a snag.
“The No. 1 obstacle was being sure the city owned the right of way,” he said.
No one knew for sure whether the city or the state owned property running parallel to Fort Crook Road. So, the corridor remained underutilized — until last week.
“We just recently found out that indeed we do have the right of ways,” Hensel said. “And while it's been unfortunate that we weren't aware of that in the past and haven't made progress, we're really just focusing on the future now.”
Wendy Lee owns Uptown Bakery on Fort Crook Road.
She said revitalizing the strip is good for all of Bellevue.
“It's going to bring a lot of people,” she said. “It's going to be a big draw and you know. it’s going to being a lot of new businesses, so it’s going to help Bellevue grow.”
Hensel said now the city can move forward after one very important question was finally answered.
“It’s certainly a nice surprise to know that we're ready to go,” he said.
Hensel said the area is eligible for tax increment financing (TIF) and state redevelopment funding.
There is no timetable on when construction on the project will begin.