SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) – After years of talking about a Sarpy County entertainment district near Werner Park and Highway 370, a new 60-acre project is now underway to make that vision come to life.
For years now Karen Reese, who works at Phoenix Food and Spirits near 132nd St. and 370, thought things would get busier outside of the restaurant but development has been slow-moving.
“Well we were starting to wonder if it was or not, but now it looks like it’s finally going to happen,” said Reese.
Development near Werner Park and Highway 370 is going to happen – crews are working on the infrastructure now. They hope to begin construction on about 350 apartments in the spring of next year with office and retail space to follow.
Andrew Rainbolt is with Grow Sarpy, formally known as the Sarpy County Economic Development Corporation.
Rainbolt also says there have been some housing developments in the area, he believes that growth might have been the spark this area needed.
“I’m hopeful that we could attract some more office space and get some more daytime activity in though here as we change from a bedroom community to a full pledge, diverse, 24-hour activity,” said Rainbolt, “This site will be the epicenter for that.”
Reese, of Phoenix 370 Food and Spirits, says that is good news for the restaurant that sits very close to where the new development is taking place.
Indeed it has taken a while for this development to get underway but it is happening, and the fastest growing county in the state continues to grow even more.
“We hear a lot from people that they don’t want to drive in Omaha to have dinner and do those things, and this will be another opportunity to keep those people here,” said Reese, “And get daytime jobs here so people can live, work, and play right here in Sarpy County.”
Developers tell 6 News that they hope to make this area a sports and family-oriented destination with Werner Park being a major contributor. The ballpark is currently home to the Omaha Storm Chasers minor league baseball team and the Major Soccer League’s Union Omaha team.
The ballpark is seemingly on an island in Sarpy County right now, but Storm Chasers officials say the park will continue to play a key role in the future growth of the area.
“It’s time for the entertainment piece, it’s time to have some neighbors,” said Rainbolt, “To where our fans can come and have a beer before and after a Chasers baseball game or a Union soccer match.”
Sarpy County officials hope that as the area grows residents will have more opportunities for entertainment, dining, and shopping without having to go outside of the county.
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