Plans to reorganize a commercial district along Saddle Creek Road near a traffic circle known as “The Peanut” were presented to the Omaha City Council on Tuesday.
Plans for a six-phase project would include a 160-unit apartment building as well as more than 7,000 square feet of retail space.
Staples in the area – including the Homy Inn, Sgt. Peffer’s, Janousek Florist, and Saddle Creek Breakfast Club — would stick around, the developers said.
But the plan would close off part of Saddle Creek Road between the Northwest Radial and Hamilton Street.
A major sewer line would be relocated, and plans call for the city to reimburse relocation expenses of up to $3.5 million.
The first phase of the project would see the construction of the apartment building near a vacant parking lot along Northwest Radial Road and Saddle Creek.
The promoters met with neighbors and members of the Metcalfe-Harrison Neighborhood Association.
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Megan Brink, president of the neighborhood group, spoke in favor of the project.
“The developer has engaged with the neighborhood for several years on this project, and we would like to see the old car lot transformed into something more beautiful,” she said.
The project is located in the neighborhood of City Council Speaker Pete Festersen. He has been working on the project for some time with developers, neighbors and the city.
The area, he said, has all the character of business districts such as Dundee, Benson and Blackstone. But it needs investments in public infrastructure to succeed.
Landscaping, increased parking and improved sidewalks would also improve the area, he said.
If the project goes ahead, he said, it should yield “great results for the neighborhood in the long run.”
The council took no action on the plan on Tuesday.
Council has approved plans for a 59-unit seniors’ residence called Hamilton Village that would be located on the northwest corner of 41st Avenue and Hamilton Street, just under 2 miles from the Saddle Creek project .
The four- or five-story building would also include off-street surface parking as well as on-street parking adjacent to the site.
The site is mostly made up of vacant lots, as well as three single-family homes. A developer of the project who spoke to council said the houses had been vacant for some time.