The old Nebraska Crossing outlet mall is no more.
The 20-year-old Gretna mall has been leveled, and the last traces of its steel and concrete hauled away.
Taking its place is a new, larger $112 million outlet shopping center. The new mall's first vertical beams went up Monday, said Rod Yates, head of Arizona-based OTB Destination LLC.
Yates, in partnership with Frank Krejci of Omaha's Century Development, the mall's majority owner, is developing the new shopping center — renamed Smart Outlets at Nebraska Crossing because it will feature software that interacts with customers while they shop — at the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 6.
The new 350,000 square-foot Gretna mall, which will feature 70-plus outlet and factory stores, is expected to open in time for the holiday shopping season. “We're aiming for Nov. 15,” Yates said, a little later than the previous goal of Oct. 31.
So far, 25 tenants, including Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, White House Black Market and Scooter's Coffee, have signed leases. Carter's and OshKosh also will be back.
Yates said he expects to announce more tenants before the end of the month, promising would-be shoppers that the list would contain “their favorite brands.”
As the new steel frame rises, some have asked why part of the old 170,000-square-foot shopping center couldn't be saved. The answer, said Yates, was the mall's 1993 configuration, a quarter-mile strip that didn't appeal to potential retail tenants.
“No one wanted to be on either end,” he said.
So Yates and Krejci settled on an oval racetrack design that allows retailers to cluster. The new layout required the old mall to be leveled.
Omaha-based Kiewit Corp., the project's contractor, is working with local companies to recycle copper, steel and other materials collected during the demolition phase, Yates said.
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