Gretna's role in Nebraska Crossing project is spelled out

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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:00 am

A 135-page Nebraska Crossing Redevelopment Agreement was submitted to Gretna City Council members Monday, clearing the way for a vote as soon as tonight.

As expected, the agreement limits the city's direct investment in the $112 million project to $4.1 million, and spells out the terms that developers Frank Krejci of Omaha's Century Development Co. and Rod Yates of Arizona-based OTB Destination must meet in order to qualify for up to $57million in city incentives.

Developers have announced that the mall has 25 committed tenants. The redevelopment agreement as of Monday morning listed 12 additional retailers, or a total of 37 committed tenants, but OTB said later Monday the list was in error and a corrected roster would be issued.

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The document makes it clear that if developers do not meet the terms of the contract, the City of Gretna will not be financially responsible, said Gretna's attorney, Jeff Miller.

The city's direct investment in the project, $4.1 million in general obligation bonds, would be repaid through property taxes. Other incentives, though diverting future city revenues to the project, will not require more city funds if projections fall short.

“The agreement limits the city's liability on the incentives to $4.1 million,” Miller said. “If the developers fail to meet their financial obligations, the citizens of Gretna won't pick up those debts.”

The existing mall, located at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Nebraska Highways 6 and 31, is being demolished.

The redevelopment agreement, if approved, offers the developers a previously outlined package of up to $57 million incentives for the $112 million project. The incentives include:

»$12.8 million in tax-increment financing, which uses part of the future property taxes from a development to help pay for financing.

»Up to $14.3 million in turn-back sales tax incentives, which would return 1.5 percent in local sales taxes for 10 years within the redevelopment area. State law allows cities to divert the city's portion of the sales tax, up to 1.5 percent, for qualified redevelopment projects. The city's voters approved this funding through a special election in 2010.

»Up to $26.2 million from an occupation tax on businesses in the development, a 1.95 percent charge on sales for up to 25 years.

The project received a favorable independent cost-benefit review earlier this month. The revamped center could return $6 to $10 for every $1 of lost revenue and expenses to the city, and create 679 jobs, according to an analysis by economist Kenneth Kriz, a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's school of public administration.

The existing mall, built in 1993, was purchased for $3.8million in 2007 by Century Development and First Management Inc. First Management, which handled leasing at Nebraska Crossing for several years, is a 25 percent owner of the center.

The new mall, which is expected to open this fall as Smart Outlets at Nebraska Crossing, will have more than 60 tenants and offer customers a high-tech, fully “wired” shopping experience, the developers say. The mall is expected to lure shoppers from up to two hours away and generate about $150million in annual sales, the developers say.

Click on the images below for larger versions of renderings given to The World-Herald.
Megan Hunt


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