Papillion development to have feel of Rockbrook

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:00 am

The developers of Midlands Place in Papillion say the project will be modeled after Omaha's Rockbrook Village and have a focus on independent merchants. They'll announce the first five tenants during a May 1 ceremonial event.

Construction is under way on the first two of six planned buildings, part of a total of 128,000 square feet planned to include retail space, offices, restaurants, medical offices and a hotel. A permit for a third building has been approved by the City of Papillion.

The $19 million project is at the southeast corner of Nebraska Highway 370 and 84th Street, next to Midlands Hospital and across the street from the Sarpy County Courthouse campus. The intersection is at the heart of the growing city, but development there was slow until a project was approved last year to widen and improve 84th Street south to Schram Road, Mayor David Black said.

The work will widen the road and add islands, traffic signals and turn lanes, changing what Black called an unsafe, rural road into one that will serve a growing urban area.

“That corner is our prime intersection,” Black said. “It's the center of Sarpy County.”

With improvement plans in place, Midlands Place is going up at the southeast corner, and a CVS is planned for the southwest corner.

Development of Midlands Place is being led by Russ Daub, an owner of Rockbrook Village at 108th Street and West Center Road in Omaha. Daub said in a statement that the Papillion project will be similar in design and tenant mix to the 50-year-old Rockbrook.

Drawings show one- and two-story buildings with rock and glass facades in an open setting with central parking, a plaza, trees and a water feature. The first two buildings are expected to be ready for occupancy in August.

The developers said the tenants chose the site because of Papillion's strong economy and the premium location.

Black said the project fits with a growing number of mom-and-pop businesses already established in Papillion. Daub, with his Rockbrook model, “understands how to build a community of small business,” he said.

Black said he expects the project to strengthen Highway 370 as a commercial corridor. A new headquarters for SAC Federal Credit Union is now under construction at 72nd Street, opposite Shadow Lake Towne Center.

“My hope is people start seeing you can have office use,” Black said. “That adds to that daytime employment opportunity.”

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