At least 14 homes and an apartment building that have been fenced off near 36th and Jones Streets are slated for demolition to make way for up to 160 new apartments.

Omaha City Councilman Chris Jerram said he met with leaders of the Blackstone Neighborhood Association and Lincoln developer Commercial Investment Properties about three weeks ago to discuss preliminary plans for the residential lots between Jones and Leavenworth Streets from 36th to 37th Streets.

Larry Jobeun, a real estate attorney working with CIP, said the company still is in the process of acquiring two homes facing Leavenworth Street and next door to the Kwik Shop. All 16 homes are to be demolished.

Most of the homes are now vacant and being prepared for demolition with asbestos removal and utility shut-offs, Jerram said.

Mark Jepson, general counsel for Commercial Investment Properties, said the company began acquiring the properties, which were occupied, in June. Property records show the company paid about $1.5 million for the lots, not including the most recent two facing Leavenworth.

“As I understood, it was an area that was very problematic,” Jerram said. “It had several code enforcement issues. (Neighbors) were anxious to have it cleaned up and addressed in a positive way that’s compatibile with the historic architecture and amenities. Hopefully the design that comes through this will reflect that.”

Jobeun declined to share CIP’s specific plans for the property but said preliminary plans call for an apartment building with up to 160 units. The company is in the process of getting permits for the demolition, which probably would be completed by the end of the year. A larger meeting with neighbors will be held once plans are finalized and ready to submit to the city, he said.

CIP manages residential and commercial properties in Lincoln, Omaha and Alliance, Nebraska.

“Neighbors were very positive” at the meeting, Jerram said. They asked questions and had some minor concerns, such as features that would help the new apartment building fit in with the neighborhood and landscaping suggestions.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1414, paige.yowell@owh.com

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