As the long-awaited Crossroads redevelopment plan remains in limbo, a tired commercial property across 72nd Street is set to see some noticeable action.

The former one-story furniture store that has been vacant for several years is to stretch up and out as J. Development plans to integrate a new five-story apartment building into the existing property.

When done, the $17.8 million project at 119 N. 72nd St. will contain indoor parking, community and fitness rooms and 158 market-rate apartments ranging in rent from $800 to $1,100.

It will be called Swivel — a nod to the old furniture identity as well as the “pivotal times” for an area on the verge of transformation, said Julie Stavneak of J. Development.

“We’re excited to be the first cool apartments on deck and can’t wait to see more development happen,” said Stavneak, whose company also is finishing the Centerline apartments farther south on the 72nd Street corridor.

While Stavneak said she’s confident that the neighboring Crossroads site eventually will be revived, her team’s Swivel project is not dependent on that.

Swivel construction is to begin yet this year, she said, with an anticipated opening in July 2021.

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Wednesday, the owner of the Crossroads Mall, Frank Krejci, said through a spokesperson that there was “nothing new” to say about the mall site. Five months ago, he told The World-Herald that it was premature to talk about any new revival effort, but he left open the possibility that he’d have news in as soon as six months.

Around that same time, Mayor Jean Stothert said the city was in active discussions with developers for the troubled Crossroads property. Wednesday, the mayor’s economic development aide, Troy Anderson, said the city had nothing new to report on Crossroads.

Krejci bought the struggling Crossroads in 2010, and though various plans to redevelop it with a mixture of retail, office, housing and civic uses have surfaced, none materialized.

The future Swivel is on the east side of 72nd Street across from the Target that is one of the few remaining stores at the sprawling Crossroads Mall.

Stavneak said her team was attracted to the location — close to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Do Space digital library and other job-plentiful educational and medical campuses. A plus, she said, for residents seeking entertainment is a separately owned bowling alley, West Lanes, just to the north.

In addition, the property has easy access to public transportation, including the new bus rapid transit line, called ORBT, that is expected to debut in April 2020.

The basement and existing ground floor are to be renovated and used as 127 parking stalls, while the newly constructed levels are to be “integrated into and partially on top of the existing building,” according to a plan submitted to the city.

The developer is seeking up to $2.86 million from the city in public tax-increment financing.

Stavneak said her team has talked with city officials about improving the safety for pedestrian and bicycle traffic around the property.

“We’re super excited for the redevelopment of not only this building but the neighborhood, which already has strong assets.”

Reporter - Money

Cindy covers housing and commercial real estate for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @cgonzalez_owh. Phone: 402-444-1224.

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