The undeveloped frontier between west Omaha and the Elkhorn area is about to shrink.

A mile-long stretch along West Maple Road between 180th and 192nd Streets will soon sprout apartments and a commercial area.

Two family-owned Omaha businesses developing the Antler View area, which covers 245 acres on the corridor’s southern side, say it’s been a quarter-century in the making. It is expected to be a $150 million project.

“It’s one of the few parcels left on a major arterial where you’ve got residential surrounding it,” said Scott Brown of Quantum Real Estate. “The whole area is just exploding.”

Antler View’s roots hark to about 1990, when Vann Realty Co., led today by Tom Vann, started assembling eastern portions of the agricultural land, banking it for future development.

“I remember practicing driving on it,” recalled son Michael Vann, 25, who just joined the firm started by his grandfather, the late Howard Vann.

Another family, which founded Quantum Real Estate, more recently joined the Vanns in buying the western parcels. Principals in Quantum are Paul Brown; his son, Scott; and son-in-law Rob Luellen.

Their partnership now is preparing the site for construction of the first phase of 384 apartments that is expected to open late next year.

“With a mile of frontage along West Maple, we have a great opportunity to create something special,” Tom Vann said.

Key to success and timing, he and his partners said, are newly built Elkhorn schools and housing subdivisions that are bringing hundreds of rooftops and more traffic to the area. North of Antler View is the developing Indian Pointe residential area. To the south is Elkhorn Highland Ridge.

“We are excited to be a part of it,” Paul Brown said.

Antler View will be created in phases from west to east and likely will take a decade or so to complete, developers said.

They want to wait on the eastern section until public improvements along 180th Street are complete. City plans call for a bridge near Blondo Street and Old Lincoln Highway that will create a straight shot along 180th from West Dodge to West Maple, said Assistant City Planning Director Dave Fanslau.

Vann Realty will take the lead on Antler View’s projected $27 million, nine-building apartment complex.

Tom Vann foresees no problem in filling the units. His firm specializes in building apartments and also owns and manages a few west Omaha commercial properties such as The Mark and Regency Westpointe.

Rents at the three-story Antler View apartment buildings are to be set at midrange for the area, Vann said, from about $850 for a one-bedroom unit to $1,150 for a two-bedroom home. Amenities include a pool, fitness room, gas fireplaces and a playground.

He said the area has been in demand, citing a market analysis prepared for the developers by REIS, a real estate market research firm. According to the study, the suburban southwest Omaha submarket had a 1.6 percent vacancy rate for apartments in mid-2014, down from 5.3 percent in 2010.

For Omaha as a whole, the report showed a mid-2014 vacancy rate of nearly 3 percent.

There already are hundreds of single-family homes planned for large neighborhoods taking shape nearby, so Antler View developers have opted out of developing houses in Antler View, Tom Vann said.

Quantum has started to seek tenants for 30 acres targeted for commercial use near the corner of 192nd Street and West Maple Road. Scott Brown foresees an anchor such as a grocery store, national retailer or workout facility that is surrounded by shops, restaurants and service-providers.

“We have been happily surprised with the commercial interest in the area,” Luellen said. Quantum will be in charge of marketing and leasing Antler View commercial lots. The company has developed retail centers including the Shoppes at West Village Pointe and Arbor Legacy.

Construction nearer to the site’s eastern border could begin in perhaps five years, Luellen said. That would include additional retail and apartments. Quantum also is marketing the area as a site for a senior living component.

Technically not inside the Omaha city limits, Antler View is being developed as a sanitary and improvement district. Paul Brown also is serving as the SID attorney. Developers said that John Kuehl with D.A. Davidson is providing financing; TD2 Engineering and Stan Howe Architects also are working on the project.

The Omaha Planning Board has signed off on a preliminary plan for about half the project area. Though it’s not within city borders, the property still sits within the city’s three-mile planning jurisdiction.

Fanslau said he doesn’t anticipate barriers and expects activity to accelerate around that Maple Street corridor.

“It’s ripe for development,” he said.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1224,

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