The redevelopers of Crossroads Mall have submitted their first formal application to the city for a new plan that’s double the cost of an agreement laid out in May.
The proposal also calls for nearly twice as much in city incentives as the earlier agreement between developer Rod Yates and Mayor Jean Stothert. The new plan, for a half-billion-dollar, 2 million-square-foot project, would be completed in four phases.
Yates submitted an application Monday for tax-increment financing, known as TIF. The document provides more details on his plan for a spot that’s seen as one of the most important intersections of the city.
But Stothert again expressed doubt about his plan.
She said she hadn’t agreed to the larger incentives figure in the new plan for the site, and she said she hadn’t seen those numbers until Yates submitted the application on Monday.
The TIF application, signed by Yates, also appears to be incomplete: He doesn’t provide proof that a lending institution has committed to financing the project, and he says he is still in negotiations to buy some of the property to the west of the mall that he intends to redevelop.
Stothert said the application would also need a signature from Frank Krejci, who owns most of the land that’s being contemplated for redevelopment.
The planning department “will have to review it more thoroughly, but at this time it looks like it’s incomplete,” Stothert said.
Yates did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Last week he told The World-Herald that he wanted to move forward on the Crossroads redevelopment.
“We’re all ready to make this happen,” he said.
Councilman Pete Festersen, who represents the area, said he wants to see “a quality mixed-use redevelopment that is worthy of one of the most important commercial properties in the city.”
Of the latest plan, he said: “I’ve been waiting a long time for something to move forward, but I need to review all the details.”
In all, according to the application, the project would cost $514 million, with $118 million coming from incentives.
Stothert and Yates have been engaged in on-and-off negotiations for years.
In May they signed a nonbinding written agreement called a memorandum of understanding. That document detailed the first two phases of the plan, which would cost $233 million. Stothert agreed to provide $64 million of city incentives, including TIF, a new occupation tax on the site, redevelopment bonds and the city’s purchase of the existing garage.
Stothert said she has not agreed to the $118 million in incentives.
“I signed the MOU what was in the MOU,” Stothert said. “I did not sign something that was totally changed, and he did not talk to me about changing anything.”
The aging mall to the northwest of 72nd and Dodge Streets — one of the busiest intersections in the city — has long been seen as one of the most important sites for development in Omaha. Many Omahans, including elected officials, have been pushing for movement on the redevelopment ever since Krejci bought the property in 2010.
Yates’ TIF application calls the spot a “dead mall” and notes that an entire wing is closed.
“In addition ... many tenants are temporary tenants that do not appear to have set business hours,” it says.
According to the TIF application, the first phase of a redevelopment would be completed in 2019 and would include 230,000 square feet of retail, 10,000 square feet of offices, a 360-unit apartment building and a 12,000-square-foot health club and spa.
The final phase would be finished in 2024. In all, the site would have nearly 340,000 square feet of retail, more than 500,000 square feet of apartments (720 units), two hotels and almost a million square feet of office space.
The application also says the site would feature “next-generation fiber technology,” including a connection that’s capable of delivering data at transfer speeds of 10 gigabits per second. There would be free wireless Internet for shoppers as well.
The development would stretch from 72nd to 76th Streets between Dodge and Cass Streets. The existing Target would remain, as would the 2,200-space parking garage to the north that the city has agreed to buy.
Also remaining would be the building on the southwest side of that site, which has a Best Buy.
Krejci’s Crossroads Mall LLC owns most of the parcels on that 40-acre site. Some others, including the Sears building, are owned by the University of Nebraska Foundation. Main Street Partners, which is affiliated with Yates, has the perpetual right to buy those properties, according to Yates’ TIF application.
But there are four parcels, including a Kwik Shop on the north portion of the site and part of the shopping mall along 76th Street, that the developers do not own. The application says they are in negotiations with the property owners.
It also says they have not obtained financing. Under that section, the application says “applicant is presently negotiating with four different financial institutions.”
The TIF application is one of many documents that the developers will have to submit to the city before they move forward with their plans.
One of the key pieces is a redevelopment agreement, which would be an agreement between the city and the developer about incentives and other details.
Stothert said, after seeing the TIF application, she doesn’t know when a redevelopment agreement will be negotiated.
Yates’ plan assumes City Council approval of an agreement by January.
World-Herald staff writer Paige Yowell contributed to this report.