LINCOLN — Speakers praised veterans’ service, the flag was raised and the ribbon was cut outside of 445 Honor Drive on Friday, opening the Victory Park apartment building on the Lincoln VA campus.
The three-story building, with 70 apartments, will be home to veterans at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
Duncan Fallon, site manager for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs campus, said 40 veterans are awaiting lease approvals and would be moving in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Victory Park will seek out other residents by working with other VA programs to identify homeless veterans in Lincoln, Fallon said.
The vision for Victory Park began in 2011 and gained steam in 2016 when the VA, Seniors Foundation VA Vision and Burlington Capital Real Estate finalized an enhanced use lease that allowed developers to build resources on excess VA land.
The project is the first step in a larger redevelopment of the VA’s hospital campus at 70th and O Streets that eventually will include a new clinic, more housing and medical office buildings.
After the ceremony, people toured the apartments, running their hands across the stone countertops and praising the size of the rooms and the quality of the work.
Thomas Bowman, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, called the building and the effort behind it inspiring.
“It doesn’t take a miracle to take care of veterans and recognize their service,” Bowman told those gathered at Friday’s ceremony. “It takes people like you.”