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A rendering shows the entrance to an indoor/outdoor music venue expected to open in La Vista in 2021.

Take out your earbuds and listen up, music fans: Plans for an indoor/outdoor music venue in La Vista are moving ahead.

The project, part of the $235 million City Centre development near 84th and Harrison Streets, promises an indoor hybrid club/theater and outdoor amphitheater that organizers say will attract new artists to the Omaha area.

Now two years after the venue was announced, workers should break ground in November, weather permitting.

“It’s been a long road to get here,” said Jim Johnson, co-owner of Omaha’s 1% Productions, which is opening the joint venue with Kansas-based Mammoth Live and Omaha developer City Ventures.

If all goes to plan, the venue will open in the first months of 2021, said Chris Erickson, co-founder of City Ventures.

Erickson updated the La Vista City Council last week on how the project is progressing. Here’s what’s new:

More shows, new artists

Organizers expect to host about 150 events a year, 15 of which will be in the outdoor amphitheater.

Johnson said some artists skip the Omaha area because of the size and setup of available venues. Bands like MGMT, LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire may be lured here once the La Vista venue opens, Johnson said.

1% Productions produces shows at The Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge, as well as other venues.

La Vista’s indoor venue is expected to seat up to 2,500, while the amphitheater’s capacity should max out at 5,000. The indoor portion can be altered for various crowd sizes, and while the main area won’t feature fixed seating, temporary seating will sometimes be introduced.

“There’s a void in the entire metro for live performance venues that (are) in the size range that we’re building,” Erickson said. “That’s part of the reason we’ve made it reconfigurable to hit a wide array of staging sizes.”

The Orpheum Theater and the Holland Center hold 2,600 and 2,000, respectively, while Stir Cove can accommodate more than 3,500, though none of those venues are able to reconfigure the spaces in the way the La Vista venue is being planned.

Addressing noise concerns

The music venue will be built on a tract of land nestled between the shops, restaurants and apartments of City Centre and Civic Center Park, which opened last week.

A neighborhood is behind the park. At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, a man who lives in the area said he has concerns about the level of noise the outdoor amphitheater will produce.

Erickson said the project’s organizers are sensitive to those concerns. The partners involved, he said, are experienced in planning for and controlling noise.

The land where the venue will be built slopes down from 84th Street into Civic Center Park. That decline means the outdoor venue will be below street level, which should protect 84th from noise, Erickson said.

And behind the amphitheater, the park should provide a buffer space between concerts and the neighborhood.

“It’s a pretty good location because of the way it’s situated in the hill and surrounded by the park,” Erickson said.

The group also will consider the angle of speakers and other mechanical solutions to control noise.

Mitch Beaumont, spokesman for the City of La Vista, wrote in an email that a sound study will eventually be necessary as part of the application process for the venue.

The current submitted design also puts the stage lower than original concepts, which will change sound patterns, Beaumont said.

The city will consider updating its nuisance regulations and continue to discuss curfew limitations with the developers.

Erickson said shows will end by 10 p.m. on weeknights and 10:30 p.m. on weekends. Johnson noted that with the limited number of outdoor events, outdoor noise will occur only periodically.

Even with careful planning, Erickson acknowledged that some neighbors may occasionally notice sound; a good rock show can’t end at 9 p.m.

“There’s a delicate balance there,” Erickson said.

BH News Service

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