Grand Island City Council approves Conestoga Mall redevelopment plan

Local4 News at 10
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 1:33 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island City Council has approved the plans for the redevelopment of the Conestoga Mall.

Woodsonia Acquisitions is planning a $221 million investment for the shopping center that will be named the Conestoga Marketplace.

The Elkhorn developer has big plans for the 50 acres of land that sits between Highway 281 and Webb Road from 13th to State Street.

The company has been sharing its vision to the community with meetings with the planning commission, community redevelopment authority and city council.

Regional Planning Director Chad Nabity spoke with Local4 previously about the project and said it can be a complex process.

Woodsonia hopes to breath new life into the mall, including adding a 147,000 square foot anchor store on the south end of the property, make the rest of the mall outward facing and enhancements to the entertainment/theater area.

The talk of the town suggests Target may come with the remodel, but nothing has been finalized. Though planning documents suggest Target for the spot where the anchor store will sit.

“Even if we do everything we can to cooperate, the project still has certain things that have to happen, including the anchor store committing to this - and I know there’s a lot of people excited about this all over town, but there’s still a lot of pieces that have to happen to really make this work,” he said.

Developers also want to build multi-family housing, a hotel and much more to really make use of the land.

The council authorized the use of tax increment financing and created an enhanced employment area, which would add a 1.5% occupation tax on all sales at the mall. Those sources could raise about $70 million over 30 years.

The council also approved the rezoning with an amended development plan that calls for tearing down portions of the existing mall and building some out lots along Highway 281 and 13th St.

The next step for the city is to approve the contract for the tax increment financing and enhanced employment area.

The developers plan to be at the city council meeting on Dec. 6. They hope to start the project in 2023.

News Channel Nebraska contributed to this report