KEARNEY — A project that will add almost 107,000 square feet of residential living and retail space at University Village in west Kearney seeks tax increment financing Tuesday from the Kearney City Council.
When the Millennium Development LLC project was announced in March, investor Scott Rief, a Grand Island real estate developer, said the complex hopefully will attract graduate students, young professionals and the wider Kearney community.
First phase will begin in August with 86 housing units, but when it’s completed in five years, Millennium Housing will have 230 units. The entire project will be 106,632 square feet.
That space is about equal to the square footage of Kearney’s former Kmart building that now houses Marshall’s, Pet Smart, Ross Dress for Less and Five Below.
In addition to one- and two-bedroom apartments and townhomes, the Millennium complex will have a courtyard, outdoor pool, a gym, clubhouse, carriage house and attached garages.
“This is a place we want you to come and enjoy and really have that walkability aspect. With the amenities that the university is coming up with currently and in the future, it’s going to be a destination where you’re going to want to come multiple times and hopefully not leave,” Reif said in March.
The project will be built south of 24th Street and west of University Drive on land owned by the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The total cost of the Millennium Development project will be $15,898,282.
The tract has no tax value, but city of Kearney Finance Director Wendell Wessels outlines in a memo that after completion, the buildings and other improvements will be on the tax rolls and have an assessed value of $10,960,065, according to estimates by the Buffalo County Assessor’s office. That valuation would generate about $203,315 in real estate taxes annually, according to the council information packet.
The project would be rebated up to $2.7 million of eligible project costs, including streets, utilities and other costs.
According to Tuesday’s council agenda, the first phase will be completed in June 2021. The project architect is Weaver Sherman Design of Indianapolis, Ind., Olsson Associates of Kearney is the project engineer, and Full Circle Services of Grand Island is the general contractor.
The Kearney Community Redevelopment Authority voted on July 6 to recommend the council’s approval for $2.7 million in TIF assistance to cover the following utilities and eligible costs: water: $239,658; sanitary sewer: $138,469; electrical: $200,000; fiber: $65,000; parking facilities: $1,612,705; sidewalks: $379,460; and lighting: $65,000.
The 104-acre University Village initiative was announced in 2014 by UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen.
Several projects have been completed since and several are planned.
University Flats is a $16 million, 99-unit residence hall for UNK students, staff and faculty. The $7.8 million LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center opened in 2019.
In addition to the Millenniun Development LLC project, others planned at University Village are a $19 million regional engagement and alumni center and a $7.5 million indoor tennis facility.
Tuesday’s council meeting is open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 18 E. 22nd St.