Saws spinning, bobcats buzzing and hammers pounding. A fifteen acre plot of land between Q Street and Millard Avenue near 132nd has turned into construction city.
For many years this stretch was a barren ghost-town like former site of Millard Lumber after it moved to I street in 2008. Michael Williams from Olympia Cycle said, "We looked at the Old Millard Lumber Warehouse for years and that was quite an eyesore. " But that all changed when Lanoha Development bought the property in 2014. Demolition late that year led to construction in 2015. Now as this year winds to a close, this corridor is coming into focus. Six apartment buildings are going up. 600 people will call them home starting next year.
On the North end, the lower level will have three places to eat and drink including Dunkin' Donuts, Eat Fit Go and Local. Business offices, on the second floor, will be staffed in early 2017. Developer Jason Lanoha said, " We are trying to create a product that is usually more known for a downtown environment. But a little farther west, it's a unique opportunity. " On the South end, Omaha police officers are already using a new precinct to respond to crime calls.
It's a big change from the days when Millard was a small town, built close to the railroad tracks for commerce. The cobblestone road has withstood the test of time. It's now refurbished. It will stay, reminding some of Millard's character. Many small shops that have been here for decades are now anticipating a jump in business. Williams said, " With the developed trails we have out in this area, we've been selling quality bicycles with quality service for a long time and those two are going to make for a great pastime out here. "
He believes the development will change Millard for the better and many folks who live along this stretch agree.