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Lincoln builder eyes Waverly for new development with 500 homes, commercial lots

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WAVERLY – A Lincoln builder is proposing a development with more than 500 new housing lots in Waverly. 

Waverly Mayor Bill Gerdes announced the plan in his Facebook group, “Waverly NE Information Group,” explaining the intentions of Lincoln-based Smetter Homes to build a housing development on land south of U.S. 6, north of Bluff Road and east of 148th Street. 

The development would be built in five phases over seven to 10 years, with hopes of breaking ground late this year or early next year.

According to preliminary plans, four of the phases would focus on residential property. The first phase would include 91 single-family lots and 56 town homes, and some would be built with zero-entry access for senior living. 

The fifth phase, which would consist of commercial property, is blurrier, as Smetter has not yet purchased the land along U.S. 6. Gerdes said Smetter has also not submitted a preliminary plat to the city.

Sean Smetter, owner of Smetter Homes, said the project is in its infancy, as the sale of the land that would encompass the development’s first four phases is not final.

“What we’re proposing is that, if it’s something the city council approves, we’ll move forward with it. If not, then we won’t,” Smetter said. “But I don’t think there will be any issue.”

Smetter informed the city of his plans via a recent Zoom call with City Administrator Stephanie Fisher and representatives from Waverly School District 145. 

Superintendent Cory Worrell said the school district, along with DLR Group, has been considering its future building needs with the potential of the Smetter development in mind. He said if the development is built, it could contribute to growth of more than 1,200 new students in Waverly and Eagle in the next decade.

City Council Member Abbey Pascoe, who heads the council’s fiscal and economic development committee, said she was happy to hear the news about the Smetter development. She said the new homes would fill a need for Waverly as the remaining lots in the Anderson North Park subdivision fill in. 

“If we didn’t have another developer come in and want to help us continue to develop this community, we’d be at a standstill,” Pascoe said.

Another benefit, Pascoe said, would be the introduction of more commercial lots.

“We’ve been hearing this, and we’ve been talking about it for a long time,” she said. “We really need some more commercial businesses in our community to entertain and help our residents make it the best community we possibly can.”

Smetter said his company has been involved with developments in Lincoln similar to the one proposed in Waverly, such as a subdivision near 27th Street and Rokeby Road that included 132 units. He said Waverly is a prime spot for development because of its location between Lincoln and Omaha, as well as a lack of available commercial and residential lots in the city. 

“There’s not a lot out there for sale, and we definitely see a need and see a likely demand for that,” Smetter said. “Waverly’s a great town with lots of nice people. I think it’ll go well.”

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