OMAHA — A project to redevelop the grounds of the former Ak-Sar-Ben horse racing track into a mixed-use campus is nearing completion after 15 years.

Jay Noddle, who's leading the Aksarben Village project with real estate developer Noddle Companies, said that just 10 percent of the land remains available for development on the 70-acre site.

Construction in the area launched in 2007, with officials hoping to turn the site into a walkable neighborhood with a mix of residences, retailers, offices and entertainment.

Noddle said the village has received $630 million in private investment. The city of Omaha said it has approved about $85 million in tax-increment financing for the area.

The company will begin building the village's first set of for-sale homes later this year, Noddle said. The seven townhomes will each be about 1,600 square feet, have three floors and include two-car garages.

Alchemy Development is also slated to build two more housing projects, which will add 124 units to the area. The developer already has 227 apartments in Aksarben Village.

A majority of the remaining property is already earmarked for an expansion for engineering firm HDR, which held a grand opening of its 10-story global headquarters in the area earlier this year.

Doug Bisson, HDR's Community Planning and Urban Design Lead, originally proposed the idea of creating the walkable neighborhood more than 15 years ago.

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"This is college town, meets research town, meets neighborhoods," Bisson said.

A food, retail and entertainment zone is scheduled to open this summer. The Inner Rail plaza has been approved as an entertainment district, which allows for the sale of alcoholic drinks.

Developers also plan to create an 110,000-square-foot, multi-tenant office building next to the HDR headquarters once a lead tenant is secured, Noodle said.


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