Managers of New Grand Island Conestoga Mall Plan $150 Million Development | national news

GRAND ISLAND – Big changes are planned for the Conestoga Mall.

City Council on Tuesday approved the referral of a dilapidated, substandard study to the Regional Planning Commission for the 78-acre site off US 281.

The request was made by Omaha-based Woodsonia, which manages the property owned by Namdar Realty Group of Great Neck, New York.

Regional planner Chad Nabity said the site met degradation and substandard requirements in November 2018, but Namdar did not submit a plan for the property then.

“I’m sure many of you will agree with me that it hasn’t gotten better for the most part in the last four years,” he said.

Woodsonia presented a concept for the property that will need to be “fleshed out” as it evolves, Nabity said.

The redevelopment project is estimated between 150 and 200 million dollars.

For the redevelopment to take place, the property will need tax increment funding, which requires degraded and substandard status.

Mitch Hohlen, a Woodsonia partner, detailed some plans for the property.

Hohlen said the Omaha company had purchased a mall in Namdar in the past.

“It’s kind of a difficult group to work with,” he said. “Their process is to buy closed malls, analyze them and bleed them. Fortunately, there is not much to separate here, so we have a unique opportunity to do a masterful redevelopment like this .”

Woodsonia intends to “properly size” the mall, to be closer to 200,000 to 150,000 square feet.

“There are 10 to 15 very viable tenants in this mall right now. They’re doing well. We’d like to keep them there,” Hohlen said. “But, as part of this opportunity, we really want to update the mall.”

The planned “substantial investment” would include new interiors, exteriors and parking.

There would also be new developments, including a four-level multi-family unit on the north side of the property, Hohlen said, and more retail space.

He added: “There is a demand for it. It’s not a dream.”

To accommodate this, the developer would raze the former Sears space and the defunct Napoli restaurant.

The plan will likely include exterior storefronts because “many domestic tenants no longer want to be located inside a mall,” Hohlen said.

“We’re not sure if this will be an exterior-facing mall with new storefronts or a radically updated interior, but there are quite a few tenants who will stay. And we We’re planning to bring a fairly large and updated entertainment offering to this component, which I think you need to make the space viable.”

Lynn A. Saleh