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The University of Nebraska at Omaha plans to add additional housing and parking.




By Christopher Burbach / World-Herald staff writer

The University of Nebraska at Omaha plans to add housing for 434 students and erect a 1,265-stall parking garage on its Pacific Street campus.

The student residence buildings will also include classrooms and satellite academic services offices.

The projects will increase UNO’s on-campus student housing capacity to more than 2,500, continuing its transformation from a commuter campus into one that is more residential.

Tetrad Development Corporation and UNO officials presented the plans Wednesday to the City of Omaha Planning Board. The board unanimously approved Tetrad’s request for an amendment to the agreement governing the Aksarben Business and Development Campus.

The plans have yet to go before the NU Board of Regents for approval. That could happen June 12.

The student residences and academic center would cost about $35 million, and the parking garage about $32 million, said Bill Conley, UNO’s vice chancellor for business and finance.

He said the university hopes to have the student housing completed and open by August 2017. The parking garage should be done before then, Conley said.

The four-story student residence buildings would be erected at 6450 Pine St., replacing a 320-stall surface parking lot next to the Scott Conference Center.

The new, five-story parking garage would rise along the east side of 67th Street, from about Poppleton Avenue to Pacific Street.

Conley said the parking garage is needed to replace the parking lost to the student residences, to make up for future losses of parking when other surface lots on the Pacific Street campus are replaced by buildings, and to serve the UNO campuses as a whole.

Two homeowners from the neighborhood east of the proposed parking garage spoke in opposition to the plans Wednesday.

Julia O’Gara said the garage would ruin her view to the west, “taking the last piece of open green space and putting an extremely large parking structure in its place.”

She said she worries that the parking garage would harm property values in the neighborhood.

Planning Board Member Van Deeb said he couldn’t see that happening.

“You live in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city,” he said.

Larry Jobeun, representing the developers, said UNO had reached out to five area neighborhood associations to meet about the plans. About 35 to 40 neighbors attended a meeting on the project, and their response was generally positive, he said.

Jobeun said much of the parking garage will be built into a hill. He said it will look nice and be architecturally compatible with the academic and business buildings in the area.

Jobeun said landscaping will be added to partially screen the parking garage, although tall trees aren’t allowed because of overhead power lines.

Assistant City Planning Director Dave Fanslau said the parking garage “will be designed to the highest standards Omaha has on the books.”

Contact the writer: 402-444-1057,