Demolition crews started tearing down the former Sears Automotive Center at Crossroads Mall on Dec. 9, officially marking the beginning of the process for the redevelopment of Omaha’s first shopping mall.
“I know that we’ve had a lot of false starts, but this day shows that we are going to move forward and this is really going to happen,” Mayor Jean Stothert said to KETV News. “And [Crossroads] will still always be a part of our history.”
Stothert was present with Lockwood President and CEO Chip James as demolition began. The redevelopment of Crossroads is revolutionary for many reasons, but most notably because it was one of the first indoor modern malls built in the country in the early 1960s.
“It led retailers and customers to the western end of the city, as this was considered the western end back in 1960,” Stothert said. “Crossroads created new developments, and it created new opportunities.”
Though the current Target grocery store and the 2,200-space parking garage at Crossroads will remain, developers will be getting rid of all other buildings to prepare for a $500 million rehaul project that will fill the space with “retail, restaurants, a hotel, a senior living center, office space, [and] a large outdoor greenspace area.” In addition, a left turn lane into the Crossroads Mall location for eastbound traffic on Dodge is also being proposed.
Demolition is set to conclude in June 2021, with new construction activity to follow. After the revamp is complete, The Crossroads – as it will then be known – could potentially reach 10 stories at its highest point. The entire development will be approximately 40 acres.
“The Crossroads is being designed as a legacy quality, mixed-use development that is planned to contain at least 1.5 million square feet of newly built environment for the people of Omaha to connect by residing, working, shopping, dining, and playing,” those behind the project state on the official The Crossroads website.
While the pandemic has created some unique struggles for developers (primarily with the plans for the layout of offices, retail stores, public transportation, and public gathering space), The Crossroads maintains that they are still moving ahead on schedule.
“Trust that no single virus should alter the importance of the epicenter of our City of Omaha,” the developers state on The Crossroads’ official website.
Though the project will not be fully complete until 2024 – assuming no additional delays of any kind – the developers still believe there is no better time to start revamping Crossroads Mall and offering this incredible experience to Omahans.
“Omaha has an active and stable economy and has been and will continue to be a business-friendly, dynamic city for its industries and citizens alike,” the developers state on The Crossroads’ official website. “This is an ideal, urban-infill development that properly leverages the surrounding infrastructure investment already in place.”