KEARNEY – The next two additions to the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s University Village development are beginning to take shape.
Construction started this fall on the Element 30 housing project and earthwork is underway at the site of a new indoor tennis complex.
Announced in March, the housing project is a public-private partnership between UNK and Grand Island real estate developer Scott Rief. His company, Millennium Development, will build, own and manage the housing. UNK is leasing the land to Millennium.
Planned in four phases over five years, the $48 million Element 30 project includes 230 total units – a combination of apartments, 10-plexes and townhomes.
The $14 million first phase includes 86 units, as well as a clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor gyms, carriage house, attached garages and courtyard. There will also be a 5,000-square-foot retail space with a restaurant planned as the anchor business.
This phase is targeted for completion in June 2021.
The housing will serve the entire community. Rief expects the development to be especially attractive to students, young professionals and Kearney residents looking for “trendy, upscale and urban” living.
Millennium Development’s partnership with UNK is the largest private investment on a construction project in the university’s history. The Element 30 project is being constructed southwest of the central green space at University Village, a public-private development along U.S. Highway 30 south of UNK’s main campus planned as a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood featuring residential, retail, academic, recreation, community engagement and service industry facilities.
The indoor tennis complex will be built along North Railroad Street on the south edge of University Village.
UNK and the city of Kearney are partnering on this project, which has an estimated price tag of $8.5 million. The donor-driven project will be paid for primarily with private contributions and a $1.125 million grant awarded to the city by the state’s Civic and Community Center Financing Fund.
The city will construct, own and operate the six-court tennis complex, and UNK will provide operational and maintenance support.
The tennis complex will also serve the entire community, with opportunities for private and public tournaments, lessons, recreation and team activities. UNK women’s tennis will play home matches there, giving the Lopers an indoor option during inclement weather. Currently, the Lopers play their home matches on the outdoor courts at Harmon Park.
A proposed floor plan for the facility includes the six indoor courts, offices for UNK tennis and Kearney Park and Recreation, a meeting room, lockers and reception and lobby area.
This project went out for bid Oct. 14. Construction should begin this fall, with an expected completion date of February 2022.
Six outdoor tennis courts are part of the University Village master plan, a project that’s contingent on future funding.
In addition to the Element 30 housing project and indoor tennis facility, the 104-acre University Village development includes Village Flats, a university housing complex completed in summer 2018, and UNK’s LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center, which opened in November 2019.
A Regional Engagement and Alumni Center is also planned there.