What to do with 640 acres of land after the G.I. Veterans Home moves to Kearney

By  | 

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - What to do with more than 600 acres of land in Grand Island after the veterans home moves to Kearney will be decided at Tuesday's city council meeting.

By the end of 2018 the veterans home will be relocated to Kearney and renamed the Central Nebraska Veterans Home.

The Master Plan for the 640 acres of land, which would be equivalent for to almost 500 football fields, will be presented at the meeting.

Grand Island Mayor Jeremy Jensen said this is an opportunity to rebuild and rebrand the city.

"What we have right here is a blank canvas for us to paint a picture," said Mayor Jensen. "The idea that we are going to spend a hundred million dollars of city money to do that is a bit outlandish."

The plans include a technology center, business park, family residential living as well as recreational facilities. None of the current buildings are scheduled to be demolished.

"There are a lot of building there, the idea that we are going to come and bulldoze those all down is not correct, there have been millions of dollars done in renovations to some of those buildings and what we want to try and do is to find a way to re-purpose those," adds Mayor Jensen.

He said he understands the sentimental attachment people have to the home and adds that a priority is to maintain the integrity of the space.

"We were looking at ways to expand the city cemetery up there, I don't want to see a shopping center surrounding a cemetery."

All of the current plans for the property are just proposed and everything will be done in phases.

The 100 million dollar price tag is the low estimate, but Mayor Jensen said the money will not be coming from the city.

Businesses looking to build on the property are responsible for their costs.

The city council meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 100 E. 1st St.

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.