Our Town Kearney: University Village

Pure Nebraska
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 10:17 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 13, 2023 at 10:25 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A development located next to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus continues to grow and expand into a place that offers big opportunities for the community.

10/11 NOW talked with University Village Executive Director Michael Christen about the development that’s been up and running for about five years.

“One of the biggest features of this site is it’s an urban hub,” Christen said. “But we are looking at it with a different perspective than what’s been done in this area. What you see here as we are continuing to grow is a focus on recreational, residential, and commercial. All of that comes together to make this an exciting and new space.”

“Currently we have two university buildings here,” Christen said. “One is Village Flats, which is our housing for non-traditional students. The second is the Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center. That was an addition a few years ago to expand that outreach on campus, but also in the community. It’s also a space where our students can learn and work with children. Other partnerships include the Grundy Tennis Center, which is a partnership with the City of Kearney. We also have Element 30. This is an apartment complex that will eventually have some retail as a part of it. Eventually, we will have more than 220 housing units with apartments and townhomes.”

Visitors to University Village will also see the Regional Engagement Center going up.

“That will actually be home to a couple of private partners,” Christen said. “It will also be home to UNK Alumni and the UNK Foundation. We announced it a few months ago, but our partnership with Nebraska Medicine will bring a full-service cancer center to the site. That is in addition to the second UNMC building that will be on campus. The cancer center at University Village will be a big asset to the community.”

“Our goal is to bring something different to the area,” Christen said. “You can compare University Village to an Aksarben Village or the Haymarket. But it’s really it’s own unique piece. It’s taking pieces of those things, and making it unique for Kearney.”

When you enter the Village, you’ll see a sculpture in the center.

“That is what we call the Parable,” Christen said. “It was designed by an artist in California. It’s going to be the focal point for the site. As you look at our logo, you look at our marketing, they all emphasize the three arches. The three arches represent the University, the students and the community coming together to tell a story.”