OMAHA, Neb. — A six-block district that’s had a 125-year history as a yard for lumber and supplies is nearing the finish of a dramatic transformation into offices, retailers and apartments.

Jason Lanoha of Lanoha Development told the Omaha World-Herald ( ) that his vision since buying the area three years ago was to create a cool, walkable district as a new downtown core for historic Old Millard.

“It’s a new lease on the area,” said Dave Rathbun, president of the Old Millard East Neighborhood Association. “The retail is going to offer new places to go. People will live in the apartments, fall in love with the area and purchase homes here. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Lanoha said that about 85 percent of the new Lumberyard District’s commercial space is either filled, soon to be occupied or nearing a signed lease. There are five apartment buildings containing a total of about 350 dwellings, a clubhouse and outdoor swimming pool.

“More bodies, more people living there, coming home from work, sitting on a patio having a beer and eating dinner, walking to conveniences nearby,” Lanoha said.

Still, he made sure to preserve some of the nostalgia that is the former city of Millard.

Reclaimed wood from the Millard Lumber company, which previously sat on the district site, was used in various places throughout the redevelopment. And an original family photo featuring the farmland of August and Sophia Bartels was provided by their great-granddaughter, Linda Bartels Davis.

“It shows they’re respecting the community,” she said of Lanoha.

Information from: Omaha World-Herald,

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