City Council Approves Second Entertainment District

Aksarben Village visitors would be allowed to carry around alcoholic drinks in a new, confined entertainment district at Aksarben Village. 

The Omaha City Council on Tuesday gave it's approval to the Inner Rail project, a tribute to the horse racing track that used to be located there. 

"This is not designed for the college crowd, but very quickly you'll realize that with the prices and the people there we would weed that out quickly," developer Jay Noddle says. 

He says the development will feature mostly restaurants and some intimate live music opportunities.  "This is a place that's intended for people from all parts of the community to come and have dinner and maybe have a glass of wine with dinner and sit outside on a nice night.  It's not a place where there is going to be a big screen and a football game."

The underage drinking prevention group Project Extra Mile opposed the district, saying the "entertainment district" designation will only cause more issues for underage drinking. 

"The key for us is a wristband. I know they (developers) said it will cater to higher price points and not the college crowd, but let's note, you have the Baxter Arena to the south and UNO to the north, and UNO has 15,000 students plus," Chris Wagner says. 

The Inner Rail would be an outdoor plaza located between the new HDR headquarters near 67th and Frances and a parking garage.  Some of the plan was mirrored after the Capitol Entertainment District downtown. Noddle says if all goes as planned the project will open in mid-2019.


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