Sarpy County Missing on Projects Due to Decreasing Site Availability | Gretna

According to the executive director of the county’s economic development agency, the lack of “green” space available for large-scale projects has become a problem for Sarpy County.

Andrew Rainbolt from Grow Sarpy said the lack of completely undeveloped new land in the area will be a problem for the coming year, although business and housing development will remain strong.

Rainbolt’s remarks came during a presentation on second-quarter economic growth before the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, August 16.

Architects and engineers seek out pristine sites because they allow a design to be designed largely free of constraints or pre-existing infrastructure.

“We’ve missed a lot of projects just because we don’t have any sites to submit,” Rainbolt said. “We’re pretty much limited at this point to submitting buildings or building plans (where) other developers are in development.”

People also read…

Even these sites are starting to shrink and they are limited to 25,000 to 200,000 square feet or less.

Nonetheless, Rainbolt said it was “a very strong quarter of growth, balanced by both commercial, industrial and real estate projects.”

Sarpy County recorded more than $460 million in building permit assessments issued in April, May and June. Added to the $210 million in valuations released in Q1, the $670 million year-to-date 2022 is a good start.

Rainbolt said 2022 shouldn’t be compared to last year, when valuations released so far were at an all-time high of $1.7 billion, mostly due to massive projects from Meta and Google. These companies were still the heavy hitters in the last quarter, with a $228 million valuation license for Meta and a $21 million license for Google.

The number of single-family dwellings has increased from 856 in 2021 to 1,294 in 2022, including large developments like Gretna’s Harvest Creek with 273, Papillion’s BelTerra with 224, and Bellevue’s Lakewood West with 178.

“It was almost a year worth of batches a few years ago,” Rainbolt said.

The county’s labor force has finally crossed the 100,000 mark. It stands at 101,000 workers, including nearly 99,000 employees.

As unemployment hit 2.4% in June, Rainbolt said he sees it as a positive indicator for companies looking for employees in a tight market.

Rainbolt said Grow Sarpy is looking to break into the green energy market for future development, noting that industries making items like batteries for renewable energy are currently the hottest manufacturing sector.