Dentist office to be built on lot burned down by major fire in 2014

Dentist office to be built on lot burned down by major fire in 2014 (NTV News)

A block in downtown Grand Island has been waiting for new development for four years after a major fire. Now that lot is seeing new life.

A dentist office is under construction now where flames 10 feet high were once seen. In July of 2014, a whole block was burned down.

What used to be the Ron'sTransmission, La Economica Secondhand Store, and Shady Ben Builders Auto Repair were gone overnight.

After the fire, nothing had come in to this block.

The city bought the land in 2016.

"There was a lot of concern that somebody might come in and put up a pole shed and really didn't fit with the character of the downtown. And the Community Redevelopment Authority did contact the owner of the property, did make an offer on the property," said Grand Island Regional Planning Director Chad Nabity.

But they waited a while for the right business to step in.

"Part of it is that there is not a lot of construction downtown. You've got to find the right person, you've got to find the right business," Nabity said.

Primus Dental sent an application and development proposal in February and was accepted by the Community Redevelopment Authority - closing on the property in July.

"This really does start to bring back some of those medical services into the core of downtown," Nabity said.

The Railside Committee Director Cara Lemburb said they are happy with the addition of this new business.

"Any time that we have a business that is going to be sustainable, for the long term, is going to be positive for the rail side area," Lemburg said.

After Christmas, the Railside Commitee Director said there will be construction starting to bring more into the downtown area. She said the dentist office is just a piece of what is to come.

That construction according to the city, will be done in spring or summer of 2019.

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