Shopko Norfolk NDN

COURTESY FORD will move into the former Shopko building with a massive indoor showroom with enough space for about 80 vehicles. 

The former Shopko lot will be fixed up and redeveloped into a new car dealership.

That’s the vision of Al Rajaee, the owner of Courtesy Ford and Cornhusker Auto, who took a preliminary step toward completing that goal at Tuesday morning’s Norfolk planning commission meeting.

Rajaee told the commission that the project would require tax increment financing, as the owners of the former Shopko lot are selling the property for about $4 million, which Rajaee said is about 40% more than the assessed value of the lot.

“This will be a great use of (tax increment financing) to fix up a blighted area and open a new car dealership,” Rajaee said.

Rajaee said to the Daily News in August that he plans to start renovations at the site yet this year and open sometime next year.

The redevelopment plan was approved unanimously with little discussion among the commissioners.

Rajaee’s request for tax increment financing will need final approval from the Norfolk City Council at a future meeting.

Other business at the planning commission meeting included an amended plan for the Nor-Park development and a zoning change at Faith Regional Health Services.

The Norfolk Planning Commission met Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Norfolk City Council Chambers.

Commission members present: Frank Arens, Zack Gangwer, Mary Hammond, Kyle Deets, Jacob Thone, Dirk Waite and Dan Spray.

Commission members absent: Matt Gilmore and Martin Griffith.

Meeting lasted: 15 minutes.

Others in attendance: City staff, three; media representatives, two; and five from the public.

Action items:

— The commission held a public hearing and approved the Husker Automotive Redevelopment Plan.

— The commission held a public hearing and approved an amended East Omaha Avenue Redevelopment Plan.

— The commission held a public hearing at the request of Faith Regional Health Services to consider a zoning change from C-2A (Special Business District) to C-3 (Service Commercial District) at 27th Street and West Norfolk Avenue. The change was approved, 6-0, with Gangwer abstaining.

— The commission approved the final plat of Buske Subdivision.

— The commission received the September 2019 building permit report.

— The commission answered a question from the public about city limits and the city zoning map.

In other news

BATTLE CREEK — A family hiking along the Elkhorn River south and west of the Yellow Banks area located what are believed to be historical human remains on Saturday.

OMAHA — U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Bryant Freemont, Jr., 19, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Omaha, for robbery in Indian Country.