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  • Closing the book on an eventful year: Looking back at North Platte's stories from 2021

    As newspaper anniversaries go, we at The Telegraph could hardly have asked for a better and busier year than 2021.
    North Platte kept our pages and website full of fun events and encouraging developments throughout the year that included our 125th anniversary as a daily on March 24 and our 140th birthday April 14.
    Community leaders put the finishing touches on our reinvigorated historic downtown while taking major strides in reasserting North Platte’s status as west central Nebraska’s economic hub.
    Though COVID-19 continued to hover over our city and world, North Platte’s residents kept up the spirit that drove back the pandemic’s darkest days of 2020.
    Throw in the return of June’s “festival month” and December’s celebration of the World War II Canteen’s 80th anniversary, and North Platte surely lived up to its billing as Nebraska’s 2021 Governor’s Showcase Community Award winner.
    Let’s look back at a few big moments.

    Sustainable Beef

    A March 18 Prairie Arts Center press conference marked the public unveiling of North Platte’s largest economic development project in two decades.
    Sustainable Beef LLC, with area ranchers Rusty Kemp and Trey Wasserburger among its organizers, won the City Council’s unanimous blessing Dec. 7 to buy a retired sewage lagoon as the site of a 1,500-head-a-day beef processing plant at Newberry Access and Golden Road.
    Closing on the $142,500 real estate deal remained pending at year’s end while organizers sought to complete their full $325 million financing package.
    The city’s Dec. 7 vote also granted $21.5 million in tax increment financing, mostly to build up the lagoon site.
    Gov. Pete Ricketts and state agricultural leaders joined in backing Sustainable Beef, which expects to yield nearly 2,000 jobs — 875 of them at the plant — and an annual economic impact of nearly $1.16 billion. It’s expected to open in 2023 or 2024.

    From ‘The Mall’ to District 177
    The other big economic splash of 2021 took place June 1 when the City Council voted 4-3 to finalize $16.6 million worth of city help with a $75 million transformation of the ailing Platte River Mall.
    A month later, workers were breaking up failing asphalt in the 49-year-old mall’s parking lot for a four-story apartment-retail building. It’s meant to be the showcase of the renamed District 177 (inspired by North Platte’s main Interstate 80 exit).
    Rev Development LLC of Lincoln, which bought the mall in November 2020, consolidated all but one of the main mall’s remaining tenants in its north end until they can move into the new structure. Ashley HomeStore remained in its current place.
    Conversion of the main mall into an outward-facing “strip mall” was well under way, with Dunham’s Sports slated for the first-to-be-gutted space between the remaining stores and Ashley.
    District 177’s first new tenant, Golden Ticket Cinemas, remodeled the movie sixplex on the main mall’s southeast side that AMC closed in March 2020 and never reopened. Golden Ticket debuted Sept. 3.
    Preparatory work for a new Nebraskaland Tire & Service store also had begun by year’s end. It’ll replace the business’s current home that opened with the rest of “The Mall” on April 12, 1972.
    To continue reading click here: https://nptelegraph.com/news/local/closing-the-book-on-an-eventful-year-looking-back-at-north-plattes-stories-from-2021/article_d9953b06-6a83-11ec-a60f-eb2b82e87945.html

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