- Associated Press - Sunday, July 23, 2017

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Officials and merchants in Council Bluffs hope a $5.7 million development in the western Iowa city’s key commercial district may help attract businesses from Omaha, Nebraska.

The Rise residential and commercial building is set to open next spring in Council Bluffs. The almost 27,000-square-foot project will have 24 apartments, ground-level retail and dining space, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2txqCjv ) reported.

The building will feature a contemporary style to help attract a young population, said Ryan Spellman of J Development, a partner in the project.

“It’s intended to be forward-looking,” he said. “It represents the future of Council Bluffs.”

Spellman said the one-bedroom units will lease for between $850 and $950. A nearby apartment complex, called the Sawyer, opened two years ago and already has all 36 apartment full. Spellman said he doesn’t anticipate having a problem finding interested occupants for the Rise.

The project is part of a larger effort to revitalize the area, said Lori Shields, a spokeswoman for the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce. Construction is almost complete on a new YMCA facility. The Iowa West Field House, which holds youth activities and downtown bike nights, recently opened.

Officials in both Nebraska and Iowa said they hope the projects will create a stronger Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

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