Transforming an old water park and convention center in central Omaha

By: - November 2, 2022 10:00 pm

The addition to New Image Dentistry will change the look northeast of 72nd and Grover Streets. (Courtesy of TACKarchitects)

OMAHA — More ventures are poised to fill in the former CoCo Key water park and convention center site northeast of 72nd and Grover Streets.

A $2.8 million two-story dental office structure is now to be constructed and connected to the existing New Image Dentistry corner building. Owners say they’re bursting with business, and the addition will include a pediatric dentistry clinic.

The addition planned to New Image Dentistry at 72nd and Grover Streets. (Courtesy of TACKarchitects)

TIF subsidy

The owner is seeking $517,672 in tax-increment financing. The subsidy request received a preliminary green light Wednesday from the Omaha Planning Board, but it must still be approved by the Omaha City Council. 

About 25 new permanent jobs are expected. Dudzinski Properties, the developer, says the project, designed by TACKarchitects, will include 56 surface parking stalls.

Dudzinski is hoping for an April construction start.

Also planned at the overall site is a Macadoodles Fine Wine, Beer & Spirits. 

The franchise store at 3409 S. 72nd St. will be the Missouri-based retailer’s first in Nebraska and is planned to open next year in the MH Landing development.

Nostalgic corner

Macadoodles has locations in Missouri and Arkansas, stocked with thousands of wine labels and hundreds of beer types.  The local opening is planned for next year.

Decades ago, the broader 15-acre development site northeast of 72nd and Grover was a convention center that hosted horse racing fans, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Ak-Sar-Ben queen pageantry and other hoopla. In more recent years, the area was known as the CoCo Key hotel and water park resort.

The former convention center, hotel and water park have been razed, making way for a new look and new businesses.

Hotelier and developer Dan Marak of MH Hospitality bought much of the property and has sold off pieces to other developers.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.