Game Changer in Local Entertainment: La Vista City Centre Premieres The Astro

Expectations are soaring for The Astro theater, as the indoor-outdoor concert space is slated to build upon the region’s artistic and musical heritage.

As part of the La Vista City Centre mixed-use development near 84th Street and Giles Road, The Astro houses both an indoor concert venue and amphitheater.

Indoors, The Astro will span some 52,000 feet and seat 2,400 people. The amphitheater accommodates another 5,500 people and overlooks a 34-acre park.

From left, Jeff Fortier and Josh Hunt of Mammoth Inc. and Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson of 1% Productions. (Photography by Debra S. Kaplan)

The roots of this effort, the brainchild of co-owners Mammoth Inc., 1% Productions and City+Ventures, can be traced back to 2016 when research and planning on the multi-faceted venue began.

“The overall La Vista City Centre development fills a void in the community and will bring new life and visitors to this part of La Vista,” said Marc Leibowitz, co-owner of 1% Productions, when asked about how The Astro first came about. “It’s an exciting time and we are proud to bring our unique venue to this area.”

Since 2015, the city of La Vista and City+Ventures reportedly engaged in collaborative planning to create what would become City Centre. The neighborhood will boast Vivere Apartments, as well as dining, retail, services, office space and, of course, entertainment options. Enter: The Astro.

“The Astro is the focal point of the mixed-use La Vista City Centre development,” Leibowitz added. “Other venues we have developed, including The Admiral, The Waiting Room and The Reverb Lounge, add to the entertainment options in their respective neighborhoods and bring new people to the area. The Astro is a larger scale venue and will bring people from all over the Midwest to La Vista.”

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Founded by Leibowitz and Jim Johnson, 1% Productions has owned and operated venues, and supported and promoted artists and touring acts for 25-plus years.

“The Astro will bring musicians from all genres to La Vista,” Leibowitz stated. “We have put a lot of heart into the design and construction to make it a truly one-of-a-kind place for the community to gather, connect and be entertained.”

The theater is also a nod to La Vista’s and Greater Omaha’s artistic history and tradition.

“The Astro’s name actually pays homage to Omaha’s beloved Rose Theater, which was named the Astro Theater up until 1981,” Leibowitz explained. “The name also has an origin of the stars, which speaks to the stars we’ll have on stage and above our outdoor amphitheater.”

Nine Zero Properties, the property management arm of City+Ventures, will manage the Vivere Apartments at City Centre. The Omaha-based company has a national footprint, with a portfolio of businesses as varied as carwashes and restaurants, and private aviation and pageant production.

“The Astro theater is not only the visual focal point of the La Vista City Centre but is also going to act as the battery to charge the area by bringing in local La Vista residents as well as patrons from around the state and country,” said Ashley Meyer, vice president of real estate for Nine Zero. “We are excited for the energy The Astro will infuse into the development, as well as the opportunity it will create for people to gather and get to know the community.”

Conversely, she noted how La Vista City Centre offers fans heading to The Astro a place to grab dinner, drinks, and a spot to hang out at before and after the show.

“Creating a one-stop-shop experience for fans and residents alike,” Meyer added.

Putting the Spotlight on La Vista

When asked about what distinguishes The Astro from other venues, Mammoth Inc. co-owner Josh Hunt weighed in.

“Luckily the city is one that heavily embraces the arts,” Hunt said. “The Astro adds significantly to the vibrancy of the local music and entertainment options people have at their fingertips.”

Founded in 2006 by Hunt and Jeff Fortier, Mammoth has bulked up its footprint by establishing offices in Portland, Nashville and New York. The duo, together, have 55-plus years of music industry expertise, produce more than 1,000 live events each year, and also operate venues not limited to 60-plus boutique amphitheaters and historic indoor theaters as part of its independently owned venue portfolio.

Hunt noted that the indoor space is not just for concerts; it is also available for business meetings and community events.

The Astro is in its final stages of construction. (Photography by Debra S. Kaplan)
The Astro is in its final stages of construction. (Photography by Debra S. Kaplan)

“Which adds much-needed space availability for events in Sarpy County,” he said.

La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig also provided additional local leadership perspective into how The Astro fits and complements the city’s vision for 84th Street.

“The Astro will expand entertainment and employment opportunities for La Vista and its residents, bring visitors to the city and enhance revenues to support costs of public services,” Kindig noted. “Redevelopment of 84th Street has been a priority of the city for some time, and its residents and this venue is furthering these efforts.” 

More information on The Astro, including a calendar featuring upcoming acts and FAQs on venue policies, can be found at Slated acts at the time of this writing and going into the fall and winter included the Goo Goo Dolls, 311, Dropkick Murphys, Bad Religion and Wilco.