Nebraska City’s business leaders celebrated another success story on Thursday at a ribbon cutting for Husker Rehab at 115 South 8th Street, the site of the former Pendleton Outlet in Nebraska City.
The physical therapy facility in Nebraska City is the sixth Husker Rehab location in Southeast Nebraska. Owners Mike Zalman,M.S.P.T.; Ryan Wade, M.P.T. and Greg Cromer, M.S.P.T. have locations in  Lincoln, Beatrice and Fairbury.
Cromer opened the first Husker Rehab in the Fairbury hospital in 1995. He got together on the venture with Zalman and Wade and opened a Lincoln facility in 1999.
And the business has continued to grow from there.
Cromer said Husker Rehab’s interest in Nebraska City was in part due to a college friendship he struck with Dr. Dion Higgins.
Cromer said Higgins told him that the Husker Rehab would serve a need in Nebraska City. Higgins passed away in 2013, but Cromer said he remembered the conversations with Higgins and was interested in the chance to expand into Nebraska City.
That interest eventually led the trio of owners to begin exploring locations in Nebraska City.
Cromer met with Scott Miller of Nebraska City and took a look at a few locations. Nothing clicked right away. About a week later, Cromer said the owners got the news they were looking for as  Janelle Gress, now a member of the Husker Rehab team herself, called with a tip about the former Pendleton Outlet space on South 8th Street.
The owners met with former Nebraska City major Jack Hobbie, who owns the building. Immediately a connection was made and the wheels started turning.
Zalman, Cromer and Wade ended up discussing the details at the nearby Dinty Moore’s and wrote down their initial plans on a napkin.
Those notes turned into a business plan for Husker Rehab and another great get for the Nebraska City business community in that it filled a business front which had been long occupied and which could have went un-utilized.

Pam Frana of Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce, who spoke to the assembled crowd at the ribbon cutting event, expressed her gratitude to the Husker Rehab team for choosing to expand to Nebraska City and also for filling an existing business front.
“I just want to say how happy we are that this building is being utilized,” said Frana.
“It was Pendleton’s for so many years and you hate to see a business move and then have a building empty.”
Nebraska City has a recent track record of excellence when it comes to filling store fronts.
Norman’s IGA left its South 11th Street location after Walmart came to town but Orscheln, Taco John’s and Dairy Queen came to occupy the space.
Fareway took the South 11th Street vacancy that was left by the departure of Pamida.
Tractor Supply and Anytime Fitness moved into the South 11th Street business front left vacant when Alco went out of business.
Most recently, the historic Nebraska City Depot on South Sixth Street opened for business as the The Depot Kitchen and Taproom under the direction of owner Matt Lundak.
Zalman said he and his partners at Husker Rehab and happy to join the Nebraska City business community and have been seeing early success in serving the needs of Citians.
Going back to when the group toured its potential new building, Zalman said they fell in love with the space immediately.
Once the group had an idea of how they wanted the lay out to look, Zalman said the owners turned over the construction to Tim Engel’s group and they took off in getting the space ready for business.
Now that their business front is standing strong, Zalman said Husker Rehab is hoping to do the same for its clients in town.
Although they function as a physical therapy clinic for those who, for instance, might be working their way back from a joint replacement surgery, Zalman said Husker Rehab also has a plan for those clients who are coming to them because of sudden onset pain.
Zalman said all of the Husker Rehab facilities focus on Restorative Posture Therapy.
“We feel that posture is the key to underlying problems no matter what you might have,” said Zalman.
When the posture is fixed, Zalman said, a lot of times, that ends up solving the problem.