View Full Version : Omaha Development Update

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06-14-2018, 09:15 AM
Following OKC's and Tulsa's major urban parks investments, Omaha is getting in the game.

$290 million parks rehab/re-imagining. Designed by OJB of Myriad Gardens fame. $50 million will be paid by bonds issued by the city with the remainder from local philanthropic sources.

The Omaha side flythrough:

A big issue with connecting the park space to the Missouri River is a railroad that runs right along the bank. This will build over the tracks to get full use of the asset.

This part of the park has huge obstacles. It used to be a lead plant and had a ton of contamination. That was buried and capped which prevents building anything substantial which leads to more surface parking and no large buildings. Still this is going to bring active uses to an area that is mostly unused passive space now.

The Iowa side of the river is also included in the development. Their side really impressed me and I think will compliment Omaha's urban parks design with a more nature focused and active tone. Lots of interesting renderings in this PDF.

01-17-2019, 04:53 PM
Happy 2019 all my OKC friends, congratulations on the streetcar opening and I am looking forward to seeing all that it brings with it! I am really itching to make a quick weekend drive down and do a swing through OKC and Tulsa as there are a few really cool inspiring developments I would love to see in person.

Omaha keeps plugging along. These next 5 years may be the most transformative in 15 years for DTO. The infill is fine, but there are some major investments flowing into the core right now.

The largest public project is the $290 million parks project is starting work this spring pasted above. Roughly 90 acres of park space designed by the same firm behind OKC's Myriad Gardens and Dallas' Klyde Warren Park. It will straddle both sides of the Missouri River and completely rebuild our central park and existing riverfront greenspace. Most exciting of the details is pulling the park over a cap above the active rail tracks that block the city from the river, our natural asset.

In conjunction with the parks investments the Phase 1 of a 6 phase 500+ million project to densify the suburban ConAgra Campus has city approval and will begin construction this year.

Phase 1 consists of demoing one of the office buildings that ConAgra vacated when they moved some operations to Chicago. In its place will be a 375 apartment units wrapped around a 720 stall garage with 42K SF in retail space. They will also build an amenity filled boulevard designed for events. The brown building in the middle is the first phase.

Later phases include:

1B Estimated Delivery 2022:
220 Key Hotel
284 Stall Garage
25K SF of ground floor retail

2A Estimated Deliver 2024:
237 MF units
550 Stall Garage
20K SF ground floor retail/flex

2B Estimated Delivery 2023:
250K SF office space
750 stall garage

2C Estimated Delivery 2024:
7500 SF of Event Space

4A Estimated Delivery 2025
200K SF of office
750 stall garage

4B Estimated Delivery 2026:
250 unit high rise MF or condo
375 stall garage

862 Residential Units
450K SF Office Space
87K SF Retail Space
220 Hotel Rooms
7500 SF Event Space
3429 Parking Stalls

Current State:

Master Plan:

Elsewhere DT a $120 Million 10 story courthouse expansion is moving forward set to break ground this year likely. There was some push back initially b/c they wanted to take a 100 year old building through eminent domain, but they thankfully came to their senses and just pursued and secured a parking lot location across the street.

North Downtown has two large new redevelopment actions happening.

The first is dubbed "The Builder's District." It will be anchored by Fortune 500 company Kiewit. They will be moving from their current home in Midtown to this project that just broke ground.

The second area is being called "Millwork Commons." Currently it is a spattering of chain hotels, abandoned brick warehouses, industrial users and a building used as a tech startup space. They plan to spend $300 million to rehab the old warehouses and to divert the industrial traffic to a new route.

The first building is rehabbing The Ashton into tech friendly office space. The main anchor will be Flywheel, a local tech startup that has swelled from 3 employees at launch in 2012 to over 200 in Omaha today. Total buildout includes new built housing and converting a few other vacant brick buildings into office space. Marketing it as tech/startup space.

The awesome local photographer Brad Williams was able to get in the air this past fall and captured some really great shots of the city and development progress.

Aksarben Village with the 10 story HDR Headquarters nearly complete. Aksarben Village has become one of the preeminent office locations in the city with HDR Inc, DLR Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pacific Life insurance, Green Plains Energy(A Fortune 1000 ethanol producer)

The Nebraska Medical Center is a major anchor for the east end of the city and has pumped over half a billion into their campus in recent years.

This site is controlled by the med center and is set to be a mixed use area to support the campus with housing, hotels, office and retail. No timeline yet though.

And some infill projects in the Midtown/Nebraska Medical Center area.

This area was really tough 5 years ago. 3 new builds and loads of rehabs now. The cluster of townhomes at the bottom is the first few of 99 planned on vacant lots as well.

Then just for fun b/c I thought it was cool the UP 4141 was in town for a few days. It is the locomotive that carried HW Bush's body from the site of his funeral to his burial site in College Station. After the events it was displayed in Omaha for a few days and will end up being at his presidential library I believe.

04-17-2019, 12:26 PM
New 30 story skyscraper planned for downtown Omaha. This would be a great addition to their skyline!

04-17-2019, 01:38 PM
That's awesome! I'd love to see that or something with that kind of variation built in OKC.

04-19-2019, 10:58 AM
New 30 story skyscraper planned for downtown Omaha. This would be a great addition to their skyline!

Yeah, it is an exciting proposal. I am cautiously optimistic. That is a big building that is going to need a big user. The design they proposed actually has a phase feature. The core is set in the middle around two wings basically so they could build half the tower then add the second half later. That is shown in the marketing material linked below.

Just down the street from that proposal 70K SF of office space just broke ground.

It will be the last piece to the open container courtyard completed about a year ago. Going on the right side of the photo.

Hopefully these new amenities can attract some fresh office users to the core as job growth has been a little stagnant lately. Lots of residential in DTO, but the office market hasn't been as exciting. Kiewit moving their HQ downtown adjacent is good news, but some big new users have announced major expansions in the suburbs the last few months so DT could really use a win jobs wise.

Carson Financial announced plans to grow to 300 employees by 2020 and 2000 by 2030. New campus in the suburbs.

Linkedin will expand their Omaha workforce from 450 to 1000 by 2021 in a new suburban building.

Insurance company Applied Underwriters currently employs 800 in Omaha with a new suburban campus breaking ground soon that will be 450K square feet with room for 2000 employees.

Meanwhile long time downtown anchors like Union Pacific and ConAgra have pulled roughly 1500 jobs out of the core in the past few years. Would love to see someone exciting expand in the core and take a big chunk of the highrise proposal.

12-29-2020, 12:36 AM
Hope all are staying sane and healthy in OKC. Had some free time after testing positive, totally fine no symptoms just staying isolated and really bored with the holiday season now. Almost 2 years since I shared a breakdown so its a big one sorry. I moved to Chicago and finished a master's so have been pretty busy, but I felt like bugging y'all again.

The $300 million urban parks project is still well into construction mode. They recently announced an additional $100 million will be spent to build a science museum on the riverfront. This is a major museum concept missing from the metro.

It will be named the "Kiewit Luminarium." Some are disappointed about the relatively unremarkable glass box design. I do wish it was a little bolder, but I do think if the lighting is right it could make for a pretty dynamic sight reflecting off the river with the skyline behind.

The rest of the park is well underway. The design is by OJB who designed Myriad Gardens in OKC.

The riverfront portion. This is a really tough piece of land for the city. Premier space right on the river would ideally be used for some condo towers, but this site was a lead-smelting plant until 20 years ago, and the only real remediation was to cap the contaminated soil. This prevents any structure needing really any kind of below-ground foundation from going in.

So, we will get a large children's park, sand volleyball courts and a "beach" surrounding the science museum referenced above. It will go on the green patch in the rendering.

The biggest change is at the Heartland of America park portion of the revamp. This land was park space before, but was largely unused steep hills. Can see the scale here.

The rendering shows the great lawn portion, but the sides include more detail like a skating ribbon, bocce courts ect.

Closer in gives a better idea of the private development that is happening at the same time as the parks project. The right part is all park, the graded portion on the left is where two of Conagra's buildings have been demoed to make way for The Mercantile mixed used development.

The plan for the whole project includes ~900 residential units, ~450k SF of office, ~90k SF of retail, 220 hotel rooms and ~3500 structured parking stalls.

Phase 1 of the project is started. It will contain about 400 apartments and 40k SF of retail in two different buildings surrounding a public parking structure. I like that they split the design into two looks b/c one would have gotten monotonous given the scale of the building. The structure with red brick is closer to the historic Old Market and the more modern looking one is further away.

The final portion is the central park part of Omaha's downtown parks complex. The old park was a sunken pond that was nice for some pictures and a stroll, but not for anything else as the hills were too steep to even sit on. The park also kind of became where all the loose trash DT ended up as it would blow down there and never get out.

So they have brought it up to grade and will fill it with amenities. It is being modeled a bit after Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.

Should be a ton of fun and a huge quality of life increase for Downtown Omaha.

Outside of the core suburban "urban" development is the trend right now. Almost $3 billion announced/some started construction for three mixed-use kind of urban development in car centric areas of town. It isn't all perfect, but still a lot for the market to absorb so we will see who wins out.

Nothing official on this one, but these renderings fit with some local rumors floating around that local billionaire Joe Ricketts(TD Ameritrade founder and Cubs owner) was going to develop some land that was formerly car dealerships his group had purchased. The rumors were ~20 story condo building with a rooftop restaurant and this matches up quite well. The site is next to Omaha's main and busiest mall and sits high up on a hill overlooking a big interstate interchange so it will appear fairly tall on the surrounding landscape.

Three buildings with stacked levels of programming are connected with sky bridges to create this mixed-use development featuring 120,000 s.f. of office space combined with 35,000 s.f. of retail space, a skyline restaurant, a 104,000 s.f. hotel, 120,000 s.f of luxury condos, and parking located partially below grade. The buildings are organized to maximize the “prairie landscape” and to provide a unique experience for pedestrian traffic and shared outdoor amenities.

It is anticipated to go where the car dealership is located on the right next to Top Golf with the mall in the background. bbzfuJ6b6Q6Bf-de40WBNpX

View from the ring road around the mall.

View from the interstate interchange.

Interior courtyard area.

5th times the charm for a dead mall redevelopment in the heart of the city. About every 3 years for the past 15 years a new group comes forward with a plan to redvelop Crossroads. The plan isn't perfect urbanism, but after a decade+ of failed proposals I just am happy to see one actually happening.

$500 million total project. 500k sf of office, 250 apartments, 130 units of senior living, 150 room hotel, 200k sf retail, 150k sf "lifestyle" and 4000 parking stalls.

The entire mall except for Target and the parking garage will be torn down.

The plan.

Some nice development near Crossroads big development are being done now too. The whole corridor was a really dated strip mall mess so taller structures with residential units are welcome. This project will replace this old dumpy Furniture Row. Its directly across the street from the mall.

On farmland owned by Boy's Town that got jumped over for decades actually development is happening for $1.2 billion total development. More surface parking than I'd ideally like, but we aren't there yet I guess.

Multiple buildings are under construction on the fringe, but recently the $500 million "downtown" component was announced.

The land owner of the 500 acres is Applied Underwriters insurance. They are building a rather low profile building for themselves and aren't going dense at all, but aren't sparing expenses. They are providing over 1000 parking stalls underground. Their building will virtually appear to be in a park will all parking hidden below rolling hills. For a suburban campus it will be incredibly attractive without surface parking. qbr1mOJYKfIPR7LoDQ9mXPOjoJoqy81S2I8N_N4V1vUb5AoIII bLZhVYxCRW4BPu10St3TBAUQYVKcP3TQtVuNYnl93gHcFf6sA9 Ob6MOzkV24MqS9rEB9beh59G4aSMqvY0Mz1dQ6z8iG/Plan.png

Elsewhere in this same development a couple of new offices are moving along.

Carson Wealth's new HQ.

Union Bank and Trust's new HQ rendering.

Even further west into the suburbs about 4 miles down the highway from the previous development is another large mixed use project. Avenue One has infrastructure work well underway. Yet another attempt to create an urbanish destination in the burbs. Lots of product to absorb for the city.

Leaving the mega projects in the burbs and headed back east into the city.

Nebraska voters passed gambling this election cycle finally with the contingent they can only be operated at horse tracks to prevent them from going anywhere and everywhere. Our current horse track is sad compared to the facilities in OKC and Des Moines. The casino investment will greatly upgrade the facility here.

The Capitol District downtown is finally complete. 9 years from announcement to the last building completed, but its last building(a 3 story office component) finished this year.

Obviously haven't had a chance to fully use the open container courtyard this year with the space fully enclosed, maybe next summer.

Some in town were disappointed the office component got cut from 8 floors to 3, but it turned out pretty sharp and I like the difference in scale it provided from the hotel and apartments.

A large parking lot across the street has broken ground on a new music venue. $109 million for a new midsized venue. Officials have said the lack of a modern venue for the midsized artists causing them to skip over Omaha so this is an attempt to remedy that. I would think its similar to the hole that The Criterion filled in OKC.

A sharp midrise is going up in the DT core on a surface lot. It's a much needed courthouse annex. I am not a fan of them including the juvenile detention center on site. I think its going to really hurt the development potential in an untapped part of DT. Oh well they need to safely and humanely serve the young in the community somewhere.

Kiewit, a Fortune 500 construction company, is getting close on their new headquarters in north downtown Omaha. The area was pretty dead in terms of day to day traffic. Event centric part of downtown, but getting a major employer in the neighborhood will hopefully help the local businesses in the area outside of the CWS boom weeks.

Shows a nice presence north of the interstate in an area mostly full of 2-3 story buildings.

Near the Kiewit HQ another mixed use development is underway. Its ~$300 million in a mix of rehab and new construction. The first anchor tenant is Flywheel, and Omaha based tech company that employs about 200. They will take a chunk of this rehabbed historic warehouse. The whole area is some old industrial and vacant land a great spot for tech startup space and a creative hub. 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0iyqMbMesKd95J-X4EagrgU9L3Sa3U8cogeb0tjXbfawd0urKshkc5MgdBeJmALQK w/Brad+Williams+Exterior.jpeg?format=1500w

The park in the foreground there is going to be between the office and a new built apartment building with commercial space facing the greenspace. g?_nc_cat=103&ccb=2&_nc_sid=dd9801&_nc_ohc=zqvJlDcnvt0AX-GTC7U&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-1.xx&oh=496208ffa0db69fbb98fabe161d920ba&oe=60120729

Blackstone is the hot neighborhood in the city.

This is the latest finished apartment in the neighborhood.

This historic hotel has been fully restored with an addition added to the back and has joined the Kimpton umbrella, a great get for a city our size.

A collection of some of the other recent projects in Blackstone.

Historic rehab, I loved the basement bar touch on the corner. 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0iyqMbMesKd95J-X4EagrgU9L3Sa3U8cogeb0tjXbfawd0urKshkc5MgdBeJmALQK w/290227_print_02.jpg?format=1500w

I like this project as it respected its commercial neighbors by doing two building with a smaller scale with commercial and walk up apts above. 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0ktJPZ5nzlpAQ9l-HYKRq6WNmFFzUJhtTzwThPj2N3DT9VywTA4evQfJ-sbGmBV6Aw/Alistair_19-07-11_DJI_0432-Edit-min.jpg?format=1500w

Another new build that is only two stories. To get a commercial building with only 3 residential units to work financially is a great little infill project. 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1Uf o5RWkg_J4of0jUNHaDHx6pZKBvpVYzidBWCapg0tuoMuEaB2HP GSYDV-11UTcW2g/290225_01.jpg?format=1500w

Here is the rest of the old commercial buildings that have been rehabbed and filled up. 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z4YTzHvnKhyp6Da-NYroOW3ZGjoBKy3azqku80C789l0iyqMbMesKd95J-X4EagrgU9L3Sa3U8cogeb0tjXbfawd0urKshkc5MgdBeJmALQK w/290232_print_02.jpg?format=1500w 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1Uf o5RWkg_J4of0jUNHaDHx6pZKBvpVYzidBWCapg0tuoMuEaB2HP GSYDV-11UTcW2g/290221_02.jpg?format=1500w 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1Uf o5RWkg_J4of0jUNHaDHx6pZKBvpVYzidBWCapg0tuoMuEaB2HP GSYDV-11UTcW2g/290220_04.jpg?format=1500w 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1Uf o5RWkg_J4of0jUNHaDHx6pZKBvpVYzidBWCapg0tuoMuEaB2HP GSYDV-11UTcW2g/290221_06.jpg?format=1500w 8H3Y0txjaiv_0fDoOvxcdMmMKkDsyUqMSsMWxHk725yiiHCCLf rh8O1z5QPOohDIaIeljMHgDF5CVlOqpeNLcJ80NK65_fV7S1Uf o5RWkg_J4of0jUNHaDHx6pZKBvpVYzidBWCapg0tuoMuEaB2HP GSYDV-11UTcW2g/290224_01.jpg?format=1500w

Obviously, this modest scale isn't going to last as the area becomes more in demand and the land goes away. Denser projects are proposed.

A 7 story hotel going in.

The demand here has stressed parking in the area. The city is proposing a public garage with a developer to build housing above. Kind of a bulky building as the lot is pretty long, but this is just a conceptual rendering so fingers crossed for a better final look.

12-29-2020, 07:06 AM
Great update!

01-11-2021, 03:53 AM
I was up there in the Fall of 2019 visiting friends. I love Omaha. It's such a cool city and seemed like something of a boom town. Can't wait to go back when all this Covid crap is over. it reminds me of OKC somewhat, but more art-y and less evangelical.

01-13-2021, 01:11 AM
Omaha is definitely on my bucket list.