Blackstone Business Improvement District

Downtown, Midtown, and all parts east of 72nd.

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mattl181
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby mattl181 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:21 pm

A bunch of new developments announced for the Blackstone area today. Via the OWH:

» At 3921 Farnam St., a 107-year-old inactive storefront previously filled with junk is to be transformed into 1,050 square feet of retail space. Its exposed brick walls, creative floor tile and small outdoor area makes it suitable for a deli, ice cream parlor or unique store, developers said. Redevelopment cost is estimated at $232,000.

» At 3913-3919 Farnam St., a four-unit town home project is to be remodeled, along with a back courtyard area. Rents for the three-bedroom dwellings in the middle of the commercial strip could run up to $1,700. Estimated redevelopment cost is $844,000.

» At 3909 Farnam St., a day care structure built on a slope is to be revamped to provide two levels of shops, some that open onto Harney Street and others to Farnam. Lund likened the tiered look, the French-doored shops and the future facade to that of a downtown New Orleans-style structure. The 5,500-square-foot transformation is to cost about $1.5 million.

» At 124 S. 39th St., a rundown apartment complex built in the early 1960s is being gutted and turned into 30 one-bedroom apartments fashioned with a retro vibe, including black-and-white floors. Features include covered parking and an open-air interior courtyard to be strung with lights. Rent is about $750. The project cost is about $2.3 million.

» At 404-406 S. 40th St., a nine-unit apartment complex will be renovated and leased to UNMC tenants.

» At 3814 Farnam St., a two-story 1916 brick historic building is to become 5,500 square feet of ground-level commercial space and six high-end loft apartments on the upper level. For years it’s been used for storage. Redevelopment cost is about $2.5 million.

http://www.omaha.com/money/blackstone-district-set-for-latest-wave-of-redevelopment/article_74895965-a805-50c5-8752-d7a1148ca7f5.html

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Taco
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Taco » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:55 pm

Great projects. Curious (and a little disappointed) as to why so many renovations instead of new construction. I'm all for preserving historical character, but some of those buildings are nothing special. Are there zoning restrictions in place keeping things from going over 2/3 stories? Or is it because the lots are so small?

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby RNcyanide » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:01 pm

Taco wrote:Great projects. Curious (and a little disappointed) as to why so many renovations instead of new construction. I'm all for preserving historical character, but some of those buildings are nothing special. Are there zoning restrictions in place keeping things from going over 2/3 stories? Or is it because the lots are so small?


Mike Harper, is that you??
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iamjacobm
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:10 pm

Taco wrote:Great projects. Curious (and a little disappointed) as to why so many renovations instead of new construction. I'm all for preserving historical character, but some of those buildings are nothing special. Are there zoning restrictions in place keeping things from going over 2/3 stories? Or is it because the lots are so small?


The neighborhood has good bones, just needed some TLC. They are currently building two new apartment buildings with another larger one announced to begin in a year or two as well. Should be a great mix of new and old.

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Taco
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Taco » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:25 pm

RNcyanide wrote:
Taco wrote:Great projects. Curious (and a little disappointed) as to why so many renovations instead of new construction. I'm all for preserving historical character, but some of those buildings are nothing special. Are there zoning restrictions in place keeping things from going over 2/3 stories? Or is it because the lots are so small?


Mike Harper, is that you??


Look at the apartment building on 39th that they are redoing and tell me it has any unique historical value. Other projects, like the one described as "New Orleans-esque" seem far more promising to me.

Some people are skyscraper size queens, im a density guy.

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GetUrban
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby GetUrban » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:14 pm

These recent rehab and infill projects are great examples of healthy incremental development, which shows that the area is making a strong come back. It's great to see buildings get reused even if they aren't historic, assuming the development is worthwhile.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

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U R my Helix
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby U R my Helix » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:01 pm

The rendering for the 3909 Farnam St location where the day care is shows the North side of the building, with two story shops. The caption indicates apartments on the South side but does not indicate the number of units. The property has a lot of parking lot and playground in the rear. Any one know the proposed unit count for this one?

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Seth
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Seth » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:17 am

These small-scale projects are exactly what a vibrant neighborhood needs to both retain it's character and remain resilient. The large-scale apartments that take 4 or more lots and fill it with one large building are good anchors, but if you build an entire neighborhood of them, you loose the variety and street presence of a mix of smaller buildings with different uses, prices points, and style.

I'm liking the redevelopment of the Blackstone more and more with each new project.

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GetUrban
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby GetUrban » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:35 am

I totally agree. This thinking should apply to downtown too. So much of the variety it used to have has been lost by "superblock" or whole-block scaled developments, wiping out the rich variety of small-scaled buildings.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby taken » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:14 pm

Coyote wrote:
Coyote wrote:New Dundee Bank branch in Blackstone District will seek to preserve details of former McFoster's site

Cole Epley: World-Herald staff writer wrote:The Architectural Offices will lead the renovation. Dundee Bank plans to open in mid-2016. Also purchased were three condemned residential properties directly west of the planned bank branch property. Those properties will be demolished.


The properties adjacent to McFosters were combined with it in a replat. So the name will live forever.
McFosters-38074328.jpg
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Seth
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Seth » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:09 pm

That's pretty cool. How long was McFosters there anyway?

I still have some unused restaurants.com coupons for McFosters. Think they'll be worth anything at the bank? :;):

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby MTO » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:18 pm

I'd ask any of my friends that once worked there but they're to high to know what a McFosters is.
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iamjacobm
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:34 pm

Not sure if they are reclaiming some of the materials from the homes they are tearing down behind the Dundee Bank location. They seem to be demoing awfully delicately.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Louie » Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:45 am

iamjacobm wrote:Not sure if they are reclaiming some of the materials from the homes they are tearing down behind the Dundee Bank location. They seem to be demoing awfully delicately.

That would be a very responsible thing to do.

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Seth
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Seth » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:14 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Not sure if they are reclaiming some of the materials from the homes they are tearing down behind the Dundee Bank location. They seem to be demoing awfully delicately.


Yeah, last time I walked past, they had crews of guys removing siding by hand. It clearly wasn't necessary for demolition safety, and any hazardous materials (asbestos siding, etc) had already been removed. I would be interested to know what they're doing.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby OmahaJaysCU » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:58 pm

I believe the company hired to tear the houses down recycles all of the materials. More of a "deconstruction" rather than demoing it and throwing it all in a landfill.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Seth » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:55 pm

I had to run a bike errand down this way last night and noticed they're starting on a new facade on the front of one of those crappy-looking buildings on the south side. It looks like construction is going to keep a pretty steady pace here.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby jjjjhskr » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:17 pm

Not sure which of the addresses listed is the Colonial hotel - I hear that was purchased recently and is also being renovated.
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Seth
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Seth » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:15 pm

jjjjhskr wrote:Not sure which of the addresses listed is the Colonial hotel - I hear that was purchased recently and is also being renovated.


That would make sense. With the demand for this area, I imagine the investment potential of this for this has easily tipped past the income it's making in it's current use.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby mattl181 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:29 pm

jjjjhskr wrote:Not sure which of the addresses listed is the Colonial hotel - I hear that was purchased recently and is also being renovated.


That would be this building, at 38th and Farnam, next to Brothers. Great potential here, is it still actually used as a hotel?

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby mj3141 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:07 pm

I believe these are currently apartments.

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iamjacobm
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:19 pm

mj3141 wrote:I believe these are currently apartments.


Lowest level of apartments is what I understand. I think you can rent by the week with little to no background checks so sex offenders end up here(rumors I have heard). My mother was a counselor for OPS and she said when she visited there a few times b/c of student issues the inside was absolutely disgusting. Trash everywhere, awful smells ect.

This will be about as gentrified as gentrification gets.

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U R my Helix
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby U R my Helix » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:24 pm

They are advertising as recently as 30 days ago as "sleeping rooms starting at $99 per week plus tax" So they are operating as a hotel.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby asherballa » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:31 pm

Working that quasi-legal gray area between operation as a hotel and an apartment.

Sounds like whoever is renovating may have their work cut out for them.

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iamjacobm
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:49 pm

Colonial TIF request before planning board. A number of the other smaller projects TIF is before them as well.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Coyote » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:12 am

Conversion to upscale apartments hopes to restore Colonial Hotel to former glory

Cindy Gonzalez - World-Herald staff writer wrote:Developers GreenSlate and Clarity have proposed turning what now are 100 or so boarding rooms that go for roughly $100 a week into 40 upscale apartments commanding monthly rents between $850 and $1,400.
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mattl181
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby mattl181 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:39 am

Coyote wrote:Conversion to upscale apartments hopes to restore Colonial Hotel to former glory

Cindy Gonzalez - World-Herald staff writer wrote:Developers GreenSlate and Clarity have proposed turning what now are 100 or so boarding rooms that go for roughly $100 a week into 40 upscale apartments commanding monthly rents between $850 and $1,400.


They mention that there used to be a lounge/bar in the building that is also going to be re-opened. Is this along 38th Street?

Also, this article brings up some tough issues, with gentrification ongoing at a massive pace in this area. I don't want to derail the topic too much, but should projects that use TIF be required, in some way, to provide a certain number of lower income units?

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby MTO » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:05 am

That's a greate point it's something NYC has been trying to do. I'm not sure if a market as small as Omaha could pull something like that off or not.
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Coyote » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:10 am

Does anyone know anything about the Red Lion Club that used to be here - for nostalgia sake...?
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby asherballa » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:01 pm

mattl181 wrote:
Coyote wrote:Conversion to upscale apartments hopes to restore Colonial Hotel to former glory

Cindy Gonzalez - World-Herald staff writer wrote:Developers GreenSlate and Clarity have proposed turning what now are 100 or so boarding rooms that go for roughly $100 a week into 40 upscale apartments commanding monthly rents between $850 and $1,400.


They mention that there used to be a lounge/bar in the building that is also going to be re-opened. Is this along 38th Street?

Also, this article brings up some tough issues, with gentrification ongoing at a massive pace in this area. I don't want to derail the topic too much, but should projects that use TIF be required, in some way, to provide a certain number of lower income units?


That's a good question--I don't believe Omaha's TIF scheme requires any sort of set-aside for low-income units (maybe because in many instances TIF is being used on an affordable housing project?). It's a fair question though. TIF can be used in a lot of different ways, soit might not be so easy to impose affordable housing conditions every time TIF is sought. That certainly would seem to be within Omaha's power though.

Also, since this article says this is a project seeking historic tax credits but with no low income housing tax credits all of the units can be market rate without issue.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:29 pm

A part of the TIF approval process is showing the city that the development would not be possible without the subsidy. Giving them less rent income would in theory make their property even less profitable and need more subsidy.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby U R my Helix » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:21 pm

Coyote wrote:Does anyone know anything about the Red Lion Club that used to be here - for nostalgia sake...?


I have not found anything on the Red Lion Club, but in the search process I found this fun old book on line from 1948. It is the Checker Cab City Directory and Guide to Omaha. Lists the location of a lot of older buildings and the original names. http://www.historicomaha.com/checkercabdirectory.pdf

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Coyote » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:14 pm

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:25 pm

Seeing how long those homes have been there it puts that little bit of dislike to see them being brought down now. It is too bad they got so chopped up and run down over the years.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby LittleItaly » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:04 pm

asherballa wrote:
mattl181 wrote:
Coyote wrote:Conversion to upscale apartments hopes to restore Colonial Hotel to former glory

Cindy Gonzalez - World-Herald staff writer wrote:Developers GreenSlate and Clarity have proposed turning what now are 100 or so boarding rooms that go for roughly $100 a week into 40 upscale apartments commanding monthly rents between $850 and $1,400.


They mention that there used to be a lounge/bar in the building that is also going to be re-opened. Is this along 38th Street?

Also, this article brings up some tough issues, with gentrification ongoing at a massive pace in this area. I don't want to derail the topic too much, but should projects that use TIF be required, in some way, to provide a certain number of lower income units?


That's a good question--I don't believe Omaha's TIF scheme requires any sort of set-aside for low-income units (maybe because in many instances TIF is being used on an affordable housing project?). It's a fair question though. TIF can be used in a lot of different ways, soit might not be so easy to impose affordable housing conditions every time TIF is sought. That certainly would seem to be within Omaha's power though.

Also, since this article says this is a project seeking historic tax credits but with no low income housing tax credits all of the units can be market rate without issue.


Without tax credits, no one will build low income units, which I'm sure you all already know and the reality of it is that, for the most part, banks are the investors in tax credit projects, and not necessarily for the tax credits, but more for the CRAs, which, if you can satisfy a banks CRA requirements AND get tax credits, why wouldn't you. So, because Nebraska is a low-population state, few banks need to worry about CRAs in Nebraska (of course some do) and therefore it isn't all that common to see low income units incorporated into major developments in Nebraska because the incentive isn't there for big time banks to invest. It does happen, with the highlander project in North Omaha being the most recent example.

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Spatial77 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:01 am

Coyote wrote:
image.jpg


I love seeing the streetcar in the photo!
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby daveoma » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:15 am

What is a CRA?

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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Garrett » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:48 am

daveoma wrote:What is a CRA?

CRA is the Community Reinvesment Act, which was enacted in 1977 and outlawed redlining, and strongly encourages banks to ensure that credit is available to everyone, particularly low income people. Essentially, it attempts to make sure banks aren't discriminating against low income people in matters of housing.
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby jjjjhskr » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:44 am

I joined the Blackstone Business Association last week and the following was discussed.

The purchaser or 3909 Farnam is putting a restaurant and guitar shop on the north side where the day care was.

5 of the "acorn style" lights that are being put all over downtown and other areas are being put on Farnam St between 39th and 40th this year. There are plans for 30 to be placed on Farnam between midtown crossing and the med center.
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Re: Blackstone Business Improvement District

Postby Coyote » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:03 pm

Just a little north of the Nite Owl, this residence is being renovated into a restaurant:

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