Official: North Downtown Discussion

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

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:21 am

Awesome comment about having plenty of parking, but it beig in the wrong places. We have way overbuilt our parking down there. When we put 25k in the baseball stadium we still have hundreds of empty parking stalls in Lot D. Imagine how many sit empty for the 15k at CU games.

Not to mention that we use those spaces inefficiently. MECA could lease out hundreds of spots to the major employers during the week and that could help remedy the desire for those businesses to spend their own money on surface lots.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:28 am

For some reason this article made me want to map out my thoughts based on their proposal. Here it is:
Image

Ideally you make the height of these buildings all 3-5 stories to prevent over saturating the market while providing density. (Red is 5 story, Blue is 3 story)
Row Houses are 3 story + basement, some units are single owner 4 bed, some are split in to 2, 2 bedroom units (basement+ground level) (2nd & 3rd floor) for a mix of income levels.
Position parking on the edges with ground level bays and optionally office/apartment space above.
Extend Mike Fahey across tracks as suggested by study.

Direct Link: http://imgur.com/KB4w3F6" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Dundeemaha on Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:38 am

I can't see the image. It's coming up as a broken link. Is there anything on my end that I can fix?
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Dundeemaha » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:44 am

I added a direct link to the image on imgur at the bottom. Hopefully that works for you.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:01 am

That works. Still can't see it because the proxy settings are blocking it at my school... I'll look at it at home later. Thanks!
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby MTO » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:08 am

Pretty much the same stuff form every other study... just how many more circle-jerks before something happens. I'm afraid plenty considering the Shamrock initiative went bust. Perhaps though, some of the smaller parking garage plus bays can get constructed. The residential feels somewhat odd even if the area is built out to the cohesive concept. And the baby bob connection bridge well DUH! A true newspaper would have gotten an update on that.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby MadMartin8 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:13 am

MTO wrote:Pretty much the same stuff form every other study... just how many more circle-jerks before something happens. I'm afraid plenty considering the Shamrock initiative went bust. Perhaps though, some of the smaller parking garage plus bays can get constructed. The residential feels somewhat odd even if the area is built out to the cohesive concept. And the baby bob connection bridge well DUH! A true newspaper would have gotten an update on that.


Bingo. All it is, is more talk. Nothing will change until businesses, who actually have capital and don't need to go to the Chinese, step up and invest more.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Coyote » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:34 am

RNcyanide wrote:A change of topic, but I drove by one of the suburban hotels down there and saw there was some draping and construction equipment around the first floor. I can't remember which hotel. Anyone know what they are doing down there? Hopefully offering something at street level?


It's the SW corner of the Holiday Inn at 15th and Cuming that has wrapped up the bay formerly occupied by Union Pizzeria and Sports Bar. They are adding another 1500 sq ft., for a Sporting News Grill.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:24 pm

I think the biggest hindrance to development is that rail line that runs near the river. It acts as a barricade to connecting development on the river to development in North Downtown and any sort of project to try and mitigate its connectivity effects (bridges over it, capping it) are expensive. It also sits on some pretty ideal real estate.

The freeway isn't helping either. I don't see any real purpose for it and it could probably be torn down from US-75 to the Missouri River bridge. Though knowing NDOR, they probably have a study showing it needs to be 16 lanes by the end of the decade.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Brad » Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:59 pm

It would be cool to see UP/CN to re-furbish the old IC Swing Bridge, then they can remove that track behind the Clink. However the Coast Guard wants that bridge removed...
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:15 pm

In my opinion North Downtown has no chance of forming into any sort of cohesive urban neighborhood until 480 is taken down and converted into a boulevard. Its best chance for success is to be directly connected to the core and to the Capitol District/Old Market corridor. Also, it's not unheard of recently for cities to tear down (or at least make plans to tear down) elevated highways.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:24 pm

Midwestern wrote:In my opinion North Downtown has no chance of forming into any sort of cohesive urban neighborhood until 480 is taken down and converted into a boulevard. Its best chance for success is to be directly connected to the core and to the Capitol District/Old Market corridor. Also, it's not unheard of recently for cities to tear down (or at least make plans to tear down) elevated highways.


Welcome to the forum!!

I couldn't imagine the city wanting to do away with that chunk of 480, unless they wanted to try to bury it a la Boston's Big Dig.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Coyote » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:32 pm

Midwestern wrote:In my opinion North Downtown has no chance of forming into any sort of cohesive urban neighborhood until 480 is taken down and converted into a boulevard. Its best chance for success is to be directly connected to the core and to the Capitol District/Old Market corridor. Also, it's not unheard of recently for cities to tear down (or at least make plans to tear down) elevated highways.


Portland did that not too long ago, with amazing results. With the I80-I29 interchange modifications, and the fact that 480 connects to Broadway... It would be a very intriguing proposition which probably make it too progressive for our city planners...

And welcome Midwestern, glad you could join the discussion!
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:14 pm

Milwaukee removed a downtown interstate spur as well, and Oklahoma City recently moved a piece of freeway away from downtown to not be as intrusive. It's fairly trendy, but I would agree that it's too progressive for Omaha planners/NDOR to want to do.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:26 pm

Thanks for the kind welcomes!

I agree that for the moment it is too progressive for Omaha although I could see a mayor with Hal Daub-like visions go through with it. It would also connect Creighton with the core and would allow the Civic Auditorium site to be something really great. And 16th street could be re-connected again.

So many great possibilities if it were to happen...

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:30 pm

Midwestern wrote:Thanks for the kind welcomes!

I agree that for the moment it is too progressive for Omaha although I could see a mayor with Hal Daub-like visions go through with it. It would also connect Creighton with the core and would allow the Civic Auditorium site to be something really great. And 16th street could be re-connected again.

So many great possibilities if it were to happen...


I would love a 16th Street reconnection. I absolutely hate how they built a wall to block out the northern part of downtown.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:40 pm

RNcyanide wrote:
Midwestern wrote:Thanks for the kind welcomes!

I agree that for the moment it is too progressive for Omaha although I could see a mayor with Hal Daub-like visions go through with it. It would also connect Creighton with the core and would allow the Civic Auditorium site to be something really great. And 16th street could be re-connected again.

So many great possibilities if it were to happen...


I would love a 16th Street reconnection. I absolutely hate how they built a wall to block out the northern part of downtown.


Agreed. 16th Street is our most "Manhattan-like" stretch of blocks so it would be lovely to get it re-activated. To go from 16th & Howard all the way up to 16th & Cuming and have mixed-use buildings all along that stretch would be great.

Maybe the DoubleTree could be moved to the WallStreet lot? Build a new tower for them, combine it with some condos and/or apartments to possibly push it towards being a 350-400 foot tower? Who do we call to make it happen? :D

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby GetUrban » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:49 pm

Midwestern wrote:Thanks for the kind welcomes!

I agree that for the moment it is too progressive for Omaha although I could see a mayor with Hal Daub-like visions go through with it. It would also connect Creighton with the core and would allow the Civic Auditorium site to be something really great. And 16th street could be re-connected again.

So many great possibilities if it were to happen...


I vote yes! Make it happen. Go ahead and reconnect 16th st while you're at it too.

Just think how cool it would be to have a regular urban-like street bridge with sidewalks connecting over to Broadway. ...Could add a light rail connection too. The only negative thing is it would eliminate one of the reasons for building the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge. But there is no reason why we couldn't have two or three pedestrian friendly connections across the river. The NDOR folks would have a fit though.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:54 pm

480 is obviously not ideal and I would love to see it dropped, but it would have to shoot right back up to get over the river. Still would fly over 10th.

I don't think it is necessary for the bridge to come down to get real development anyways. What it will take is capitol(lots of it) and motivated land holders, which we don't have right now.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Seth » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:58 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Awesome comment about having plenty of parking, but it beig in the wrong places.


I was amused by a commenter to the article complaining that there was already a lack of parking in North Downtown and how far of a "hike" it was to get from his car to TDA Park.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:58 pm

Midwestern wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:
Midwestern wrote:Thanks for the kind welcomes!

I agree that for the moment it is too progressive for Omaha although I could see a mayor with Hal Daub-like visions go through with it. It would also connect Creighton with the core and would allow the Civic Auditorium site to be something really great. And 16th street could be re-connected again.

So many great possibilities if it were to happen...


I would love a 16th Street reconnection. I absolutely hate how they built a wall to block out the northern part of downtown.


Agreed. 16th Street is our most "Manhattan-like" stretch of blocks so it would be lovely to get it re-activated. To go from 16th & Howard all the way up to 16th & Cuming and have mixed-use buildings all along that stretch would be great.

Maybe the DoubleTree could be moved to the WallStreet lot? Build a new tower for them, combine it with some condos and/or apartments to possibly push it towards being a 350-400 foot tower? Who do we call to make it happen?  :D


In my idealist world DoubleTree goes in a new build somewhere else downtown and their current building gets cut in half. The eastern half of the building gets torn down to allow 16th to connect while the west half gets retrofitted to a modern condo tower.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:01 pm

Seth wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:Awesome comment about having plenty of parking, but it beig in the wrong places.


I was amused by a commenter to the article complaining that there was already a lack of parking in North Downtown and how far of a "hike" it was to get from his car to TDA Park.


I will have to remember to take a picture of the hundreds of empty stalls in Lot D during this summer's CWS. We have so much parking we can't even fill it all during our biggest event of the year. We literally took the Wal-Mart parking plan of providing enough for the 10 peak times of the year and still don't fill it.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:04 pm

iamjacobm wrote:
Midwestern wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:
I would love a 16th Street reconnection. I absolutely hate how they built a wall to block out the northern part of downtown.


Agreed. 16th Street is our most "Manhattan-like" stretch of blocks so it would be lovely to get it re-activated. To go from 16th & Howard all the way up to 16th & Cuming and have mixed-use buildings all along that stretch would be great.

Maybe the DoubleTree could be moved to the WallStreet lot? Build a new tower for them, combine it with some condos and/or apartments to possibly push it towards being a 350-400 foot tower? Who do we call to make it happen?  :D


In my idealist world DoubleTree goes in a new build somewhere else downtown and their current building gets cut in half.  The eastern half of the building gets torn down to allow 16th to connect while the west half gets retrofitted to a modern condo tower.


I didn't even think of the possibility of cutting DoubleTree in half and being able to keep a tower on the corner of 16th & Capitol, that's a very good idea if it's possible. Have any cities done anything like that before?

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:08 pm

I haven't a clue. There is probably no way it is cost effective.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby GetUrban » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:35 pm

If you could save the elevator core, which is in the middle, it might work to lop-off the east side.

But, it already has a drive-through bank at street level under the hotel tower, where 16th used to be. You could simply get rid of that, and let 16th pass under the hotel at current street level, redo the hotel lobby to be a street level, and rework the entrances to the parking garage. Done.

Visually it would look better without the tower over 16th though. It does appear to be a "wall" blocking off north downtown.
Last edited by GetUrban on Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby HR Paperstacks » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:38 pm

I don't think there's any chance of the northern portion of 480 to be torn down until they build a new Missouri River bridge to connect the North Freeway to 680. Then they could route 480 up that way. I know there are plans for this new freeway section along 16th north of Epply. While I know there are a lot of anti-freeway people on here, I think this new stretch could help give the opportunity for reclaiming land downtown as some have mentioned here.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby HR Paperstacks » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:41 pm

GetUrban wrote:Visually it would look better without the tower over 16th though.

I actually think a building over the street would be really cool and urban-like. I'd love to see that!

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Midwestern » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:46 pm

HR Paperstacks wrote:
GetUrban wrote:Visually it would look better without the tower over 16th though.

I actually think a building over the street would be really cool and urban-like. I'd love to see that!


I agree, it might be kinda cool. And it's probably the only realistic option for re-connecting 16th Street. I guess there's a slight chance they demo the tower eventually but I doubt that would happen in the near future.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby GetUrban » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:04 pm

Dundeemaha wrote:For some reason this article made me want to map out my thoughts based on their proposal. Here it is:
Image

Ideally you make the height of these buildings all 3-5 stories to prevent over saturating the market while providing density. (Red is 5 story, Blue is 3 story)
Row Houses are 3 story + basement, some units are single owner 4 bed, some are split in to 2, 2 bedroom units (basement+ground level) (2nd & 3rd floor) for a mix of income levels.
Position parking on the edges with ground level bays and optionally office/apartment space above.
Extend Mike Fahey across tracks as suggested by study.

Direct Link: http://imgur.com/KB4w3F6" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


A few quick comments on this image:

1. The North Downtown quad would be a great way to start filling in some of the wide-open spaces between the CLINK and TD ballpark.
2. The row houses shown along 10th are way too low-density that close to the stadium. I rather see 3-5 story mixed-use there.
3. I think a strong pedestrian/bridge connection from Fahey (fka Webster) to the riverfont would be better than a simple street connection.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:08 pm

Someone said not too long ago they did an expensive update/renovation of Double Free. No way they'd touch that place. A reconnected 16th Street exists only in our imaginations.

And whoever complained about the lack of parking can get a segway, drive it to Wal-Mart, and but a carton of eggs to suck.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Dundeemaha » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 pm


A few quick comments on this image:

1. The North Downtown quad would be a great way to start filling in some of the wide-open spaces between the CLINK and TD ballpark.
2. The row houses shown along 10th are way too low-density that close to the stadium. I rather see 3-5 story mixed-use there.
3. I think a strong pedestrian/bridge connection from Fahey (fka Webster) to the riverfont would be better than a simple street connection.


I get where you are coming from with 2. But I think it's becoming time to face facts and accept the low demand for this area. 2-3k sqft. row houses this close to downtown would be a unique selling feature especially close to the more corporate entertainment venues. While increasing the density and current tax base significantly.

What do you like more about a pedestrian bridge than a road connection?

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby S33 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:11 pm

Dundeemaha wrote:
I get where you are coming from with 2. But I think it's  becoming time to face facts and accept the low demand for this area.


I don't think you just fill an urban void with low-density for the sake of filling the void. If it's a property of mine, it will be a parking lot until I'm comfortable that I've reasonably exhausted the top-end of my investment, taking into consideration the holding costs, length of time, and maximum possible value of the property/development.

Yes, row houses would, in theory, be a cool idea, but I think it's close enough to the core of downtown to give it a few more years before pulling the trigger on it.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby GetUrban » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:12 am

Dundeemaha wrote:

A few quick comments on this image:

1. The North Downtown quad would be a great way to start filling in some of the wide-open spaces between the CLINK and TD ballpark.
2. The row houses shown along 10th are way too low-density that close to the stadium. I rather see 3-5 story mixed-use there.
3. I think a strong pedestrian/bridge connection from Fahey (fka Webster) to the riverfont would be better than a simple street connection.


I get where you are coming from with 2. But I think it's  becoming time to face facts and accept the low demand for this area.  2-3k sqft. row houses this close to downtown would be a unique selling feature especially close to the more corporate entertainment venues. While increasing the density and current tax base significantly.

What do you like more about a pedestrian bridge than a road connection?


On #2: I think the land is just too valuable to tie it up in such low-density residential for the foreseeable future. Why should so few people benefit from locating in such a prime location? Economically, a couple of more high-rise towers like Riverfront Place would make more sense, if 3-5 story mixed use retail/restaurant/office/residential won't work. You're right that Retail is not currently taking-off in the area, but I don't think we should give up on it yet.

On #3: Early plans always envisioned a more artistic pedestrian bridge connection directly to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian bridge. Is there really a need for a vehicle connection from Fahey down to Riverfront Dr? Maybe so, especially if we could have public transit take people right down to the bridge. That idea should be re-visited before "Baby Bob" is built. You make a good point.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby MTO » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:32 am

If only the forces behind Aksarben Village and MTC could be summed once more in North Downtown. We pretty much only get once chance at this it should be done well. So what's next will the city issue a rfp for each site?
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Joe_Sovereign » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:11 am

Isn't Parking Lot D directly to the north of the Arena reserved for expansion of the CenturyLink's Convention Space?

If North Dowtown is going to develop it is going to take a couple key City/Meca actions.

1) What ever is holding up the Marriott Hotel on the Shamrock Development needs to be resolved. The extra rooms are needed to sell the Convention Center.
2) With the extra rooms coming on line, the Convention Center expansion needs to get going.
3) Expansion means Lot D Development including pedestrian bridge to Riverfront and Bob Kerry bridge. Also it should include a multilevel parking garage (with ground level retail) at the north end of lot D (10th and Cummin/Abbott.
4) That should allow for the four full city blocks of Lot B to be opened up for development.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby GetUrban » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:24 pm

Yeah, you have to answer the question of whether there will ever be any expansion of the convention center. I totally agree with the next four steps, except maybe first everybody needs to adopt a master plan or a least a list of goals for the area to guide future growth.

The parking garage needs to happen very soon, even simultaneously with Shamrock, then Lot B can be freed-up.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby MTO » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:30 pm

The expansion of the convention center will just bring it up to Meca Dr, the lot is safe.
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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Joe_Sovereign » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:30 am

Is there an official MECA or City plan as to what the CenturyLink/Ameritrade parking would look like in a developed North Downtown? Is there a plan on how many parking spots would need to be in the parking garages or where the garages would be for the two facilities? It doesn't seem like there is any path forward until you have a plan that says these lots are open for development as long as x-thousand parking spots are included in any development. Lot B is 4 complete city blocks and Lot D is about 9 complete blocks that is an unbelievable amount of space.

If the City & MECA made a joint venture deal with a developer to build a massive Parking Structure with ground level retail and a few floors of apartments or condos on top it would be a huge shot in the arm for the area and open up a ton of land for development. If the Garage took up one block but freed up three more for development that is a huge first step, plus a few retail locations and some additional residential would be a huge addition alone.

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby Greg S » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:59 am

Joe_Sovereign wrote:Isn't Parking Lot D directly to the north of the Arena reserved for expansion of the CenturyLink's Convention Space?  

If North Dowtown is going to develop it is going to take a couple key City/Meca actions.

1) What ever is holding up the Marriott Hotel on the Shamrock Development needs to be resolved.  The extra rooms are needed to sell the Convention Center.
2) With the extra rooms coming on line, the Convention Center expansion needs to get going.
3) Expansion means Lot D Development including pedestrian bridge to Riverfront and Bob Kerry bridge.  Also it should include a multilevel parking garage (with ground level retail) at the north end of lot D (10th and Cummin/Abbott.
4) That should allow for the four full city blocks of Lot B to be opened up for development.



Yes, Lot D is reserved for expansion. Initially plans for TD Ameritrade Park involved Lot D and MECA shot those down due to the future expansion. I think that was the time the compared putting a baseball stadium next to Centurylink Center, as having a gas station go up next to your house.

Greg

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Re: Official: North Downtown Discussion

Postby MTO » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:08 pm

Mmm pretty sure the expansion won't cross over the MECA Dr access road they built. At least originally but of course they could expand it to Abbott if they so wish.
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