Midtown Crossing

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

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Asten
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Midtown Crossing

Postby Asten » Wed May 18, 2005 1:09 pm

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=46&u_sid=1414495

This sounds absolutely awesome - a major coup for midtown if all the pieces line up.  

It makes me damned misty-eyed to read things like this.   I'm just blown away by the corporate kinship that some Omaha companies feel for their town.  

Not to say they won't make some money off of it, but if it betters the city, I don't see any harm in that.    Responsible capitalism is a lost art.  It exists in small towns, and it exists in the rarest of gems of cities.

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Postby Finn » Wed May 18, 2005 1:12 pm

It is amazing. We have been spoiled by continuous new development announcements. With the improving economy, more to come! :D

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Postby almighty_tuna » Wed May 18, 2005 1:14 pm

This would be great infill, especially if the grocery store plans come to fruition. MoO is really doing a great thing.

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Postby Big E » Wed May 18, 2005 1:25 pm

Is it just me or did this come absolutely out of nowhere?

What a pleasant surprise. Perhaps this will help expedite a downtown/midtown/Dundee shuttle or transit system?

-Big E

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Postby loyalomahan » Wed May 18, 2005 1:32 pm

Key points from World Herald article...

-600 residential units situated over shops and entertainment
-Cost estimated at $70 to $90 million
-Completed by 2007 or 2008
-Expedites change of Farnam and Harney from one to two way streets and Dodge Street 'S' curve reconfiguration
-Pending feasibility study to be done by Chicago firm ECI Investment Advisors

Link to rendering... http://www.omaha.com/toolbox/imglib/mai ... sqmoo1.jpg

Mutual of Omaha press release wrote:Mutual of Omaha Launches Midtown Redevelopment Initiative

Omaha, Neb. (May 18, 2005) – Mutual of Omaha Chairman and CEO Dan Neary today announced the company is exploring redevelopment of the property east of its headquarters at 33rd and Dodge streets. Options include creating a mixed-use urban neighborhood encompassing residential units, commercial establishments and enhanced green space.

The 8-acre area, from 31st to 33rd streets and from Dodge to Farnam streets, represents the first major redevelopment initiative tied to the Destination Midtown study completed a year ago. Mutual of Omaha was a catalyst in launching the Destination Midtown effort in 2003.

Neary made the announcement at a press conference atop Mutual of Omaha’s headquarters, overlooking the area included in the redevelopment initiative. He said the first step is to conduct a feasibility study of the project concept. “We wouldn’t be doing our duty as a corporate citizen if we didn’t explore the maximum potential for this property. As a leader in the Destination Midtown effort, we know our neighborhood is primed for revitalization. We’re excited about the prospects and believe the feasibility study will show the business and investment community to be equally enthused.”

Mutual of Omaha has developed a strategic alliance with ECI Investment Advisors, Inc. to complete an economic analysis, appropriate feasibility reviews, environmental study and construction estimates. John McClelland, senior vice president-administration for Mutual of Omaha and a member of the Destination Midtown board, said the neighborhood redevelopment initiative will be guided by the principles and objectives outlined in the Destination Midtown study.

“The vision of Destination Midtown is to establish a vibrant and distinct urban environment that promotes economic development activities, advances neighborhood revitalization, and forges unique partnerships,” McClelland said. “Our initiative shares those objectives.”

Once the project is green-lighted, the area that now consists of vacant office buildings and underutilized parking lots would experience a massive makeover, according to McClelland. Mutual of Omaha envisions a multi-use concept, expected to include a variety of residential units, creation of a pedestrian-oriented retail environment to provide goods, services and entertainment options, and improvements to underdeveloped green spaces and park areas. All improvements and additions would complement the surrounding residential and commercial areas.

“We believe this area could not only be a great place to live and work, but a destination spot for people living in other parts of the city,” McClelland said. We want to give people another great reason to visit, work, shop and live in Midtown Omaha.”

Also participating in the announcement were David Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and Keith Bawolek, executive vice president of ECI.

Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line provider of insurance and financial services products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States. Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha and its affiliate companies manage assets in excess of $18 billion and are ranked among the Fortune 500.

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Postby edsas » Wed May 18, 2005 2:09 pm

Nice!

I wonder if this will ultimately lead to a renovation of their office tower to compliment the spanking new environs. 8)

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Postby Finn » Wed May 18, 2005 2:12 pm

If I remember correctly, that funeral chapel is a unique structure. If it is, I say integrate it with the new development. I wish we would see more integration like what eventually happened for the Omaha Performing Arts Center (minus the Frankie Paine building). I think it makes for a good mix of architcture and history.

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Postby Coyote » Wed May 18, 2005 3:12 pm

Boy this did come from out of nowhere. This will really jump start Midtown development. I noticed that Mutual is building a new parking garage just to the east of the Blackstone.
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Postby OmahaDevelopmentMan » Wed May 18, 2005 3:42 pm

Wow, what a wonderful shock. This will be a great infill project. This will be great to jumpstart the Midtown redevelopment project, and help grow our second skyline :D

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Postby sokkerdewd » Wed May 18, 2005 3:51 pm

Heh - some of the renderings make it look like a mini-KC Plaza area. I wonder how much condos/apartments in the area would run when this is finished...
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Postby NovakOmaha » Wed May 18, 2005 4:59 pm

This could be just the start for that area. There are some pretty big hitters, both from Omaha and outside Nebraska, looking at this. If the stars line up it could be a really big deal & it will spawn a lot more.

I talked with a friend at one of the big commercial real estate companies today. He said he's known about it for a while, but that its on a rather fast track.

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Postby Zephyr » Wed May 18, 2005 5:32 pm

Very good news and nice to see someone is taking the first step, which should encourage further development. When will UNMC announce their big Saddle Creek realignment plans?? :)
Last edited by Zephyr on Wed May 18, 2005 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Finn » Wed May 18, 2005 5:33 pm

I wonder how much condos/apartments in the area would run when this is finished...


That info will come from the market study.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Wed May 18, 2005 7:04 pm

Is it just me or did this come absolutely out of nowhere?


I about spit my coffee out when the wowt noon news came on.
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Postby the1wags » Wed May 18, 2005 9:20 pm

Wow this is great news!

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Postby DTO Luv » Wed May 18, 2005 9:25 pm

I was totally oblivious to the press release and it's in the building I work in. My space faces that lot and I was just thinking the other day that it's a big waste of space since less than half of the lots were in use. I found out when I got off work and went into the dome to see these great big renderings and "Before" photos. Renderings look so much better in person.
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Postby nativeomahan » Wed May 18, 2005 10:13 pm

Of course this is wonderful news for a part of town that desperately needs it. Am I the only one who finds it ironic, however, that Mutual of Omaha is trying to upgrade the neighborhood of underutilized parking lots when they alone are responsible for the razing of many quality buildings, including restaurants, large apartment buildings, and landmark structures (Heafey and Heafey, John A. Gentleman mortuaries) in the past 20 years, only to replace them with parking lots that sit empty most of the time? Maybe this is atonement for past sins.

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Postby jjjjhskr » Thu May 19, 2005 7:47 am

This will add significant density to the areas which will significantly help support the need for ---- light rail!

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Postby FatGuy » Thu May 19, 2005 8:08 am

Boy this did come from out of nowhere. This will really jump start Midtown development. I noticed that Mutual is building a new parking garage just to the east of the Blackstone.


Coyote- Is this parking garage Mutual's or Kiewit's? Hopefully Kiewit will do something to match Mutual's effort.

By the way, I still haven't figured out how to quote someone else. Could someone help me out. Thanks.

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Postby FatGuy » Thu May 19, 2005 8:11 am

I noticed that Mutual is building a new parking garage just to the east of the Blackstone.


Sorry for the previous message, I am learning to quote people.

Anyway, is this a Kiewit or Mutual Garage?

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Postby Raraavis » Thu May 19, 2005 8:45 am

This is fantastic news, if all these projects go through it will just create more momentum for downtown development. I love the way one project spurs the next one and the next.

The city needs to keep the ball rolling. Lets build the darn Bridge already.

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Mutual

Postby Vince Furlong » Thu May 19, 2005 9:51 am

This is a great use of wasted land in Midtown. The presentation of this to the Midtown Neighborhood Alliance last evening was warmly received by the neighbors.

Now we need to watch this development to make sure:

1. a percentage of retail space (30-50% let's say) is left for local businesses and entrepreneurs....let Starbucks, Borders, and a national chain restaurant have some space, but please leave some for the locals

2. the amenities for pedestrians are strong, ie, a)lighting, b)street crossings on Dodge and Farnam, c)wide sidewalks, d)slow traffic, etc.....right now the Turner Park area in underused by pedestrians

3. mixed-income housing is part of the plan.....also make some space for families with children

4. we get a good blend of architecture with the existing environment, ie, colors, no high rises, historic housing/buildings already in the area

5. adequate connections to the project area are made to the Gifford Park, Park East, and Blackstone neighborhoods

Thanks M of O for making this step....

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Brad
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Mutual's plans please neighbors

Postby Brad » Thu May 19, 2005 2:36 pm

Mutual's plans please neighbors

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=1636&u_sid=1415174

"This is really what we want midtown to be," said Margie Magnuson, a leader from the Joslyn Castle neighborhood. "You want the businesses, and to bring in the residential, and work it all in with green space."
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Postby OmahaDevelopmentMan » Thu May 19, 2005 2:59 pm

The city should consider redoing some of the bridges linking downtown and midtown. If we want to try to blend the two areas together those need to be replaced. Maybe they could be like those bridges in Des Moines.

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Thu May 19, 2005 3:01 pm

They just rebuilt the Douglas street one last year. They are also currently redoing the interchange there by creighton so it might be a little late for different bridges.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri May 20, 2005 1:37 pm

I need to see renderings!!!!!!!

Great news to hear when you're so far away from home. I hope the ball keeps rolling and more projects get announced before I get back.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri May 20, 2005 1:46 pm

Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough. The building heights would be ok if they were closer together and if there were a few high rises in the plan. This is more on par with UNO's dorms on south campus. Even OmahaByDesign proposed highrise residential for this area. I hope they get it right the first time, but I won't count on it.

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Postby Finn » Fri May 20, 2005 2:19 pm

Six stories isn't bad. Maybe they will be flexible with more density depending on demand and initial absorption. You CAN NOT start off with a high rise residential tower there.

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Postby OhioStreetKid » Fri May 20, 2005 2:28 pm

Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough. The building heights would be ok if they were closer together and if there were a few high rises in the plan. This is more on par with UNO's dorms on south campus. Even OmahaByDesign proposed highrise residential for this area. I hope they get it right the first time, but I won't count on it.


:roll:

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri May 20, 2005 4:31 pm

Finn wrote:Six stories isn't bad. Maybe they will be flexible with more density depending on demand and initial absorption. You CAN NOT start off with a high rise residential tower there.


I see no reason why not.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri May 20, 2005 4:32 pm

OhioStreetKid wrote:
Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough. The building heights would be ok if they were closer together and if there were a few high rises in the plan. This is more on par with UNO's dorms on south campus. Even OmahaByDesign proposed highrise residential for this area. I hope they get it right the first time, but I won't count on it.


:roll:


:roll:

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Postby DMRyan » Fri May 20, 2005 4:34 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
OhioStreetKid wrote:
Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough. The building heights would be ok if they were closer together and if there were a few high rises in the plan. This is more on par with UNO's dorms on south campus. Even OmahaByDesign proposed highrise residential for this area. I hope they get it right the first time, but I won't count on it.


:roll:


:roll:


:roll: :roll:
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Postby Coyote » Fri May 20, 2005 4:45 pm

DMRyan wrote:
StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
OhioStreetKid wrote:[quote]Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough. The building heights would be ok if they were closer together and if there were a few high rises in the plan. This is more on par with UNO's dorms on south campus. Even OmahaByDesign proposed highrise residential for this area. I hope they get it right the first time, but I won't count on it.

:roll:

:roll:

:roll: :roll:[/quote]

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Postby Finn » Fri May 20, 2005 5:16 pm

I see no reason why not.


Of course not! :?

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Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Fri May 20, 2005 9:14 pm

I see no reason why not.


It's midtown Omaha?

Well, I just saw the one rendering provided by loyalomahan, and this project is nowhere near dense enough.


There is no pleasing you is there? They want to turn a parking lot into an urban neighborhood, but the "enhanced green space" it calls for is wasted space that could otherwise be an unfittingly tall highrise? There probably isn't even enough money for that.

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri May 20, 2005 10:24 pm

Plus these are just conceptual renderings. And anything's better than a parking lot. I'll have to get some pictures from my floor of the place and once you see how big it is from above it will look much more dense. The area isn't just one big rolling hill but a tiered stepped desgin. I don't know if the plans will go along with the terrain but if it does I wouldn't look so flat.

edsas wrote:I wonder if this will ultimately lead to a renovation of their office tower to compliment the spanking new environs.


I wouldn't look to much into it but we got a company email aobut moving my and another department into the South building across the street to "make room for more people and future expansion."

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri May 20, 2005 10:26 pm

Also....
I'll see if I can get some of the Mutual News Papers with our own version of this story to hand out at the forum meet.

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Postby Brad » Fri May 20, 2005 10:27 pm

And anything's better than a parking lot


not to mention a run down, underused lot. And what is that small building out by the street?
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Postby DTO Luv » Sat May 21, 2005 12:31 am

The first building is one of Mutual's they're going to move those people out I guess. I wouldn't mind keeping that around.
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This is the mortuary some of you wondered about.
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These pictures are from a few months ago. It'll give you an idea of how big the lots are and how it will look in the area.

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From one of the lots.
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Park, lot, Mutual.
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Building behind trees will be taken out.
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This is from one of the lots. Imagine this size x 4 or 5. It will be pretty impressive when it's done. I'll get the above pictures next week and you can see how big it really is.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat May 21, 2005 10:00 am

I didn't mean to sound as negative as I did. I am definitely pleased with this project. I just wish they included some midrise buildings with some height.

The Twin Towers right there are at least 10 stories each and were probably built about 30 years ago. Don't tell me that this area can't support highrise living.


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