16th Street Master Plan

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

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Midwestern
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Midwestern » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:31 pm

I don't know if this is even physically possible but my favorite option would be to keep the western half of the building plus the middle elevator part, but demolish the eastern part that is over 16th street. That way you keep a tall building but also reconnect 16th street.

A tunnel I think would mostly be a waste of money.

Another interesting option could be to demolish the current hotel and then build a new joint condo + hotel tower that becomes our new third tallest building. Doesn't FNB own that land on the southeast corner of 16th and Dodge? I think a new tower would look better there than where the Doubletree is.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:08 pm

I don't really see this as a worthwhile project. The hotel isn't all that attractive, but it seems like a huge expense for little benefit.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Linkin5 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:35 am

If disconnecting 16th street by building this hotel was a mistake, then tearing down a perfectly good building to correct the mistake would be a catastrophe. This just doesn't make sense.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Busguy2010 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:15 am

This project happened way before my time, but I could see how it could have affected 16th up to about Nicholas Street. Could it really have affected north Omaha as a whole, though? Just three blocks away is Florence Boulevard. Did Florence Boulevard become a major road only after 16th was cut off? Bus transit grew until 1980 so you couldn't really say mobility was the issue.

All in all I do view it as a mistake, just as I view disrupting our existing grid in any capacity is a mistake. I don't agree with tearing it down before its serviceable period is over though. Double Tree can renovate and upgrade however they please. I hope that period runs out sooner than later, but the city shouldn't force the issue.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby NEDodger » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:01 am

Busguy2010 wrote:This project happened way before my time, but I could see how it could have affected 16th up to about Nicholas Street. Could it really have affected north Omaha as a whole, though? Just three blocks away is Florence Boulevard. Did Florence Boulevard become a major road only after 16th was cut off? Bus transit grew until 1980 so you couldn't really say mobility was the issue.

All in all I do view it as a mistake, just as I view disrupting our existing grid in any capacity is a mistake. I don't agree with tearing it down before its serviceable period is over though. Double Tree can renovate and upgrade however they please. I hope that period runs out sooner than later, but the city shouldn't force the issue.


I've heard the story too that the project was supposedly built to "block" downtown from north Omaha. However, I'm not sure how practical that is - it's literally taking one block over and one block south to get around this apparent "barrier".

This idea makes zero sense. The DoubleTree blocks access just as much as The Holland Center prevents you from traversing between Dodge and Douglas Streets. There's nothing to gain from this alteration that would be quite expensive?

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby choke » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:00 am

NEDodger wrote:
Busguy2010 wrote:This project happened way before my time, but I could see how it could have affected 16th up to about Nicholas Street. Could it really have affected north Omaha as a whole, though? Just three blocks away is Florence Boulevard. Did Florence Boulevard become a major road only after 16th was cut off? Bus transit grew until 1980 so you couldn't really say mobility was the issue.

All in all I do view it as a mistake, just as I view disrupting our existing grid in any capacity is a mistake. I don't agree with tearing it down before its serviceable period is over though. Double Tree can renovate and upgrade however they please. I hope that period runs out sooner than later, but the city shouldn't force the issue.


I've heard the story too that the project was supposedly built to "block" downtown from north Omaha. However, I'm not sure how practical that is - it's literally taking one block over and one block south to get around this apparent "barrier".

This idea makes zero sense. The DoubleTree blocks access just as much as The Holland Center prevents you from traversing between Dodge and Douglas Streets. There's nothing to gain from this alteration that would be quite expensive?


You are correct. I find the Holland more of a nuisance than the Double Tree. By the time anything does happen, this topic will be buried at the very bottom of the list.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby RNcyanide » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:25 am

Until the double tree closes or is aged into obsolescence, it should be left alone. Sorry, you can't implode your mistakes. Find another way to make 16th Street work. Someone floated the idea of making it like the Nicolette mall in Minneapolis. I like that idea. And a tunnel is an awful idea. Tunnels are for mountains and channels. Plus, after the hotel moves on, it would probably be an easy apartment conversion.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby GetUrban » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:03 am

RNcyanide wrote:Until the double tree closes or is aged into obsolescence, it should be left alone. Sorry, you can't implode your mistakes. Find another way to make 16th Street work. Someone floated the idea of making it like the Nicolette mall in Minneapolis. I like that idea. And a tunnel is an awful idea. Tunnels are for mountains and channels. Plus, after the hotel moves on, it would probably be an easy apartment conversion.


The last major renovation of 16th Street in the 1980s or early 1990's was modeled after Nicollete Mall in MPLS. Parking was eliminated, Sidewalks widened, drive lanes narrowed to one lane north-south, and brick paving added. The nice well-designed bus shelters became hang-outs for vagrants, scaring people away. businesses along 16th street closed. That's exactly why it was just redone again recently.

Before the hotel was built blocking-off 16th street, it was a major north-south thoroughfare, acting as a retail spine from Leavenworth to Cuming. Downtown had much more of a strong North-South component along 16th. Personally, I'd love to see 16th opened back up eventually, but there are probably more important things to happen first, like making sure the Civic site and the old UP site get developed soon.

If they did open 16th back up, it wouldn't necessarily be like a "tunnel", since the current entry to the hotel is ramped-up to the second story level with a drive-in bank at street level under the hotel lobby. (edit: actually the drive through bank is east of 16th st. There's just a street-level lobby where 16th would need to go through) There are some columns that would need to be dealt with though. There have been several mistakes made with projects that close-off the street grid such as the 1st National data center and covered wagon park which closed-off 15th St north of Capitol. The civic, the Federal court house, Landmark Center closed-off 12th street between Harney & Farnam. The grid was already closed off by Campbell Soup before Holland was built. A good rule of thumb is to not eff with the grid though.
Last edited by GetUrban on Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby skinzfan23 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:46 am

I would rather have the city focus on restoring the street grid to the ConAgra campus than this. Much more cost effective and probably much more potential as well with the Old Market in such close proximity.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Brad » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:55 am

skinzfan23 wrote:I would rather have the city focus on restoring the street grid to the ConAgra campus than this. Much more cost effective and probably much more potential as well with the Old Market in such close proximity.


I would agree to a point and think a grid system around ConAgra and the riverfront should be the priority. However I would like the city to have a plan in place for then the Double Tree is no longer viable and we don't do 15 studies before anything happens. If the Double Tree announced they were closing in August of 2024, it would be nice if demo could begin shortly after.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby GetUrban » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:56 am

skinzfan23 wrote:I would rather have the city focus on restoring the street grid to the ConAgra campus than this. Much more cost effective and probably much more potential as well with the Old Market in such close proximity.


No argument with that, other than we need to multi-task to make downtown better and improve many things, possibly simultaneously, as much as money allows.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby iamjacobm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:59 am

Midwestern wrote:I don't know if this is even physically possible but my favorite option would be to keep the western half of the building plus the middle elevator part, but demolish the eastern part that is over 16th street. That way you keep a tall building but also reconnect 16th street.

A tunnel I think would mostly be a waste of money.

Another interesting option could be to demolish the current hotel and then build a new joint condo + hotel tower that becomes our new third tallest building. Doesn't FNB own that land on the southeast corner of 16th and Dodge? I think a new tower would look better there than where the Doubletree is.


In my perfect world where money wasn't an obstacle that would be the best solution. Cut the current building in half and convert the remainder into apartments. Then open up a new 300 room Double Tree in a mixed use tower on the WallStreet site. 2 floors of retail, 6 floors of parking, 10 floors of hotel, 15 floors of condos. Boom new 3rd tallest.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:20 am

Unless Hilton agrees to build a new hotel in the place of the old one they shouldn't do this. They just renovated this hotel and we don't need to get rid of a perfectly good hotel when you can just drive a block over. I wonder if they could just cut out a hole of the hotel and put a street through there.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby guest2017 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:03 am

GetUrban wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:Until the double tree closes or is aged into obsolescence, it should be left alone. Sorry, you can't implode your mistakes. Find another way to make 16th Street work. Someone floated the idea of making it like the Nicolette mall in Minneapolis. I like that idea. And a tunnel is an awful idea. Tunnels are for mountains and channels. Plus, after the hotel moves on, it would probably be an easy apartment conversion.


The last major renovation of 16th Street in the 1980s or early 1990's was modeled after Nicollete Mall in MPLS. Parking was eliminated, Sidewalks widened, drive lanes narrowed to one lane north-south, and brick paving added. The nice well-designed bus shelters became hang-outs for vagrants, scaring people away. businesses along 16th street closed. That's exactly why it was just redone again recently.


Parkfair was 1984. My employer is handling the makeover of 16th already (and the 2030 plan was established in 2010) - I don't know why the OWH is bringing it up now. This is going to happen just as fast as covering the parking lot behind CenturyLink.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Omaha Cowboy » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:35 am

guest2017 wrote:
GetUrban wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:Until the double tree closes or is aged into obsolescence, it should be left alone. Sorry, you can't implode your mistakes. Find another way to make 16th Street work. Someone floated the idea of making it like the Nicolette mall in Minneapolis. I like that idea. And a tunnel is an awful idea. Tunnels are for mountains and channels. Plus, after the hotel moves on, it would probably be an easy apartment conversion.


The last major renovation of 16th Street in the 1980s or early 1990's was modeled after Nicollete Mall in MPLS. Parking was eliminated, Sidewalks widened, drive lanes narrowed to one lane north-south, and brick paving added. The nice well-designed bus shelters became hang-outs for vagrants, scaring people away. businesses along 16th street closed. That's exactly why it was just redone again recently.


Parkfair was 1984. My employer is handling the makeover of 16th already (and the 2030 plan was established in 2010) - I don't know why the OWH is bringing it up now. This is going to happen just as fast as covering the parking lot behind CenturyLink.


There is a mayoral election this year with the primary 1 month away..Most likely driving the reasoning for this W-H piece.. It gives the public something to ponder (as we are) and the candidates another issue to chew on...

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby buildomaha » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:00 pm

What if they plowed through the bottom of the building like 17th goes under the woodmen parking garage, although I have no clue where the lobby for the hotel would end up it seems a lot easier than tunneling or demolishing the building...

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby HR Paperstacks » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:27 pm

buildomaha wrote:What if they plowed through the bottom of the building like 17th goes under the woodmen parking garage, although I have no clue where the lobby for the hotel would end up it seems a lot easier than tunneling or demolishing the building...

I like this idea. The lobby can move to the second floor.

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby GetUrban » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:45 pm

HR Paperstacks wrote:
buildomaha wrote:What if they plowed through the bottom of the building like 17th goes under the woodmen parking garage, although I have no clue where the lobby for the hotel would end up it seems a lot easier than tunneling or demolishing the building...

I like this idea. The lobby can move to the second floor.

That's probably what they really mean when they say "tunnel", not a literal tunnel, but maybe an opening 3-4 stories high so you could actually see through to the other side. The lobby could simply move to the west side of 16th, like it would be in a building that wasn't built to block the street. The plaza and entry to the old FNB building would have to be reworked too.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Athomsfere » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:58 pm

I'll just another voice to demolishing this building just to get 16th street through is ridiculous. I wasn't around in the 60's, 70's to see the transformation this might have had on North Downtown but, at this point it's a good building. Unless the Hilton wants to sell half the land, release it's superblock structure and build a half as wide, twice as tall replacement (~500ft! woot)

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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby GetUrban » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:32 pm

It's a lot less rediculous than some other things that have been demolished in Omaha to make way for other not-so-good ideas. I don't think it's very likely to happen, but I would see it as a way to fix a big mistake from the past.
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Re: 16th Street Master Plan

Postby Midwestern » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:04 am

I'm surprised this idea is getting any publicity at all, the real way to give a huge boost to North Downtown would be to bring down the section of 480 that divides north downtown from regular downtown. Also, there's nothing of retail interest on 16th street north of doubletree for 3 whole blocks, so in that sense it doesn't make much sense to do anything at this point either.


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