WallStreet Tower Omaha

Proposed Development Projects that got Minarded.

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OmahaDevelopmentMan
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Postby OmahaDevelopmentMan » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:36 pm

Somewhat disapointing news in the World Herald today.  I couldn't find the story online, maybe someone else can.  But it basically says they will demolish the building for a park, so that the area will be more attractive because a buyer wouldn't have to spend a bunch of money at tearing down the building.  Makes sense, I just got all excited after that news story saying it will be significant.  Hopefully it will be.

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Postby Finn » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:39 pm

It will really improve the attractiveness of the site to developers (factoring OUT millions for demolition - reducing the cost per square foot). The city is really thinking progressively and not waiting around for things to happen - definietly a good sign and a step in the right direction.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:44 pm

All I can say is that whatever eventually gets built there, and I hope it's sooner than later, better be more significant than the FNC.

Park space! Ha!

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Postby almighty_tuna » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:54 pm

Won't this bring down the vacancy rate? In the meantime between teardown and development, since it may be a little while, Omaha should use the lowered vacancy rate as a marketing strategy.

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Postby futrecndvlpr » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:38 pm

This is a great progressive move by the city. If the city were to have left that building sitting there waiting for a developer to come along, we may still be discussing the future of this site ten years from now.

I doubt this will change the vacany rate as I would guess this was not "availible office space"; It isn't on the market to be rented.

I just don't see any reason to think that Omaha can support any new building here right now, whether it be for office space or condos.

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Postby DTO Luv » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:40 pm

Maybe there will be an act of God and Central Park Plaza will get Frankie Pane'd when UP goes.:D :wink:

I'm glad to see it go. Good thing I was down there today and pics for the history books. :)

Edit:

I guess the city was right about hearing someting on UP in the 60 day time frame they gave. It took 15 days. Now I can take that number off the end of my signature.
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Postby omahahawk » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:20 am

Does anybody know when and how they're taking it out? - (ball, implosion?)

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Postby adam186 » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:48 am

From the Omaha World Herald
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=46&u_sid=1386034

An Omaha business group is raising money to remove the old Union Pacific building at 1416 Dodge St. - possibly by the end of next year - and turn the land into an "urban green space" until it is needed for a major addition to downtown Omaha.


My guess is that it will be imploded. Looks like other people besides us want a new skyscraper as well. It's a good read.

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:02 am

I guess I still don't understand, nor share the enthusiasm for tearing this building down. Why does it have to come down so soon before all the options can be weighed for it? Why not leave it up in the hopes that maybe some developer could find a solution to rehab it instead of permenantly removing it so quickly. Also, there are no guarantees that a magic skyscraper proposal will pop up on this site. It could be years, possibly even more than decade before it may be redeveloped. And who knows, any redevelopment proposal may be much smaller in scale than what this building currently occupies.

I just think it should be secured and left up until an actual use for the site can be found. A grassy lot with a couple of token trees planted will be pretty, but is it really needed? I know the building has problems that don't make it the most cost effective to rehab and I know the modern addition is pretty ugly, but this is a significant piece of Omaha's history that's being rushed to its doom. I'm sure some people were probably excited at the thought of tearing down the Paxton, but when it's done being rehabbed, even those people will think that demolishion was once a crazy idea.

an old UP building demo would leave a considerable hole in the skyline when viewed from the north too.
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Postby FatGuy » Fri Apr 15, 2005 11:59 am

I see two big reasons for taking the building down so soon.

1. The cost of keeping the building without any tenants is going to cost the city about 1,000,000 dollars per year. I believe demolition costs are in the ballpark of 4,000,000. Four years of letting it sit paying maintenance costs will cover the demolition costs.

2. A cleared space looks a lot more attractive to a developer than a space with the extra baggage of a building. The developer can start on their project right away and not incurr the demolition costs.

I am pretty sure the city has decided the building is in such a poor state that it is too expensive to transform or rehabilitate. I personally like the fast moving decisive attitude the city showing regarding this project. Fish or cut bait.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:00 pm

I agree with you in a lot of ways, Ryan. I'm, of course, very excited that the city is thinking big for the site, and that there's talk of another skyscraper. But I do wish there to be a set plan for something big before the building comes down. In fact, with how secretive this sort of thing is, and with how soon they want to get that building down, I wouldn't be surprised if they ALREADY have someone who is interested in building a big project, and has negotiated with the city, getting them to tear the building down, but to keep the plan a secret, only "alluding" to the possibility of a skysraper. You never know :) .

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Postby Greg S » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:19 pm

The UP building is full of asbestos. I think that makes it cost prohibitive to rehab. If they had not done that 70's addition to it, I think you could make more of a case for restoration. DTO has too much vacant space and the building would cost too much to conver to housing.

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Postby OhioStreetKid » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:37 pm

I agree with Streets, something is borderline "fishy" about this. I think there is an interested party of some sort, that just didn't want to pay the costs of demolition. This especially seems true if you reference the article written in March.

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:55 pm

Ok, maybe I'm alone on this but a couple more points I'd like to make.

If the city has a better and definte development in hand, by all means bring this sucker down. If it's going to sit as park space for years, I think this is still a short sighted decision that's no different from the urban renewal days when buildings were demolished in the hopes that new development would spring up on it...only to have the surface lots sit vacant 15-20 years after the fact.

FatGuy, I'm not doubting your numbers but I can't understand how mothballing a building costs $1,000,000 per year to maintain. Secure the building in a tasteful way, shut off the utilities and wait until something better comes along. If the city is adamant about doing something with the building, use a portion of that $4 million of demolition money as an incentive to a developer to help with the costs of renovation.

And perhaps my most unpopular statement that I hope can be backed up by some the real estate gurus on here: between Riverfront Place, the Leahy Mall Tower proposal that Finn mentioned, the Swanson and this site, is it even feasible to have this much demand for new residential highrises? Something has to give because I don't think there is. Outside of a major corporate surpise, there won't be any office towers built and I can't imagine developers being able to secure financing for multiple high rise residential towers at once in an untested market.
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Postby DMRyan » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:58 pm

Also, there have been buildings successfully rehabbed that have been in way worse shape than this one is. If the downtown residential market continues to take off and there is money to be made, a developer won't worry about the cost of asbestos removal in making their project happen. If that threshold can't be reached, some kind of government subsidy should be kicked in, particularly now that the city owns it.

Of course all of this is moot if there is indeed a real development proposal for this site already.
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Postby CountOfMC » Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:22 pm

DMRyan wrote:And perhaps my most unpopular statement that I hope can be backed up by some the real estate gurus on here: between Riverfront Place, the Leahy Mall Tower proposal that Finn mentioned, the Swanson and this site, is it even feasible to have this much demand for new residential highrises? Something has to give because I don't think there is. Outside of a major corporate surpise, there won't be any office towers built and I can't imagine developers being able to secure financing for multiple high rise residential towers at once in an untested market.


Don't be so bearish, Ryan :wink:
God created alcohol to keep the Irish from taking over the world!

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:28 pm

Hah, if you think that was bearish, you should see some of the comments on our DSM site.
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Postby FatGuy » Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:46 pm

Ryan - my $1,000,000 maintenance figure came from a comment from a March 19 world herald article qouting Bob Turner of U.P. I have no idea who he is or if he has any credibility, but for some reason, the authors of the article decided to qoute him.

Here is the article, I am sure you remember it.
http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=46&u_sid=1364102

Anyway, I also share your sentiment about the demand for skyscrapers in DTO. I think where we differ is that I believe the benefits of knocking her down outweigh the costs of keeping her around, that is, assuming that it is going to be knocked down anyway. Maybe I just want to see something get blown up.

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:49 pm

This has got to be the shadow group the OWH talked about in an article last year. They sounded as commited to bringing another skyscraper (Woodmen, FNC sized) to DTO as any of us would be. Except thay actually have the money and the power to so it. So I wouldn't be surprised that if in the next year or two there is an announcement for a new tower.

I do think that any new building won't be for an entire company but a tower full of differant companies. The big 3 buildings DT all have the toweres named after the main tenant but I think here we will see a building like One Kansas City Place (KC's tallest). Bank of America is the main tenant but there are lots of other ones too.

Plus the other thing that gives me something to hope for is that the group doing this is a group full of Omaha business owners. Ownerswho could quite possibly be tenants in any new building. I hope we finally have our own version of the Rockafellers and Chryslers, intent on building monuments to themselves. And isn't this what we've hoped for? We have put so much into making DT a more vibrant place so why should we be surprised or skeptical that more businesses want to be DT?
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Postby omahahawk » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:05 pm

I got to think that by tearing this thing down now that the powers that be have enough confidence that something apropriate will be done with the land soon enough. ie: new highrise (hopefully at least 20 stories)

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Postby omahahawk » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:08 pm

I got to think that by tearing this thing down now that the powers that be have enough confidence that something apropriate will be done with the land soon enough. ie: new highrise (hopefully at least 20 stories)

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:41 pm

Another reason I thought of that there might be someting big in the works.... People in Omaha have historically moved slow on big grandioise projects. So the fact that this group is trying to get rid of this building ASAP and even talking about a new skyscraper is kind of a good sign that something big is in the works.
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Postby Swift » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:51 pm

Me thinks a cupid they do play.....rather....it all does sound suspicious. The city is moving so quickly, all the businesses involved with the demoliton and the fact that it is all happening BEFORE the election. It just doesn't make very much sense in any context except that there is plans for another significant building in its place.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:07 am

Unfortunately I wasn't in Omaha for the lead-up and initial construction of the FNB tower. How does the lead-up to FNB compare with what is happening now with the UP building?

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Postby mr. omaha » Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:13 am

How about this for the redevelopment of the Union Pacific and Pinnacle sites, and that rumored high-rise hotel/condo east of the Landmark?

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I saw the "rendering" someone made in a previous post and felt inspired. :D

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Postby almighty_tuna » Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:43 am

Nice photochop work. I'd like "Great Ideas In Downtown Development" for $1,000, Alex.

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Postby projectman » Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:44 am

Very cool MrOmaha. Now that is a statement. It's amazing what two or three new significant buildings will do.

That is a skyline to be proud of. 8)

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Postby omahahawk » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:27 am

:P Yes! Now that is what we're talking about. Its a tall order to fill but that would be getting right up there with the likes of Denver or KC.

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Postby nebrwesleyan » Sat Apr 16, 2005 10:39 am

You should send that to the mayor's office so he knows what we want and NEED downtown!!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby Alt(Bayern)München » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:02 am

That looks great..it only takes a couple changes to really change peoples impression.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:57 am

With every new skyscraper downtown the city's image increases exponentially in stature. :)

Great rendering.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:15 pm

And don't forget another potentially tall building at the Butternut Site. :D

If there really is a new building in the works I wonder who some of the main tenants will be.
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Postby DTO Luv » Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:39 pm

PLUS another thing I remembered.

For my own curiosity I timed how long it would take for them to make an announcement reguarding the UP building. The guy from the city said we would here something in the next 60 days. Usually things like that go over the time frame given. But it was only 15 days between the announcement to find what to do with UP and making a decision on what to do with UP. Things are going fast so that's another potentially good sign. :)
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Postby OhioStreetKid » Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:59 pm

I am as optimistic about DT Omaha, but we are going off the deep end. Don't expect new highrises at the Finn location, Butternut, UP, and Pinnacle. We have an office vacany rate of 20% and a flood of new condo oppurtunites. Let's wait until the swollen supply of office space and condos decreases. I do believe that there will be a hotel included in one of these proposals, which is reasonable. Ryan is right in what he has said about Omaha's highrise prospects. The only thing he left out is that unlike DSM, we really could use more hotels.

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Postby GoWest » Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:22 pm

I personally hate to see buildings torn down without something in place to replace it. If they want to put 4-6 million toward tearing the old UP down, they should also offer that money toward a renovation project as well. I don’t think this will make the location that much more appealing to developers anyway. They would take down the UP building if someone wanted to build on it anyway. The buyer won’t have to pick up the charge either way. I don’t want Omaha to start thinking this is a good idea. Would they have done this to the Paxton too.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:09 pm

Even if we have a 23% vacancy DT that doesn't make it as bad as it seems. Now I'm not an expert at this sort of thing but according to buildersonline.com (2005) I found there are (round up to 3,250,00) 3,249,404 sq. ft of office space in DT/Midtown. (One site had it at over 4,000,000 but I'll use the first numer). So at a 23% vacany rate that means there are 747,362 sq ft. available. That same amount is equivalent to the sq ft. of First National. So if you take First National out of the picture that means DT would have a less than 10% (much less) vacancy. So in essence we have a healthy DT.

Also when you break that down lots of the DT office space can be found in two buildings, FNC and UPC. UPC with 1.1M and FNC with 750,000 together are 1,850,000 sq ft. which taken away from the 3,250,000 leaves 1,400,000M sq ft. left.

Now with 1.4M sq ft. left, that means there are close to 650,000 sq ft in use with the 23% vacancy rate. I feel that the problem with the vacant buildings DT are that they aren't big enough for the needs of the companies that build bigger places out west. Lots of the companies I found (from this site) built to suit with an average of 42,000 sq ft split btwn 2 floors. So that is about 21,000 sq ft per floor. Even if it was a plain square shape that's still a 145x145 footprint and most of the buildings that aren't in use are not big enough to accomodate a business that wants a function over form office layout (just like Union Pacific). Most of the buildings DT have a sq ft per floor average aroung 15,000-10,000.

I think building a speculative office tower in the UP site would be a good shot for a new building to draw suburban setting offices. Since the UP site would be an empty block (there are roughly 260 feet in a block) that would give enough room to fit a 20,000 sq ft floor plan as opposed to trying to spread employees through out 20,000 sq ft. over 2-3 floors like in some buildings DT. Function is what offices are going for.

So having an entirely empty 67,600 sq block empty is a genius way to get more businesses located DT. Like I said before it probably won't be a major companies HQ but lots of smaller companies taking up space.

Just for fun let's say a very basic boxy building with 800,000 sq ft. is going to be built on the UP site. At 20,000 sq ft. per floor that would give us 40 stories (800,000/20,000). Just taking the floor to ceiling heights of the Woodmen (15') and FNC (14'), you could see a building of 560'-600' tall. And don't forget there's always the Ameritrade dream. :)
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Postby omahahawk » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:11 pm

I don't really remember much of a run up to the building of FNC. Or at least it wasn't like this. The first I heard of FNC was the same time when they came out and said they were going to implode the Medical Arts Building. At that time they knew what was going to happen before they did it. Hopefully, theres good reason to feel confident they're pretty sure something apropriate will happen with this site in the near future if they're getting the blasting caps ready now.

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Postby OhioStreetKid » Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:36 pm

DTO I'd like to reply your message, but it might just be the most confiluted message I have ever read on a message board (and that's saying something). From what I am getting out of it though, you are grasping at straws. To say 23% vacancy rate is not a big deal, is a major understatement. I also don't quite understand what you were hoping to accomplish with your different magic equations. The most important thing you left out of your equation was demand. And the Ameritrade dream is just that, your best bet as far as a local corporation goes is Kiewit.

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Postby DTO Luv » Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:09 pm

There obviously is a demand for office space or there wouldn't be |expletive| loads of business parks and other little stand alone offices being built. What businesses demand is functional office spaces. That why that buildng where Paypal is had a big write up in the OWH for using all sorts of modern techinques using natural lighting and better heating and cooling methods.

If you look at the last big building built DT it was more a product of function over form. Yes it could have been built much taller but UP execs decided to have a building that was more conducive to the needs of employees. Departments were located on one floor instead of having to have them split btwn floors. UP followed the same trend in their DT HQ that suburban offices have been using.

As it stands right now most of the buildings DT were built in the 70's-80's. And even though it wasn't that long ago, the way people choose offices isn't like it was back then. That was the time when it was the thing to be in a tall building. The time the Sears Tower and WTC were built. Now as businesses seek to be more efficient it's not going to be the most convenient thing to be in a DT building. (As much as I hate to admit it.) If there are to be more businesses DT then the way things are done have to change. More and more skcyscrapers in the country will start to resemble UP's layout.

What I'm trying to say is that the buildings that we have DT now are fine for smaller companies. Like that space company and Northern Pacific Life that went to the Landmark building. Those were only a few hundred people. But we won't get companies to locate into "sub-sufficient" work environments when they can get an new more efficient space elsewhere. I guess I'm saying we'll have to change more of the ways we build DT.

One last point. Places in the Old Mill area that are older (70's-80's) are being looked at as sites for future bigger buildings in that area because their will be a bigger demand for that area in the coming years. So why not do the same DT?
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Postby OhioStreetKid » Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:32 pm

There obviously is a demand for office space or there wouldn't be |expletive| loads of business parks and other little stand alone offices being built. What businesses demand is functional office spaces. That why that buildng where Paypal is had a big write up in the OWH for using all sorts of modern techinques using natural lighting and better heating and cooling methods.


The demand for office space isn't the issue, it is the demand for office space downtown that is the issue. A 23% vancancy rate tells the story there.

One last point. Places in the Old Mill area that are older (70's-80's) are being looked at as sites for future bigger buildings in that area because their will be a bigger demand for that area in the coming years. So why not do the same DT?


I can't believe I'm rebutting this because it is obvious. Location, location, location. Old Mill as the article you referenced stated, is a central location. And for the record, most likely the 1-2 story buildings will be replaced with 4-5 story buildings. We are not going to even be seeing midrises in Old Mill.

Lastly, I would like to make a point of my own that of the 4 possible sites discussed we will see at Butternut <15 stories, what Finn said on his location, Pinnacle 10<X<25, and "someday" UP 15<X<50.


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