WallStreet Tower Omaha

Proposed Development Projects that got Minarded.

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Postby OmahaJaysCU » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:07 am

Can't wait for the next update in September!

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Postby Coyote » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:28 am

[font=Georgia]Tower back to square one[/font]

Jeffrey Robb WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:Stalled by a lack of financing, downtown Omaha's WallStreet Tower proposal must start over to get city approval of its plans and development incentives. The developer has yet to finalize financing for costs that have escalated from $122 million to $241 million as the project's makeup shifted.

For the city, there is no going back on the choice of developers. Townsend closed on the purchase of the square block at 14th and Dodge Streets, and city officials say the deal doesn't allow the city to take back the land for lack of performance.
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Postby guy4omaha » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:38 am

You know this scaled down 1/2 of a tower rendering is so ugly I seriously hope the project doesn't get built in its current form. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but this toothpick tower would be an eyesore to the rest of the skyline.
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Postby delinea design » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:47 am

guy4omaha wrote:You know this scaled down 1/2 of a tower rendering is so ugly I seriously hope the project doesn't get built in its current form. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but this toothpick tower would be an eyesore to the rest of the skyline.

I was just thinking that myself.  While I appreciate that they kept the height when they downsized the project, I'd take a shorter tower with an original design, rather than a design that just got, awkwardly, chopped.  I wonder how DLR feels about their design getting a rather severe design lobotomy.  The tower wasn't exactly cutting edge, but it had pleasing proportions and a design that worked for the site.  I guess, we shall see.

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Postby nebport5 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:16 pm

I'm just wondering how the scaled down "toothpick" escalated from $122 million to $241 million.  Really I'd say it looks more like the end of a chopstick with the squared edges.  If it is to be that skinny, a few cosmetic amendments rounding the tower off would look much better, rather than leaving the "we ran out of money" look.
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Postby ShawJ » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:48 pm

delinea design wrote:
guy4omaha wrote:You know this scaled down 1/2 of a tower rendering is so ugly I seriously hope the project doesn't get built in its current form. Maybe my opinion is wrong, but this toothpick tower would be an eyesore to the rest of the skyline.

I was just thinking that myself.  While I appreciate that they kept the height when they downsized the project, I'd take a shorter tower with an original design, rather than a design that just got, awkwardly, chopped.  I wonder how DLR feels about their design getting a rather severe design lobotomy.  The tower wasn't exactly cutting edge, but it had pleasing proportions and a design that worked for the site.  I guess, we shall see.


Agree with both. I'd much rather have a nice looking 15-16 story building at this point. I'd hate to see our third tallest look so awkward.

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Postby Big E » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:29 pm

So the city can't tell Townsend to hit the road and take the property back.  Any contingencies if Townsend wants to sell the land to a developer that can actually secure financing?
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Postby Brad » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:39 pm

Big E wrote:So the city can't tell Townsend to hit the road and take the property back.  Any contingencies if Townsend wants to sell the land to a developer that can actually secure financing?


No kidding?  I read that and can't believe the city had any "you suck" clause...
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Postby Tornado » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:57 pm

I happen to disagree with most of you guys on the tower. I think most of you are basing your opinion on the look of the tower by the one(and only) sketching in the paper. From that angle the tower looks way taller and therefore too thin, than it will look once built. The WST will only be around 50ft taller than the Union Pacific headquarters so I'm positive it will not look so slender in reality.  I really like the new look better due to the fact it will not entirely mask Union Pacific from the North and it will look taller than the original block long design. There are numerous cities that have many buildings as thin or thinner than what WST will be. As for the tower not deserving to be OUR 3rd tallest building, I'm guessing most of you really love the look of Masonic Manor building built in 1963.  :lol: With BCBS building it's headquarters in Aksarben and T.D. Ameritrade building  in Old Mill this will be Omaha's last chance of anything over probably 150ft in the next 10 years besides maybe a hotel tower in North Downtown. I'm fairly certain a new modern looking 373ft tower in a great location will enhance the downtown skyline not diminish it. Think Positve... :lol:

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Postby delinea design » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:51 pm

Tornado wrote:I happen to disagree with most of you guys on the tower. I think most of you are basing your opinion on the look of the tower by the one(and only) sketching in the paper. From that angle the tower looks way taller and therefore too thin, than it will look once built. The WST will only be around 50ft taller than the Union Pacific headquarters so I'm positive it will not look so slender in reality.  I really like the new look better due to the fact it will not entirely mask Union Pacific from the North and it will look taller than the original block long design. There are numerous cities that have many buildings as thin or thinner than what WST will be. As for the tower not deserving to be OUR 3rd tallest building, I'm guessing most of you really love the look of Masonic Manor building built in 1963.  :lol: With BCBS building it's headquarters in Aksarben and T.D. Ameritrade building  in Old Mill this will be Omaha's last chance of anything over probably 150ft in the next 10 years besides maybe a hotel tower in North Downtown. I'm fairly certain a new modern looking 373ft tower in a great location will enhance the downtown skyline not diminish it. Think Positve... :lol:


I don't think it's that the tower is too thin.  There are plenty of lovely, thin towers.  And you are right, the site would be nice for a thin tower, so as not to completely block UP, if we are simply considering the geometric aesthetics of the skyline from the North.  However, I care more about the design of the tower itself than skyline proportions.  We have architects for a reason, some are good, some are bad, but at least they think of the project as a whole.  Without a complete re-design, this building's shape will be directly formed by the downturn in the economy, not an architect.  It doesn't take an architect to lob off half the tower, it takes an architect to factor in the new dynamics, the reduction in size, and to create a shape and layout that at least looks intentional.  I'd love to see a thin tower with 32 floors of intentional design, but if we don't get that, I'd be happy with a much shorter design, that doesn't look like an amputee.

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Postby nebport5 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:17 am

Well I suppose that altering the design of the building too much compromises what was "sold" to future tenants and I'm sure Townsend doesn't want to go back to that drawing board.
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Postby Tornado » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:02 pm

Does anybody have a clue when the city council votes on the new design of the project? And don't say 60-90 days either! :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

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Postby thenewguy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:50 pm

Tornado wrote:Does anybody have a clue when the city council votes on the new design of the project? And don't say 60-90 days either! :lol:  :lol:  :lol:



I was curious on that, too.
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Postby Tornado » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:30 pm

After recently reading some updates on the new 900ft tower going up in OKC I instantly went into a jealous rage then subsequently a depressed funk. So for some instant relief I went back and read the first 15 pages of threads for the WallStreet Tower Omaha and came away realizing how most of us were and maybe still are way too optimistic on downtown development. There were numerous posts on rumored highrises in multiple locations including the Pinnacle/swanson site, Butternut site, Finn site, locations near the Old Market, the old UP site, etc, etc. These posts date to 2005 and talk of a vastly expanded skyline within the next 5 years or so with office and residential towers leading the way by 2010. It was definitely an interesting read. Obviously these are vastly different economic times than anyone would have predicted 5-7 years ago but it's still hard to fathom how not one of the rumors or proposals have come to fruition. The old America First design/proposal has never looked so good. I really should have realized early on when the city only received TWO proposals on a prime downtown location with  pretty much giving the land away, that the interest is simply not there and the chances for any new towers within the next ten years is very slim. The America First design could have been built in another location downtown after being passed over on the UP site yet nothing proceeding. So I'll admit I was overly optimistic  and tend to want to believe rather quickly any new rumors on development downtown without stopping and asking "what are the chances of this really actually happening."

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Postby S33 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:25 pm

Overly optimistic during this economy? You bet your |expletive|.

The fact is, US corporations and citizens lost trillions in retirement savings, market value, and so called "liquidity," and with the types of projects everyone wants in downtown Omaha, it requires some confident investors and a steady, growing market. We have had none of that for 2+ years.

I wouldn't expect much for the next couple years, either. Omaha was lucky enough to secure the nearly 3 billion in development before the market tanked.

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Postby Tornado » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:56 pm

Did anybody see the quick update on this project on channel 7 last night at ten?

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Postby iamjacobm » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:27 pm

Tornado wrote:Did anybody see the quick update on this project on channel 7 last night at ten?


I didn't, anything we haven't all heard before?

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Postby Tornado » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:13 pm

It was just a quick little piece that said the Wallstreet tower Omaha developers have told the planning committee that the financing has been secured and the project is on. Then they had a interview with the planning director Cunningham and he said that Townsend wanted to make an announcement in 1-3 weeks and that he was excited and hopeful because he thinks it's great project. So who knows!

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Postby ShawJ » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:40 pm

Tornado wrote:It was just a quick little piece that said the Wallstreet tower Omaha developers have told the planning committee that the financing has been secured and the project is on. Then they had a interview with the planning director Cunningham and he said that Townsend wanted to make an announcement in 1-3 weeks and that he was excited and hopeful because he thinks it's great project. So who knows!


I tried looking for a blip on their website and then remembered that finding information on there is like navigating through a maze.

If financing is truly secured and the project is a go, I find it odd that an announcement would come in "1-3 weeks." If everything is a go, why not just announce it?

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Postby Garrett » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:37 am

ShawJ wrote:
Tornado wrote:It was just a quick little piece that said the Wallstreet tower Omaha developers have told the planning committee that the financing has been secured and the project is on. Then they had a interview with the planning director Cunningham and he said that Townsend wanted to make an announcement in 1-3 weeks and that he was excited and hopeful because he thinks it's great project. So who knows!


I tried looking for a blip on their website and then remembered that finding information on there is like navigating through a maze.

If financing is truly secured and the project is a go, I find it odd that an announcement would come in "1-3 weeks." If everything is a go, why not just announce it?

1-3 weeks is the new 30-90 days.
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Postby thenewguy » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:49 am

i hold out a little hope on this one...  I really don't think they're trying to Minard anyone, and it may actually have some traction.  After all, if it were dead or was in serious trouble of never going up, why would they keep popping their head in the media when they own another property in KC.  There's a lot of risk, as a developer, in making claims you can't own up to.  It would reflect poorly on them for their business in KC if they couldn't manage to figure out how to get this one in Omaha going.  

As far as i know, Minard never actually had a reputation for being the developer of a completed project...so lets hope that's not what is going on here :)
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Postby HskrFanMike » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:29 pm

I don't think Minard ever intended to mislead people.  He just had big ideas that weren't going to fly.

I have heard that the city has been after Townsend for quite some time to either fill in the hole or begin development. We'll see if this is another stalling tactic or not; past history on this project would indicate "stalling"...but you never know.
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Postby S33 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:51 pm

Sure, if securing financing has little to nothing to do with buyer commitments. I doubt many stuck around with their deposits in Townsend's hands with all the uncertainty.

Either way, who really cares. It's a puny little tower, anyway.

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Postby Garrett » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:54 pm

thenewguy wrote:i hold out a little hope on this one...  I really don't think they're trying to Minard anyone, and it may actually have some traction.  After all, if it were dead or was in serious trouble of never going up, why would they keep popping their head in the media when they own another property in KC.  There's a lot of risk, as a developer, in making claims you can't own up to.  It would reflect poorly on them for their business in KC if they couldn't manage to figure out how to get this one in Omaha going.  

As far as i know, Minard never actually had a reputation for being the developer of a completed project...so lets hope that's not what is going on here :)


Well.... if I remember right there was a wallstreet tower in either Dallas or Louisville that failed miserably.
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Postby ShawJ » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Tornado wrote:After recently reading some updates on the new 900ft tower going up in OKC I instantly went into a jealous rage then subsequently a depressed funk. So for some instant relief I went back and read the first 15 pages of threads for the WallStreet Tower Omaha and came away realizing how most of us were and maybe still are way too optimistic on downtown development. There were numerous posts on rumored highrises in multiple locations including the Pinnacle/swanson site, Butternut site, Finn site, locations near the Old Market, the old UP site, etc, etc. These posts date to 2005 and talk of a vastly expanded skyline within the next 5 years or so with office and residential towers leading the way by 2010. It was definitely an interesting read. Obviously these are vastly different economic times than anyone would have predicted 5-7 years ago but it's still hard to fathom how not one of the rumors or proposals have come to fruition. The old America First design/proposal has never looked so good. I really should have realized early on when the city only received TWO proposals on a prime downtown location with  pretty much giving the land away, that the interest is simply not there and the chances for any new towers within the next ten years is very slim. The America First design could have been built in another location downtown after being passed over on the UP site yet nothing proceeding. So I'll admit I was overly optimistic  and tend to want to believe rather quickly any new rumors on development downtown without stopping and asking "what are the chances of this really actually happening."


I think some of us (me included) forget that we just had a huge boom downtown with FNC and UP. Tons of cities Omaha's size or larger haven't had a major building built in the last 20-30 years. If we went another 30 years before anything was announced over 20-25 stories, I wouldn't be surprised.

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Postby ItsAllAboutMe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:49 pm

I don't believe there are any high rises going up in Denver.

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Postby Tornado » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:48 pm

I think some of us (me included) forget that we just had a huge boom downtown with FNC and UP. Tons of cities Omaha's size or larger haven't had a major building built in the last 20-30 years. If we went another 30 years before anything was announced over 20-25 stories, I wouldn't be surprised.[/quote]    With the heat this week I don't know if I'll make it till  Saturday let alone 30 more years to see another tower. Say it isn't so Shaw!                                                  :D  :D  :D

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Postby justnick » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Call me stupid or ignorant or beautiful, but who is this Minard person?

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Postby Brad » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:04 pm

justnick wrote:Call me stupid or ignorant or beautiful, but who is this Minard person?


He is the guy that keeps trying to build an amusement park.
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Postby Coyote » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:13 pm

justnick wrote:Call me stupid or ignorant or beautiful, but who is this Minard person?


http://eomahaforums.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=1080
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Postby the1wags » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:57 pm

ItsAllAboutMe wrote:I don't believe there are any high rises going up in Denver.


No not currently but Spire (41 floors) finished in 09 and the Four Seasons (45 floors) finished earlier this year. Likely to be a bit before something else goes up though.

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Postby ShawJ » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:44 pm

Tornado wrote:I think some of us (me included) forget that we just had a huge boom downtown with FNC and UP. Tons of cities Omaha's size or larger haven't had a major building built in the last 20-30 years. If we went another 30 years before anything was announced over 20-25 stories, I wouldn't be surprised.
   With the heat this week I don't know if I'll make it till  Saturday let alone 30 more years to see another tower. Say it isn't so Shaw!                                                  :D  :D  :D[/quote]

I'm very far from an expert. Just my general opinion. But I think that other infill projects are just as exciting (capitol rows, north downtown development, etc), as well as potential mid-rises that can bring a lot of density to downtown.

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Postby cdub » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:29 am

I agree.  I could not care less about a tower.  I would rather see those unit spread out in smaller buildings that have a greater impact on the ground.  I experience this city from street level, not a helicopter or from 3 miles away looking at a skyline.

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Postby iamjacobm » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:54 am

It is just nice for every 20 infill projects that something goes up over 200 feet, but I do agree I could not be more excited about 9ines and capitol rows development.  The more mid/low level infill creates the demand for the high rises not the other way around.

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Postby Erik » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:52 pm

I'd much rather have a full-width Wallstreet tower at 16 to 20 floors than that ugly new proposal.

Just my $.02

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Postby Stargazer » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:00 pm

That's something which reminded me of Minard as well... the paint shop cut up of the original rendering.

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Postby S33 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:53 pm

Got another rendering from Steve Menard today, he says it's almost 100% spoken for and that the basement will include a terminal for an underground subway system. Details of the subway system to follow. And this was from a very credible source (Menard) who is planning another 80 story highrise on the swanson site.

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Postby Erik » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:52 pm

Tornado wrote:It was just a quick little piece that said the Wallstreet tower Omaha developers have told the planning committee that the financing has been secured and the project is on. Then they had a interview with the planning director Cunningham and he said that Townsend wanted to make an announcement in 1-3 weeks and that he was excited and hopeful because he thinks it's great project. So who knows!


Oh, it's so exciting to think they have 6 days left on that 1-3 week timeframe for an announcement.  I can just taste it  :?

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Postby Bosco55David » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:22 pm

You have to wonder just how |expletive| sick and tired the city people are over getting jerked around.

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Postby HskrFanMike » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Quick update:  There are three workers "in the hole" this morning.

But before you get your hopes up, they are only using weed whackers to take down the vegetation. My guess is that this is a sign that the status quo will continue for the foreseeable future.
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