One Renaissance Center

Proposed Development Projects that got Minarded.

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StreetsOfOmaha
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:31 am

That is a really great article as far as providing a positive outlook on the topic of downtown housing from people who know what they're talking about, downtown housing developers! It's good to hear them weigh in.

I like this line:
"Ross Robb, a partner in the planned Riverfront Place south of Gallup University, said he sees an opportunity for hundreds, if not thousands, of residential units in downtown Omaha over time."

Well, let's see it, Ross :) . I know it takes time. This is exciting.
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Postby jborg » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:44 am

Hi folks, I am just letting you know that I have been reading all your posts on development in Omaha and have found them to be very fascinating. Since I moved to Omaha 3 years ago, all the development occurring downtown as well as in other areas of omaha have caught my interest. In the past few months, I have been frequenting the downtown/riverfront just to see how things are coming along. I will continue to read your posts a hope that you can answer some of the questions that I have.

I am still figuring out how all this posting stuff works.

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Postby eomaha » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:10 am

Welcome to the forum jborg!

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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:18 pm

Thousands?!?! I hoope that becomes a reality.
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Postby jiminomaha » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:24 am

I personally have never taken One Renaissance Center seriously, I knew it would never come to fruition because its an idea way ahead of its time. Most Omahans/Nebraskans are opposed to living in CB and/or Iowa, let alone shelling out a couple hundred thousand dollars to do so, because they view it as "Council Bluffs" and undesireable. This is not necessarily my view, but to be honest, I have yet to meet a Nebraskan with a good thing to say about CB/Iowa. At the present time, buying a condo in CB would be somewhat of a financial gamble for any Nebraskan in an unproven interstate condo market. Plus I don't think there is enough of a market in CB/Iowa alone to fill a project the size of One Renaissance Center. If, however, the condo market does extremely well in Omaha and demand is strong enough, and if the bridge gets built a condo tower on the CB/Iowa side could become viable in the next 2 to 3 years. But the Omaha Condo Market has to play itself out and prove itself to be successful enough and tight enough market over time to Investors before any condo market in CB can even dream of realistically taking off and getting the appropriate financing. Don't blame the City of CB for not supporting this project. This project has been floating around for 4 years, I think they were great in keeping it alive so long before mercifully killing it. Another project will be proposed and built in this location in due time, when the market conditions are right. Until then, we just have to be patient and faithful. And for goodness sakes, where on earth did any of you get the idea that this land might even have the slightest possibility of being turned into a casino. UGGHHH>

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Postby RyaninOrangeCounty » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:58 am

Unfortunately, despite the fantastic location of the Renaissance project, the financiers probably were quick to call a major investment such as this a "risk" in Council Bluffs. I'm also reasonably sure that it was given the green light based on a timed opening with the gleaming new pedestrian bridge. Without the bridge to tie it to its great location, the deal is not as sweet.

Even though the Renaissance project was scrapped, I think we all know that bridge is going to happen sooner or later, and when it does great things will continue to happen for both Omaha and Council Bluffs. Be optimistic!

On another note, there have been some worries here on the forum about the steadily decreasing affordability of housing downtown. I wonder if we'll start to see brand new apartment construction (probably in the North Downtown area) soon to meet the growing demand for housing downtown. I would be interested to see if the city has drafted any specific plans for this area.

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Postby Adam » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:45 pm

I have personally lived on both sides of the river. Both cities seem to have their own benefits. Council Bluffs being that it has way lower taxes than in Omaha.

I think that this would be an incentive to choose a condo here vs. one on the Omaha side. One Renaissance Center would be just as close as Riverfront Place to DT. Living in CB, you would still get all the benefits of living close to DT Omaha and you wouldn't be getting gouged as much by Uncle Sam.

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Postby eomaha » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:00 pm

I think Council Bluffs would be a fine place to live... although I don't feel bad about paying property taxes since the lions share goes towards my kids schools... which I think are among the nations best.

However, I have always wondered about income taxes... I've never worked in Iowa before (although my employer has hinted my team might move to our office in Carter Lake!). You basically file returns in each state... deducting the other states taxes from your income in each instance... correct? Or do they not each tax 100% of your income? Wouldn't this be at LEAST as painful?

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Postby Adam » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:12 pm

I was speaking of having lower property taxes in my last post.

However, in the instance of working on one side of the border and living on the other, you are assessed taxes by both states. Based on the state you live in, you are deducted a larger amount. When tax season rolls around you file with both states. They base your total taxes at the end of the year on a certain percentage that is tied in with the tax tables (I can't remember what calculations determine this). When I used to live in Iowa and work in Omaha, I remember usually having to pay Nebraska, but receiving a large amount from Iowa. It still worked out about the same.

To make a long story short...

In the end you end up getting roughly the same amount taxed. You don't receive full taxes from each state. I haven't really noticed much of a difference on my return since moving states.

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Postby eomaha » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:19 pm

Oh dummy me... what am I thinking. It's a tax CREDIT.. not a deduction. The respective states taxes then would nearly offset one another.

Well I for one would like to see more growth in Council Bluffs... hopefully more people will discover it's advantages.

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Postby DTO Luv » Thu Sep 16, 2004 7:38 pm

jiminomaha wrote:I personally have never taken One Renaissance Center seriously, I knew it would never come to fruition because its an idea way ahead of its time. Most Omahans/Nebraskans are opposed to living in CB and/or Iowa, let alone shelling out a couple hundred thousand dollars to do so, because they view it as "Council Bluffs" and undesireable. This is not necessarily my view, but to be honest, I have yet to meet a Nebraskan with a good thing to say about CB/Iowa.



That reminds me of an episode of Futrama when they are looking for an apartment. They go to every whole of a place in New York and finally find one that's what they want, until the realtor tells them,"Technically, this apartment is in New Jersey." The next scene is them still apartment hunting. :lol:

I too am waitng to see a large scale aprtment building open DT. The north area would be a good fit.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:17 am

jiminomaha wrote:I personally have never taken One Renaissance Center seriously, I knew it would never come to fruition because its an idea way ahead of its time. Most Omahans/Nebraskans are opposed to living in CB and/or Iowa, let alone shelling out a couple hundred thousand dollars to do so, because they view it as "Council Bluffs" and undesireable. This is not necessarily my view, but to be honest, I have yet to meet a Nebraskan with a good thing to say about CB/Iowa. At the present time, buying a condo in CB would be somewhat of a financial gamble for any Nebraskan in an unproven interstate condo market. Plus I don't think there is enough of a market in CB/Iowa alone to fill a project the size of One Renaissance Center. If, however, the condo market does extremely well in Omaha and demand is strong enough, and if the bridge gets built a condo tower on the CB/Iowa side could become viable in the next 2 to 3 years. But the Omaha Condo Market has to play itself out and prove itself to be successful enough and tight enough market over time to Investors before any condo market in CB can even dream of realistically taking off and getting the appropriate financing. Don't blame the City of CB for not supporting this project. This project has been floating around for 4 years, I think they were great in keeping it alive so long before mercifully killing it. Another project will be proposed and built in this location in due time, when the market conditions are right. Until then, we just have to be patient and faithful. And for goodness sakes, where on earth did any of you get the idea that this land might even have the slightest possibility of being turned into a casino. UGGHHH>


I'm affraid I have to dissagree with you on all counts.

I admit that I was never that confident in One Rennaisance Center, either. We have to remember, though, that the project is not dead, it was just dealt a large blow.

Plus, all your talk about the downtown condo market needing to prove it self is already passe`. It's proving itself as we speak! Numerous condo projects are being developed and for the most part they've had nothing but success with pre-sales.

Also, I think the whole "Nebraska vs. Iowa" thing is way outdated, and the only time I ever hear someone who still holds on to those beliefs, they end up being a very ignorant person as a whole. I think Omahans and Iowans are wising up and starting to look at the metro "REGION", not just Omaha and CB.

Also, the specific area of CB under discussion, where the condos would be, has to be looked at as an extention of downtown Omaha. I know it's technically in a different city, but the reason for the development is downtown Omaha. I really don't think people would mind living on the CB side at all, what with the amazing view of the city and everything. heck, I would live in the condos in CB if I had the money.
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Postby Finn » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:05 am

I think that something will come along on the CB side of the river but there are definitely more obstacles. The downtown Omaha condo market has shown momentum with the success of pre-sales but the downtown will still need to prove success. Before hundreds or thousands more units are offered, the success of these new projects will be studied over months and years (absorption rate, vacancy rate, price increases) and their ability to attract restaurants, nightlife and sundry goods.

I hate to admit it, but there is a "Nebraska vs. Iowa" thing. This is not uncommon. There is the same thing out here between Virginia and Maryland and I have seen it in most metro areas divided by political borders. Part of it is the big brother vs. little brother mentality. Part of it is not knowing the other very well and part of it is the growth in Omaha's downtown contrasting the Broadway strip. Broadway is how most Omahans associate with Council Bluffs. I do not believe Omahans and Iowans are wising up and starting to look at the metro "REGION". Not even the political jurisdictions are able to accomplish that.

I agree that the One Renaissance area has to be looked at as an extension of downtown Omaha. However, continual transformation and aesthetic improvements of Broadway along with attracting new development and conveniences are needed to change the area and the perception of it.
[/b]

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Postby Adam » Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:42 am

I totally agree with you about how people percieve CB by associating it with the West Broadway atmosphere. Many people are unaware of some of the upscale housing projects on the East/Southeast sides of town.

If anyone gets the opportunity, you should check out some editions, such as Bent Tree (located by the Bent Tree golf course by Hwy 6...close to IWCC) or Heartland Estates (located off of Hwy 275). There are also many other new housing projects under construction in these areas.

After seeing all the new construction on this side of town, many may change their perception on viewing Council Bluffs as "Council Bluffs".

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:31 am

Those are good points, Finn. However, my point is simply that peoplare are "STARTING" to wise up. There is still a long way to go before there is any kind of regional policy in place between the two cities.

And, like I said, while the "Iowa vs. Nebraska" mentality may still be out there, it's obviously rooted in ingnorance and uninformed viewpoints, just like any prejudice.

On a lighter note, I've always thought the "Council-Tucky" thing was so stupid. It's obviously a reference to Kentucky....well, is Kentucky such a bad place these days? It still has the stigma of being part of the ultra-conservative south, but it's got some beautiful scenery (like CB) and some unique cities. It's all about stupid stereotypes. Maybe I'm being too idealistic :) .
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Postby Adam » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:37 am

You're completely right about people just being ignorant and forming stereotypes. We need to work as a whole (the entire metro) to progress and not let something like a river or a county line separate people.

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Postby Finn » Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:11 pm

Some of this is rooted in ignorance and prejudice but some of it is also political and competitive. That is the nature with political jurisdictions. Of course people are starting to wise up but don't hold your breath about regional policy. Even metro areas that are confined to one state are often competing with other cities and political jurisdictions. That is why inner-cities such as St. Louis struggle while the area has affluent suburbs. Very few metro areas have regional policies and most of those are fluff. Portland is the usual example, but Vancouver, Washington has taken many suburban developments, HP employees and population across the Columbia River in the past several years. There will be attempts to lure developers to the other side of the Missouri River with incentives, etc. This is common in today's development culture. Cities and states attempt to lure business and development to their domain.

Of course many would like to see Council Bluffs get new development but not at the expense of Omaha. There is more at play here than ignorant steroetypes. This includes the fact that Council Bluffs has not witnessed new development along the western portion of Broadway, which is its front door from Omaha. The street does not leave a poistive impression of the city, especially as the front door. Council Bluffs will probably see spill-over development after the prime Omaha spots are taken. There are still risks with perception, amenities, etc. to overcome. Of course, even this will need the political will of Council Bluffs/Pottawattamie to improve Broadway, continue with aesthetic improvements, lure more conveniences/sundry goods and improve design standards. I think Council Bluffs is realizing this with their new identification signs, riverfront plans, etc.

Let's just hope the growth continues because CB is going to benefit. There just need to be a couple of important steps to foster more development along the river. A new condo development could lay the groundwork but it will have to coincide with more activity and city commitment. Look at what the ConAgra campus has done for Omaha's riverfront development.

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:32 pm

Yes you really won't find many great examples of cities that overcome their political boundaries to support the greater good of the metro, particulary bi-state metros. A consolidated city/county like Indianapolis is close, but there are still suburbs that feed off of the City of Indianapolis.

The tax revenue sharing idea in the Twin Cities is worth looking at though.

Is the reputation of Council Bluffs really this bad? Everybody can speculate on what the downfall of this project was, but only those involved are in the know. Maybe the project was a tad too ambitious at this point, but I find it hard to believe that Council Bluffs' reputation among Nebraskans was the deathblow of a residential project in this very ideal location. Besides, did this project even get its financing halfway in order before condo presales began? Were there even condo presales yet?
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Postby Finn » Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:14 pm

The perception of CB did not kill the deal. The developer never got the financing in line. The PCDA told me this months ago when I was working on the senior project in CB. But the perception is there and can be a factor. However, more of a factor is the vicinity. There are low to moderate income neighborhoods around the site, there are not conveniences and amenities for the residents (especially for more affluent households), there are probably access/utilities issues that the city will need to help with and there is a market separation caused by that river. The market separation is a risk because the developer will be in an unproven market (even though it is close to proven or burgeoning markets). The developer will need good marketing to bring people to this site and that is where some perceptions could hurt.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Sep 17, 2004 4:17 pm

So why not lure them to the proven and burgeoning sites? Specifically, DT Omaha? Would it be possible to "steal" the project from CB?

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Postby Finn » Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:49 am

The continual growth of the downtown market will exhibit the strength of downtown and prove the market. I'm sure some developers will look at both sides of the river but we will get the majority of the deals. However, I don't think this is a project we could steal because we already have the rierfront condos/towers going in. There is no more riverfront land on the Omaha side for this project and this project was closely tied to the river.

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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:23 am

I saw something in Nashville that I think would do good in Omaha. They had an OM type area w/ homes and apartments right on their river. If we could clear out some trees north of the Freedom Park area I think we could see more towers and homes for larger families. The area across from Owen Parkway would be perfect for this.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Sep 20, 2004 6:14 pm

Finn wrote:There is no more riverfront land on the Omaha side for this project...


Of course there is! There's still tons of room on the riverfront, as well as Directly north of Qwest Center, and West of Riverftont Drive.
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Postby Finn » Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:37 pm

Of course there is! There's still tons of room on the riverfront, as well as Directly north of Qwest Center, and West of Riverftont Drive.


North of Quest Center and west on Riverfront Drive are not riverfront parcels! All riverfront land is taken all the way to the Eppley area (not to say someone wouldn't sell a parcel). The last plot will be for the Riverfront Place condos. The point was that the One Renaissance Center project was closely tied to the river, which won't be possible on the Omaha side for a project of this size.

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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:50 pm

You obviously haven't been down there. Their is still plenty of land along the river for residential developments. It is a thin strip because it is cut in half by Abbot Dr. so maybe instead of 2 short tower projects will start to see one 20+ story condo/apartment tower.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:19 pm

My point is simply that, while all of the land may be accounted for with plans of some sort in place, that's not to say that land can't be further developed, in more of a dense fashion.
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Postby jiminomaha » Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:14 am

Plus, all your talk about the downtown condo market needing to prove it self is already passe`. It's proving itself as we speak! Numerous condo projects are being developed and for the most part they've had nothing but success with pre-sales.
[StreetsofOmaha wrote]

I love Omaha, and Downtown Omaha and I get happy and excited about every new condo project I discover downtown, just like the rest of you. But the Omaha condo market has not proven itself in anyway shape or form. First of all, what statistics do you or anyone have about how quickly these places are pre-selling other than SoMa? Secondly, even if the market is hot today, it could drop out from underneath our feet very very quickly. Alot of CDs sell 1 Million the first week and then sell maybe 200K the next year. Its a tough thing, you can't build the condos too slowly or you miss the moment, but yet you can't build them too quickly or you run the risk of saturation and lower selling prices. My point of my earlier post was simply that an CB condo project will only happen 2 to 3 years in the future and only after the condo market on the Omaha side of the market has proven itself in the LONG TERM. Also, regarding the ignorance comment, I'd say most of the time its simply because someone has lived in Omaha and NE their entire life that is likely to sway their decision to rent or buy on one side of the river rather than the other. Habit and/or nostalgia, not ignorance. Nice pics you posted btw.[/quote]

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Postby jiminomaha » Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:20 am

I don't have this posting a quote down right. The first part of above post is previous quote by streetsofomaha, and the end part was my response.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:43 am

Almighty Tuna wrote:This is a quote


All you needed to do was start the quote with [quote="username"], you've already ended the 'quote' tag!

you can also just click the "quote" button on each message.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:31 pm

jiminomaha wrote:I love Omaha, and Downtown Omaha and I get happy and excited about every new condo project I discover downtown, just like the rest of you. But the Omaha condo market has not proven itself in anyway shape or form. First of all, what statistics do you or anyone have about how quickly these places are pre-selling other than SoMa? Secondly, even if the market is hot today, it could drop out from underneath our feet very very quickly. Alot of CDs sell 1 Million the first week and then sell maybe 200K the next year. Its a tough thing, you can't build the condos too slowly or you miss the moment, but yet you can't build them too quickly or you run the risk of saturation and lower selling prices. My point of my earlier post was simply that an CB condo project will only happen 2 to 3 years in the future and only after the condo market on the Omaha side of the market has proven itself in the LONG TERM. Also, regarding the ignorance comment, I'd say most of the time its simply because someone has lived in Omaha and NE their entire life that is likely to sway their decision to rent or buy on one side of the river rather than the other. Habit and/or nostalgia, not ignorance. Nice pics you posted btw.


I agree with most of that, but do you have any stats to prove otherwise?

But don't you think that all this new condo development is the RESULT of downtown Omaha proving itself overtime, not the "beginning" of it. I mean, sure, I realize that with all this new growth Omaha is entering an entirely new world of urban residential construction, and that facet has yet to be proven.
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Postby Finn » Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:12 pm

do you have any stats to prove otherwise?


Are you kidding?

Except for the first couple of pioneer projects that are willing to take greater risk, residential projects move forward on proven statistics, not stats to prove otherwise. No bank is going to loan on a project because a study says downtown Omaha has stats indicating it is not a bad place to build! The condo development is the result of downtown Omaha growth. However, the residential component has not proven itself (jim's original point). This is not passé'.

I am running into the same thing in downtown Des Moines. That downtown has a concentration of over 65,000 jobs with business expansions and riverfront development. However, like Omaha, it also has never had much urban living. A bank (conducting due diligence to provide loans on three different projects) is still not convinced of the strength and continual upside of the downtown residential market. It takes more than a couple projects with quick sales. They want historical vacancy rates, absorption rates, pipeline info. etc. I believe it will prove itself, but it also needs more restaurants, conveniences and a grocery store.

I agree that it would be nice to see more density along the riverfront, but as the land is already owned and/or allocated, I don't see it except for a few blocks off the river. Gallup owns most land that would be suitable for such development but will probably bank it for future development (as previously reported for their hotel, other offices, etc). The Riverfront Condos will bring some density and the plaza/restaurant area will bring in more activity.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:39 pm

Are you kidding?

Except for the first couple of pioneer projects that are willing to take greater risk, residential projects move forward on proven statistics, not stats to prove otherwise. No bank is going to loan on a project because a study says downtown Omaha has stats indicating it is not a bad place to build! The condo development is the result of downtown Omaha growth. However, the residential component has not proven itself (jim's original point). This is not passé'


No, I wasn't kidding. I'm still not really sure what your point was with that, but I'd like to understand. You say residential projects move forward based on proven statistics......well, that's exactly my point. How do you explain the recent surge of downtown residential projects. Something's got to be "proving" itself downtown, or there wouldn't be such a surge. I mean, of course I admit that there's a whole lot more "proving" to be done, but those seem to be soley matters of scale when it comes to downtown housing projects, not simply "can downtown support housing or not?".
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Postby DTO Luv » Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:28 pm

If it's not proving itself, than why is there Soma, Lerner building, Barker building, Riverfront Plc, Tip-Top, and all of the others? Omaha is overdue for this kind of DT resident housing boom. Before all their really was was Lofts around the OM, the Green House, and the Orpheum and Kennsington. With the businesses, Qwest Center, and all the other things happening DT I think the residence will fill quickly enough and stay competitive.
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Postby Finn » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:51 am

Anyone care to guess what the 'probability' of a casino going in where 1RC was to go.


There will not be a casino going on that site. The old One Renaissance Center proposal has the city excited about the prospects for the site and the city is committed to residential use. The city had a study done which supports residential use and they will be requesting proposals early next year from developers.

(JHuston: feel free to move this to the RUMOR section!)

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Postby icejammer » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:11 pm

Probably not a lot of need to move this to Rumors, as the site is, and has been, identified as future housing in City planning documents, so it's not a secret that is what the City is looking for.

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Postby Finn » Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:12 pm

True, but there is a new study to corroborate the potential of this site for residential development, which the city will use for RFPs.

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Postby Brad » Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:29 pm

Edit
I guess I never look at the dates???
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DMRyan
Human Relations
Posts: 661
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:07 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA
Contact:

Postby DMRyan » Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:30 pm

**Nevermind, misunderstood what Brad was saying**
Last edited by DMRyan on Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image

eomaha
County Board
Posts: 4273
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 10:29 am
Location: West Omaha

Postby eomaha » Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:32 pm

Naw... Finn pulled this one from the depths.

Brad... DTO posted that message almost a year ago!

Finn
Parks & Recreation
Posts: 1414
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:54 pm
Location: DC

Postby Finn » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:12 pm

What, what? With all these edits, I don't know what the heck is going on.


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