ConAgra moving to Chicago

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Garrett
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Garrett » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:22 pm

Which company will be next to hold the city/state hostage? Woodmen... Conagra... Who's next? And I love how fiscally conservative Ricketts is until it's a corporation asking for money...
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:58 pm

Garrett wrote:Which company will be next to hold the city/state hostage? Woodmen... Conagra... Who's next? And I love how fiscally conservative Ricketts is until it's a corporation asking for money...


Hit the nail on the head there.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby NEDodger » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:16 pm

GetUrban wrote:I'm tired of people saying "get over it" when talking about JC. It was such a HUGE mistake. There are still lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past even though JC is forever gone. Mainly, we gave up way to much in our effort to accommodate ConAgra. They had already decided to stay in Omaha after LB 775 was passed. It was just a question of whether they would relocate from their Central Park Plaza building downtown, to a new campus downtown, which could have coexisted with JC or not, or a campus by Lonergan Lake.

I think it's very important to realize, this time around, Omaha is in a position where we don't have to cave to corporate demands to get them to stay. The factors leading to their departure are likely out of our control. Ironically, the design of their current campus may be a factor that is making them want to leave. They're stuck with it now and might be looking for a way out, so they can reinvigorate their corporate culture with some new urban digs.

It is certainly wise to start thinking of ways we could enhance our downtown should they vacate some or all of their buildings.


There are absolutely lessons to be learned from it. But to cheer for people to lose their jobs as some sort of "revenge" for it is irrational.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:07 pm

Garrett wrote:Which company will be next to hold the city/state hostage? Woodmen... Conagra... Who's next? And I love how fiscally conservative Ricketts is until it's a corporation asking for money...


This is the climate we are working with. I know everyone loves to say stick it to the corporation, but if we don't play ball then they will all end up leaving.

Unless something gets done at the federal level that evens the playing field across the board it is all about incentives to retain and attract jobs.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby daveoma » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:52 pm

iamjacobm wrote:
Garrett wrote:Which company will be next to hold the city/state hostage? Woodmen... Conagra... Who's next? And I love how fiscally conservative Ricketts is until it's a corporation asking for money...


This is the climate we are working with. I know everyone loves to say stick it to the corporation, but if we don't play ball then they will all end up leaving.

Unless something gets done at the federal level that evens the playing field across the board it is all about incentives to retain and attract jobs.

Agreed but we've seen these incentives make the 1% richer at the expense of everyone else. Kinda like what some people accuse poor people on welfare of exploiting the government. This is the same, except they're hugely wealthy people holding their employees and state tax payers for random until the politicians give in. This is how the country and the state become an oligarchy.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:19 pm

I don't think there's any tax plan or corporate package Rickets can push to keep ConAgra here, especially with the machinations going on in Chicago already. They're done with our world.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:30 pm

If the DNC wants to do Ashford a solid the administration could sic the SEC on the CEO and the activist investor. As it is impossible to be involved with business at a high level without committing multiple felonies and the government can easily twist the criminal code to successfully destroy anyone they choose, federal prosecutors could meet with them and explain that if the headquarters moves they end up in prison, and not the easy prison either, the prison where they pee in a cup and throw it on you. I wouldn't support this course of action, but if Ashford has the pull he could make it happen.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:40 pm

Hahahaha.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby GetUrban » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:54 pm

NEDodger wrote:
GetUrban wrote:I'm tired of people saying "get over it" when talking about JC. It was such a HUGE mistake. There are still lessons to be learned from the mistakes of the past even though JC is forever gone. Mainly, we gave up way to much in our effort to accommodate ConAgra. They had already decided to stay in Omaha after LB 775 was passed. It was just a question of whether they would relocate from their Central Park Plaza building downtown, to a new campus downtown, which could have coexisted with JC or not, or a campus by Lonergan Lake.

I think it's very important to realize, this time around, Omaha is in a position where we don't have to cave to corporate demands to get them to stay. The factors leading to their departure are likely out of our control. Ironically, the design of their current campus may be a factor that is making them want to leave. They're stuck with it now and might be looking for a way out, so they can reinvigorate their corporate culture with some new urban digs.

It is certainly wise to start thinking of ways we could enhance our downtown should they vacate some or all of their buildings.


There are absolutely lessons to be learned from it. But to cheer for people to lose their jobs as some sort of "revenge" for it is irrational.


I'm not cheering for anyone to lose their jobs....just that we need to make the best of the situation if/when it does happen. Add their Omaha employees to the list of people getting screwed by ConAgra. Sounds like Rickets is getting tax payers cued for another giveaway.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:29 pm

iamjacobm wrote:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150929/BLOGS02/150929813/conagra-hq-move-to-chicago-appears-set

Rauner reportedly met with company officials months ago, before he imposed a limit on any new Edge tax-credit incentives until the state budget standoff is resolved. In effect, the company would be grandfathered, with a formal deal signed as soon as final details are resolved, sources say.

One source told me that around 200 headquarters jobs are involved, with ConAgra leaving thousands of others in the Omaha area. But I have been unable to confirm that.

My colleague Ryan Ori reported in July that the company has been negotiating for 200,000 square feet at the Mart, enough for 1,000 or more workers, but his sources stressed today that no lease has been signed.


Oh good. We don't have a state budget and the political theater is sending many government organizations into crisis mode, but corporate incentives, yeah we'll dole those out for a few more 1%ers. God. politicians here would let the Green Bay Packers tear down Solider Field and construct a giant middle finger covered in Packers logos for the right price.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Garrett » Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:30 pm

TitosBuritoBarn wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150929/BLOGS02/150929813/conagra-hq-move-to-chicago-appears-set

Rauner reportedly met with company officials months ago, before he imposed a limit on any new Edge tax-credit incentives until the state budget standoff is resolved. In effect, the company would be grandfathered, with a formal deal signed as soon as final details are resolved, sources say.

One source told me that around 200 headquarters jobs are involved, with ConAgra leaving thousands of others in the Omaha area. But I have been unable to confirm that.

My colleague Ryan Ori reported in July that the company has been negotiating for 200,000 square feet at the Mart, enough for 1,000 or more workers, but his sources stressed today that no lease has been signed.


Oh good. We don't have a state budget and the political theater is sending many government organizations into crisis mode, but corporate incentives, yeah we'll dole those out for a few more 1%ers. God. politicians here would let the Green Bay Packers tear down Solider Field and construct a giant middle finger covered in Packers logos for the right price.


One of my professors said once told me that we don't have a two major political parties in the United States; we have one party with two flavors. And those flavors seem more and more to be corporate semen, and corporate semen after the corporation has eaten a lot of pineapple.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:52 am

Garrett wrote:
TitosBuritoBarn wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150929/BLOGS02/150929813/conagra-hq-move-to-chicago-appears-set

Rauner reportedly met with company officials months ago, before he imposed a limit on any new Edge tax-credit incentives until the state budget standoff is resolved. In effect, the company would be grandfathered, with a formal deal signed as soon as final details are resolved, sources say.

One source told me that around 200 headquarters jobs are involved, with ConAgra leaving thousands of others in the Omaha area. But I have been unable to confirm that.

My colleague Ryan Ori reported in July that the company has been negotiating for 200,000 square feet at the Mart, enough for 1,000 or more workers, but his sources stressed today that no lease has been signed.


Oh good. We don't have a state budget and the political theater is sending many government organizations into crisis mode, but corporate incentives, yeah we'll dole those out for a few more 1%ers. God. politicians here would let the Green Bay Packers tear down Solider Field and construct a giant middle finger covered in Packers logos for the right price.


One of my professors said once told me that we don't have a two major political parties in the United States; we have one party with two flavors. And those flavors seem more and more to be corporate semen, and corporate semen after the corporation has eaten a lot of pineapple.


:thumb:
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby NovakOmaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:17 am

There was a story when Enron was about to move thousands of jobs to Houston. Mayor Mike Boyle flew down to Houston to meet with Ken Lay. At the time Ken Lay was heading up Enron and was, I think, renting a place in Omaha but had a house in Houston. Mayor Boyle asked what it would take to keep Enron in Omaha. Ken Lay pointed out the window at a tall glass tube of an office building and said to Mayor Boyle, "See that? That's Enron's new home. Want another drink?"

My point is that it isn't about economics in every case. Lay lived in Houston. Whatshisname, the new head of Conagra, lives in Chicago. It cost millions to move Enron to Houston. It will cost millions to move CAG. Both companies had/have plenty of cash to pay for the move. lay wanted Enron in Houston. Whatshisname wants CAG in Chicago. My ball, my rules. Yes, Illinois is probably offering a trainload of incentives but that's not the driver of this deal. At least in Houston's favor it was the hub of the energy sector. Chicago the hub of the food business? Notsomuch.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:42 am

I'll take a shark water, and keep 'em coming :)
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:10 pm

Just playing around with the street grid a little bit makes it clear how much potential there is for redevelopment if the opportunity arises, especially if we could turn Harney and Farmam to two way traffic and modify the lagoon.

For example, maybe CAG maintains a moderate presence in Omaha and utilizes the three southern buildings for their operations, and maybe we get some of the grid back?

Image

Who knows what'll happen or how this whole situation will end up, but Omaha may have an opportunity to do something really great downtown after all this. We'll see....
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby nebugeater » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:15 pm

Does ConAgra Drive need to be renamed ConAgra Drive aWay
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:43 pm

nebugeater wrote:Does ConAgra Drive need to be renamed ConAgra Drive aWay


Just capitalize the "CON"

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby GetUrban » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:49 pm

nebugeater wrote:Does ConAgra Drive need to be renamed ConAgra Drive aWay


ConJobbers Way
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
...and then they were gone.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Hank » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:07 pm

Why does it need CON any where in the name for the street

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Garrett » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:27 pm

The mayor and CEO were meeting today at an undisclosed location.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby GRANDPASMUCKER » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:30 pm

All this talk about rearranging the lagoon and streets and tearing down those beautiful buildings is nonsense. That ConAgra campus looks great to those of us not still hung up on that endless painful save the Jobbers Canyon tirade. I have complete confidence that another company or entity will come along and fill that space. What I see now is the more people cry about ConAgra leaving the worse they make it look. The last thing we need now is the Mayor or Governor trying to bribe ConAgra to stay because it makes us look weak. We dont need any other local powerhouse companies getting any bright ideas about milking us for handouts. Best thing to do now is stay cool and let ConAgra go and then i'm sure companies will come forward that would be happy to have that campus downtown. We don't have the money but what a great place this would be for a Metro-Tech type campus right downtown where alot of people could sure use it.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:09 pm

They're nice and all, but they would look better if they were somewhere in NW Omaha - the same way a 50-story skyscraper looks better if it's not next door to Millard West. I like the idea of connecting the street grid, but I also don't like the idea of shrinking the lagoon. It would be massively expensive and I like having a lake downtown. It works well down there. Honestly, get rid of the parking garage, the one surface lot, the southern buildings, and the promenade and we got something to work with.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:20 pm

Some interesting comments here.

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Mayor-to-Address-ConAgra-Amid-Talk-of-Metro-Exit-330167001.html?ref=001

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the mayor said she met with Connolly for about a half hour and he said, "'It's not as bad as it seems.'"

Stothert said the company is looking at all job positions in a reorganization to help ConAgra remain comeptitive in the industry.

The speculation about the future of the Fortune 500 company and major metro employer has been growing, especially with regard to the corporate home.

Right now that home is Omaha but Crain's Business Journal in Chicago reported Tuesday afternoon that a move from Omaha to Chicago is a done deal.

Stothert said Connolly told her, "'Not all the stories you read are true.'"

She said he also told her that however resources are allocated, Omaha will retain the largest number of the company's employees.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:22 pm

RNcyanide wrote:They're nice and all, but they would look better if they were somewhere in NW Omaha - the same way a 50-story skyscraper looks better if it's not next door to Millard West.


+1

Based on the Mayor's press conf and the fact that she said she'd be given a heads up before any announcement was made, that makes me think the HQ at least is relocating. The fact that the CEO said there's nothing Omaha can do, to me, is analagous to him saying "I live in Chicago, not Omaha".
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:23 pm

There's no way both 9th AND 8th street would be brought back to life right away... you can easily keep all five ConAgra buildings (for now) as well as the entire lagoon, and then add some infill.

Also, there's no reason to ever adjust the lagoon anyway, even if 8th street is brought back. That would be expensive and would serve little purpose.

I think it will be decades before 8th street comes back. But I can see 9th street coming back within 3-10 years.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:23 pm

Just a guess here. The HQ goes to Chicago, but maybe in some restructuring we get some different departments operations back here and hopefully salvage a strong workforce out of it all.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:29 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Just a guess here. The HQ goes to Chicago, but maybe in some restructuring we get some different departments operations back here and hopefully salvage a strong workforce out of it all.


Does anyone know what departments are housed in the two non-grid conforming buildings on the northern end of the campus? I wonder if they would be able to consolidate a hopefully fairly large workforce in the 3 buildings on the south end of the campus.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby TitosBuritoBarn » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:44 pm

Definitely keep the lagoon as is as it's probably our most picturesque park, but get rid of the buildings and add back some of the street grid. They're nice, but they're a huge drain on prime real estate.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:46 pm

Midwestern wrote:
iamjacobm wrote:Just a guess here. The HQ goes to Chicago, but maybe in some restructuring we get some different departments operations back here and hopefully salvage a strong workforce out of it all.


Does anyone know what departments are housed in the two non-grid conforming buildings on the northern end of the campus? I wonder if they would be able to consolidate a hopefully fairly large workforce in the 3 buildings on the south end of the campus.


Building 1 is HQ, with legal and HR. Expect C suites to move to Chicago and HR to get gutted. Second building is sales, which will probably head to Chicago.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:53 pm

That would work out perfectly then. All the remaining jobs stay in the 3 southern buildings, while the only two buildings that ConAgra vacates for Chicago are the two northern buildings.

I just hope as many jobs stay in Omaha as possible. Sounds like there's some hope that a pretty decent amount of jobs will stay here.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:56 pm

Yeah, in my opinion the only good thing to come out of the whole Jobbers Canyon debacle is the wonderful HOA Park, so it would make no sense to mess with the lagoon.

It sucks that Embassy Suites protrudes onto the area where Howard street could be extended east. Howard would be the perfect street to extended out for easier Old Market access to HOA Park.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:58 pm

Midwestern wrote:That would work out perfectly then. All the remaining jobs stay in the 3 southern buildings, while the only two buildings that ConAgra vacates for Chicago are the two northern buildings.


Woot! Called it.

Modifying the lagoon to that extent in that sketch was just an idea, one of many that will no doubt arise.
Last edited by mr. omaha on Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:03 pm

Tearing down buildings is so unnecessary. Millions in property value and hundreds of thousands of SF in top of the line Class A office space. The buildings could be worked around a larger plan and used to attract new early anchors to the area.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:07 pm

iamjacobm wrote:Tearing down buildings is so unnecessary. Millions in property value and hundreds of thousands of SF in top of the line Class A office space. The buildings could be worked around a larger plan and used to attract new early anchors to the area.


I'm not advocating that the two northern buildings be torn down anytime soon. But eventually, yes, it makes a ton of sense to tear those two down (or at the very least, the most northern building). They basically currently serve as a wall between the Old Market and HOA Park/the Riverfront. For the betterment of downtown, they eventually need to be torn down. But obviously not until we exhaust all possible infill around that area that doesn't require any demolition -- which could take at least a decade.

The DT Master Plan mentions developing along the greenspace along 10th street even with the entire ConAgra campus remaining. So that should obviously be the first step of re-development.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby daveoma » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:36 pm

GRANDPASMUCKER wrote:All this talk about rearranging the lagoon and streets and tearing down those beautiful buildings is nonsense. That ConAgra campus looks great to those of us not still hung up on that endless painful save the Jobbers Canyon tirade. I have complete confidence that another company or entity will come along and fill that space. What I see now is the more people cry about ConAgra leaving the worse they make it look. The last thing we need now is the Mayor or Governor trying to bribe ConAgra to stay because it makes us look weak. We dont need any other local powerhouse companies getting any bright ideas about milking us for handouts. Best thing to do now is stay cool and let ConAgra go and then i'm sure companies will come forward that would be happy to have that campus downtown. We don't have the money but what a great place this would be for a Metro-Tech type campus right downtown where alot of people could sure use it.

Which businesses do you think would benefit from locating there? Do you think it's a better fit for tech startups or a large corporation or something else?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:40 pm

If they all stay, convert them to mid-level to high-end condos.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:53 pm

RNcyanide wrote:If they all stay, convert them to mid-level to high-end condos.


Or a museum campus? children's, natural history, art, architecture, visitor center, library, planetarium, etc.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:17 pm

mr. omaha wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:If they all stay, convert them to mid-level to high-end condos.


Or a museum campus? children's, natural history, art, architecture, visitor center, library, planetarium, etc.


Here's where Potatoe's museum idea could go. Joint effort between the Durham, Joslyn, and another famous Omaha philanthropist family.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:18 pm

Quick brainstorm about what could be done with all buildings and the current site plan kept intact. Not sure I gave enough thought to the automobile, a lot of my stuff is very pedestrian oriented. This also assumes Omaha can handle 2000 units at well over $1500 a month. Probably more idealist than realist.

Image

1. A high profile location for a high profile thin residential tower.
Image

2. ConAgra Drive becomes a pedestrian promenade lined by MTC scaled buildings with shops on the bottom. Something a little like 16th in Denver with chairs and tables sprawled all throughout a well manicured sidewalk between the two rows of buildings.
Image

3. A large residential tower project. This is a large site that could have a substantial parking component with a little restaurant space on the lake front.
Image

4. Dual residential towers proposed in the DT Master Plan.
Image

5. More residential. This one more modestly sized b/c of its poor vehicle access options. Maybe even make this a retirement community tower to take advantage of the park setting.
Image

6. Large parking structure here. The location is tucked in behind a couple buildings in order to knock down the potential eyesore it would be. A garage here would support the Embassy and the UP operations center to allow us a ton more parking lots to redevelop to the south. It would also have space for visitors to downtown.

7. Since the Embassy is using the new garage we get Corvina 2.0 on this site. It will allow a little lower price point than all the highrise on the rest of the site.

8. More MTC scaled structures. There would be parking hidden between 2 and 8 for the residents of the buildings. There would be a street running along this line of buildings that will give better vehicle access to ConAgra(or whatever) Drive. Always extra wide sidewalks and the winding roads will calm traffic and keep non necessary traffic out.

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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:37 am
Location: Chalco

Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:45 pm

A very well thought out plan, jacob. I like your vision.
When fortune smiles on something as violent and ugly as revenge, it seems proof like no other that not only does God exist, you're doing his will.

The Bride


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