Read more about plans for the Civic Auditorium:
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A proposal to have a large real estate firm help in redeveloping the Omaha Civic Auditorium site must wait.
The City Council unanimously delayed voting on a plan from Mayor Jim Suttle's administration to pay the CB Richard Ellis/Mega commercial real estate firm $300,000 to help create a vision for the site, as well as select a company to build a development.
Council members wanted to be briefed on the proposal. The council will revisit the contract in about two months.
The selected developer for the site would pay either $1.5 million or 1.5 percent of the project's total cost to CB Richard Ellis/Mega. In turn, the real estate firm would refund half the city's $300,000 payment.
Downtown's 9,300-seat auditorium is set to shut down in summer 2014. It has struggled to keep up with the rise of the CenturyLink Center, the new Ralston Arena and Council Bluffs' Mid-America Center. Plans for the arena's closing, and that of its attached Music Hall and convention hall, followed years of studies and debates over the building's future.
The real estate proposal, pitched by the firm and the city's Planning Department, calls “for a combination of strategic real estate consulting, planning, project management, development, research and marketing services.”
CB Richard Ellis/MEGA would take about four months to conduct a market study of the property and surrounding area, then develop at least three concepts for the site.
Assuming that the concepts are feasible, the firm would then issue a request for proposals from qualified developers to actually build a development.
The goal, according to the proposal, is to complete the selection process by summer 2014.
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