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Historic Standard Oil building to become — you guessed it — apartments (and more)

Historic Standard Oil building to become — you guessed it — apartments (and more)

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In another step toward formation of the Flatiron District, an Omaha developer is proposing to turn the century-old Standard Oil building into commercial bays and mini apartments.

The vacant six-story structure at 500 S. 18th St. is on the Old Market outskirts and in a neighborhood envisioned as a future and trendy mixed-use area.

Early investors compared their pedestrian-friendly vision to a smaller version of Benson or Blackstone.

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Neeraj Agarwal is developer and spokesman for the group in the process of buying the 31,000-square-foot Standard building, which also is known as the Law Building and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Plans call for street-level commercial bays and 40 studio and one-bedroom apartments on upper floors. The estimated project cost is $8 million; rehab could start in April.

Apartment sizes range from 425 to 725 square feet, Agarwal said, and rent would be $825 to $1,100.

The same investor group is behind the ongoing $14 million restoration of nearby 1901 Howard St., which once was the state’s biggest Buick dealership. That property is to become retail and professional offices.

The newly revamped Freiden building at 18th and Jackson was an earlier piece of the district assemblage. Already in the area are a few longtime businesses such as the Flatiron Cafe and Magnolia Hotel, but the area largely was seen as a drive-through zone leaving downtown.

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