An $8 million earmark for Omaha's streetcar project was not included in a federal transportation bill currently making its way through Congress. Proposals to build a streetcar line in Omaha have circulated for at least 15 years.
Two new corporate headquarters are now ready for hundreds of employees to move in at west Omaha's Heartwood Preserve campus.
Construction has wrapped up on the first phase of the six-story
Carson Group complex near 144th Street and West Dodge Road, said Bart Emanuel of Applied Underwriters, which is the driver and primary owner of the broader 500-acre Heartwood mixed-use project.
He said more than 150 employees have started to move into the Carson facility. JE Dunn Construction has also leased a floor of that building.
Valmont Industries complex is also done, Emanuel said. The first 100 employees are expected to complete their move-in soon. The new facility is about 50% larger than Valmont's former base and will be occupied by up to 500 people.
Also at Heartwood, Emanuel said, all 48
Heartwood Estates luxury home lots have been sold. Infrastructure work is ongoing at the 45-acre tract south of Pacific Street, and construction on individual homes should begin this summer.
Emanuel said construction should start later this year on another residential area north of Pacific, which will feature an assortment of about 230 dwellings, including for-sale homes on smaller lots, duplexes and row houses.
A bridge over Pacific Street will help connect the residential neighborhoods.
At a glance: 11 key developments around the Omaha metro area
ONYX Automotive in January became the first business to launch operations on the 500-acre redevelopment site poised to become a mecca of office, housing and entertainment venues. Under construction are office campuses for local business biggies including Applied Underwriters, Valmont Industries and The Carson Group. Developers expect the property value of the overall site, bounded generally by 144th, 153rd and Pine Streets and West Dodge Road, to rise by more than $1 billion when completed over 15 or so years.
192 Street & West Dodge Road
Underway are huge projects by two separate real estate developers that will transform some 250 acres around 192nd Street and West Dodge Road. The work, estimated to top $1.5 billion, includes office, commercial and residential venues on the southwest and southeast corners of the intersection. Developer Curt Hofer is leading the Avenue One project, and R&R Realty of West Des Moines is behind two office parks.
Helping to change the downtown Omaha landscape north of Dodge Street are three districts. The $300 million Millwork Commons launched with the (ongoing) restoration of the Ashton warehouse at 12th and Nicholas Streets into a new home for tech company Flywheel. The Builder’s District centers on the rising new worldwide headquarters for Kiewit Corp. near 16th and Burt Streets. The Capitol District entertainment area began years ago but in 2020 is to finish construction of an office and retail building that is the last major structural piece at the site near 10th Street and Capitol Avenue.
Blackstone area of midtown Omaha
A food hall, a resurrected historic hotel and an upscale condo project are poised to be the latest newcomers to the hip and growing Blackstone area that’s anchored along the Farnam corridor near 40th Street. Millions of dollars have been invested in an area buoyed by increased building and growth of the nearby University of Nebraska Medical Center.
La Vista City Centre
Construction continues at the $235 million City Centre campus — a mix of residential, commercial and entertainment uses along the 84th Street corridor in La Vista. Another phase of apartments is to open this summer, and multiple businesses are preparing their spaces. An indoor-outdoor music venue is to break ground as soon as the ground thaws.
Data center central
Sarpy County, in the area of Highway 370 and Highway 50, continues its rise as the state’s data center hub. Google announced its multimillion-dollar facility most recently, making that the county’s eighth data center. Facebook is expanding its data center construction. A recent study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers found that operation of the county’s largest four data centers (at the time Fidelity, Travelers, Yahoo-turned-Oath and Facebook) had an annual statewide economic impact of $522 million, with an employment impact of nearly 1,900 direct and indirect jobs.
Omaha is in the midst of a nearly $300 million transformation of three downtown parks into The RiverFront, an effort aimed in part at revving up recruitment and retention of workforce talent. Major construction on the Gene Leahy Mall is expected to finish up in late 2021, with work on some amenities stretching into 2024. Work on nearby Lewis & Clark Landing near the foot of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is set to begin in late summer to early fall 2020. Work on Heartland of America Park, which sits between the Conagra campus and the Missouri River, east of Eighth and Douglas Streets, carries into 2024.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
Nearly tripling its footprint over the past few years, Children’s has acquired several buildings near 84th Street and West Dodge Road, including the former HDR office campus along Indian Hills Drive. Currently under construction is the nine-story Hubbard Center for Children that’s scheduled to open in 2021 on the northern side of the hospital. Neighboring pockets are seeing their own development bursts, including an office strip to the west. On the north side of West Dodge and Children’s, two mixed-use developments anchored by bank branches have risen.
A corridor near Westroads Mall is seeing a dramatic shift from a car dealership row to a family entertainment zone. Change is led by the new and rising 10-acre Topgolf venue estimated to cost about $23 million and poised to open in late March. Other commercial structures are set to rise, one with a Chipotle restaurant. Joe Ricketts, father of Nebraska’s governor and patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs, also has purchased about 8 acres along that stretch but hasn’t disclosed his plans.
The Omaha Housing Authority’s Southside Terrace complex near 29th and T Streets.
A decaying North Omaha shopping hub near 56th Street and Ames Avenue has been resuscitated with about $18 million in a redevelopment effort led by Omaha’s White Lotus Group. Much of the commercial space on the 14-acre site that dates back 60 years had been condemned before a couple of key structures were revamped and a new row house project built. The latest phase is the former 44,000-square-foot Ames Bowling Center structure that has been re-purposed into the Ames Innovation Center.