Weekly Market Report – August 4, 2022

Aug 4, 2022 | 0 comments

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Restaurant & Retail Updates

On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina will open its first Nebraska location in a former Pizza Ranch building at 8810 South 71st Plaza in Papillion. The Irving, Texas-based, casual-dining chain serves Tex-Mex favorites at 150 locations in the United States and South Korea. The closest existing locations are in Des Moines, Iowa and the Kansas City area.

Grant & Emmy’s Ice Cream & Burger Dogs is expected to open in about three weeks immediately north of the new Julio’s restaurant near 192nd & Q Street. Grant & Emmy’s is attached to Julio’s and has the same ownership.

A new restaurant known as Lux American Grill is opening soon in The Apartments at Lux96 building on the southeast corner of 96th & Cornhusker Road in Papillion. The building is also home to Café Diem, a relatively new breakfast-and-lunch place.

Keep those cookies coming! Another Crumbl Cookies location is planned to open this fall in the Shoppe at Market Pointe near 72nd & Giles Road in Papillion.

Bomb Taco has replaced El Chicano at 120 Olson Drive in Papillion. It’s the same food and same ownership but with a new name. Instead of the table service that El Chicano had, Bomb Taco customers order from a touch screen.

Saro Cider has opened a taproom and lounge at 1012 South 10th Street downtown. The Lincoln-based hard cider maker will celebrate the grand opening of its Omaha location this Saturday.

Talus Spirits & Sustenance opened last week at 10914 Cumberland Drive (108th & Highway 370) in Papillion. The menu has a mix of gourmet American classics with an international influence.

The Holloway Experience has opened in a former Family Video space at 168th & Blondo. The video gaming café offers a “hypnotic atmosphere and futuristic vibes where you can engage in multifaceted entertainment experiences” in a safe environment for families and young adults. Learn more HERE.

Interior build-out is underway on a new Ross Dress for Less store that will open later this year in Shadow Lake Towne Center between Burlington Coat and PetSmart. California-based Ross has three existing metro area stores.

Omaha Medical Massage will occupy Suite 260 at 144th & Eagle Run Drive. The massage therapists specialize in treating clients who are in post-surgical recovery, have acute or chronic pain or illness, sports, or occupational injuries, as well as those in need of restorative treatments, according to Maddie Graeve of NAI NP Dodge who represented the tenant in the lease.

Waxing the City has opened in a newly constructed building shared with Chili’s Grill & Bar in La Vista’s City Centre complex.

Ashland Wine & Spirits has opened at 202 U.S. Highway 6 in Ashland. The store sells locally and internationally sourced wine, beer and liquor.

LIVE Hydration Spa plans to hold a ribbon cutting August 26th for its new location at 10811 Elm Street in Rockbrook Village.

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The “Restaurant & Retail Updates” section is sponsored by Anderson Convenience Market, featuring Quality AMOCO Fuels and serving Omaha since 1952, and proud to announce the return of Quality Amoco Fuels. Look for changes this Summer at Anderson Convenience Market – 8 Omaha area locations!

Learn more about Anderson Convenience market at www.Anderson1952.com

Grow Omaha Eats with
Sarah Baker Hansen

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Review: At Saffron, well-executed Indian classics are great, and there’s more to come

By Sarah Baker Hansen

Saffron Urban Indian Kitchen is trying to figure out a way to stand out in Omaha.

Our city already has a lot of good neighborhood Indian spots (Kinaara is one I like) and a couple of higher-end choices (Jaipur is one I like, too.)

When you first arrive at Saffron, and take in the upscale, jewel-toned decor, the craft cocktail list and the extensive wine list, you might sense what they’re going for. You’ll notice a few trendy twists on the menu, including a plate of masala-spiced crab cakes and naan filled with a creamy spinach artichoke dip. All that struck me as both fun and modern.

But Saffron also serves its own thoughtful, well-executed versions of the classics you think you already know. For this diner, that’s when things got really interesting.

Take the matar paneer, one of my go-to dishes at any Indian restaurant, made with cubes of paneer cheese and a thick korma sauce studded with green peas.

At Saffron, the paneer is homemade, and the chunks are double the size I’m used to. The curry had plenty of spice and the right amount of heat, the peas snapped with freshness. The entire dish is heavily scented with garam masala, a spice blend generally made with black peppercorns, mace, cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, nutmeg and green cardamom.

I’ll return to Saffron, truly, for this one dish. It’s outstanding.

Chef and co-owner Diwesh Bhattarai opened Saffron in partnership with Sagar Gurung, who runs Omaha’s two Kathmandu Momo Stations in Aksarben and Blackstone. Bhattari’s wife, Aagya Subedi Bhattarai, makes the Burmese ramen, among other dishes, at the Momo stations.

Bhattarai has cooked in two other Indian kitchens in Omaha. He wanted to open his own spot, Gurung said, because he had some new ideas he hoped to test out, including more of those twists on Indian classics. Starting this fall, Saffron will also offer reservation only, seafood-heavy tasting menu experiences with wine pairings. The first will be in partnership with guest chef Kane Adkisson.

Bhattarai is from Butwal, Nepal, a border town near India. Growing up, he ate a lot of Indian street food, and it’s that cuisine that inspires him now. Gurung said the menu will morph significantly in the coming months.

There are hints of the changes to come already, like those masala crab cakes. We ended up sampling them twice; the second time they were better than the first. The masala flavor is subtle but there, and there’s plenty of fresh crab meat involved. A cool, sweet yogurt sauce provided a nice contrast. I wished for the exterior to be slightly crisper, and that’s the detail that set the second plate apart.

One night, I tried the special, a yellow goa curry with grilled shrimp. This version of goa curry was mild and sweet, made with onions and amchur powder, which adds a note of sour. Six sizable shrimp arrived nicely cooked and seasoned. I look forward to trying more of Bhattarai’s seafood when the tasting menu launches.

That same evening we also tried another classic, chicken korma. The flavor of the sauce at Saffron is great, but our chunks of white meat chicken had a tough chewiness that we did not love. It was the only real misstep we experienced.

Contrast that with our next visit, when we ordered another favorite, the tandori half chicken. This time, the chicken was so tender that it dripped off the bone, and even the white meat had a juicy, flavorful finish. The half bird had wonderfully charred edges and a side of tikka korma sauce for dipping, if you wish.

Saffron makes wonderful basmati rice, and doesn’t skimp on the portion served with the meal. Each visit, we had plenty to take home and eat with our leftovers later.

Entrees come with either a side salad or a cup of Mulligatawny soup, and neither are an afterthought. I loved the creamy salad dressing spiked with plenty of mint. The soup would be wonderful on a cold winter day, with its rich, warm spices. Don’t forget to hit it with a squirt from the lemon sitting on the side of the saucer.

That spinach artichoke naan is a bit blasphemous but also really delicious, and the flavor and crisp edges of the bread pair perfectly with the rich, decidedly American dip that fills the center.

We tried two other appetizers on the happy hour menu: vegetable samosas come filled with a savory, chunky potato filling with an exterior fried to crisp. Over the top are drizzles of both a thick, sweet tamarind sauce and a delicious mint chutney, which also accompanies the naan.

The keema paratha comes stuffed with a heavily spiced ground beef filling and a chewy, deeply savory finish. More mint chutney is a nice compliment.

We tried a few cocktails, including the Mumbai, an interesting play on a classic, and a nicely executed classic Manhattan. In many Indian restaurants, the bar is a spot for administrative work and service, not a place to hang out. The bar at Saffron, which is called Bombay, is meant to have its own identity, and be a full service area of the restaurant. To that end, the owners gave it a separate social media account and plan to continue to beef up its menu.

As Saffron continues to morph its menu from traditional Indian to creative tasting menu, and launches its full craft bar program, I think it will end up finding a singular spot in the Omaha dining scene. It’s one that can offer both a new perspective out of the kitchen and a fully new experience for diners

Saffron Urban Indian Kitchen
6706 Frances St.

Tuesday through Saturday: 4PM to 10PM
Sunday: 4PM to 9PM
Closed Monday
(531) 867-8593

Grow Omaha Eats with Sarah Baker Hansen is sponsored by Cheer Athletics, one of the largest and most respected All-Star cheerleading programs in the United States. The Omaha location is at 14620 Gold Coast Road, near Highway 370 and 144th Street. Learn more HERE!

The Big Story

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Noddle Cos. Planning 4-Story Timber Office Building in the Builder’s District

The Builder’s District will soon have another new building, but this one will be different from its neighbors; the structural skeleton will be made of timber instead of steel.

The Omaha Planning Board this week approved Tax Increment Financing for a 4-story office and retail building planned for 1501 Mike Fahey Street. That’s just south of Kiewit’s global headquarters building and in a part of north downtown known as The Builder’s District.

Omaha-based Noddle Cos. is developing the 9-block, mixed-use district, which sits between Creighton University and Charles Schwab Field Omaha. The district is roughly bounded by Cuming, 14th, Cass and 17th streets.

Existing structures in the Builder’s District include Kiewit’s headquarters, Kiewit University, the Cambria Hotel, Union Pacific’s Child Development Center and a 5-story mixed-use building known as 1415 @ The Yard.

The $57 million timber-based building will be 115,000 sq. ft. Most of the space will be used by yet-to-be-announced office tenants although there will be 14,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail space.

Noddle Cos. believes it will be the first timber-based commercial building to be constructed in Omaha in decades. Noddle plans to begin construction in September. Completion would occur in 2024. A second timber office building (developed by Hines) planned at 8th & Farnam Street in The Mercantile development is expected to start construction shortly after Noddle’s building.

The timber building is one of many new structures planned for the Builder’s District. Other anticipated projects include multi-family buildings, more office space and two parking garages.

This section is sponsored by TR Construction. With over 25 years of commercial concrete construction experience, TR Construction has expertise with projects large and small to include commercial building concrete, footings, paving, remove and replacement of concrete, industrial projects, and special projects for clients. TR Construction can deliver Concrete Excellence on your next project. Learn more HERE!

Grow Omaha Snippets

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Developers are planning a massive apartment project on a 2.5-acre lot that would stretch from just west of 46th Street to 48th Street along the south side of Dodge Street. The $82 million project would have 329 units in a 6-story building. Amenities would include a pool and outdoor courtyards.

To make way for the project, the developers will demolish nine houses and a couple commercial buildings with the exception of small brick building at 4629 Dodge Street. That one-story building was once a veterinarian’s office and is on the historic register. The developer hopes to begin construction in November and open the new building 24 months later. Because it is located on the ORBT line, the product qualifies as a Transit Oriented Development.

The Omaha Planning Board this week approved $6.6 million in Tax Increment Financing for the 5-story, 255-unit apartment building planned on the former Ramada Coco Key Water Resort site. The $62 million building will be called, “Aksarben Keys.” Completion is planned for late 2024.

Nebraska is one of the states where homes sell the fastest according to a study by online bank Tangerine.ca, which analyzed data from Zillow. Data included the average ‘days to pending’ and ‘days to close’ numbers over the past four years to see where homes are selling quickest on average. ‘Days to pending’ refers to how long it takes to get an offer, and ‘Days to close’ refers to how long it takes to close the sale.

Idaho has the fastest time to fully complete a sale with 67.31 days on average. Nebraska comes in sixth place, with homes taking on average 36.58 days to receive an offer, and 39.34 days to close the sale. This meant it takes roughly 75.92 days to completely sell a home in the Cornhusker state.

Veridian Credit Union is holding a ribbon cutting today for its new branch office at 7529 Dodge Street.

By passing the Nebraska Economic Recovery Act earlier this year, the Nebraska Legislature allocated $335 million (much of it from ARPA funds) to bolster “historically underserved” areas of north and South Omaha as well as parts of Lincoln and various rural areas. The first announced projects, according to the Omaha World-Herald, include a $60 million industrial park in a yet-to-be-announced area near Eppley Airport and affordable housing. State Sen. Justin Wayne, who sponsored the legislation, said construction on the projects could begin this fall.

Grow Omaha Snippets are brought to you by Omaha Car Care with four metro area locations – 131st & Dodge, 58th & Center, 85th & L and 144th & Harrison.

Omaha Car Care “We’ll be along for the ride.”

Eagle Mortgage Home Loan Services

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Eagle Mortgage is a locally owned, full-service mortgage company helping you with Conventional, VA, FHA and USDA loans in both Nebraska & Iowa, including the Omaha-Council Bluffs area.

Whether you are buying a home or looking to refinance an existing loan, Eagle Mortgage can help you realize your dream of homeownership or help you save money by obtaining a lower monthly payment. Eagle has plenty of experience with first-time home buyers too.

Learn more HERE!

Business News

Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:

Real Estate News from CoStar –  Starbucks is planning to reinvent its stores — but if you want to know exactly what that means, you’re going to have to wait.

On a call with investors Tuesday, executives including interim CEO Howard Schultz repeatedly invoked a plan to, as Schultz put it in opening remarks, “totally reinvent the company” with a program they say would include a focus on new store layouts and equipment. READ MORE

Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co., property insurers in Florida, Hawaii and Louisiana, have relocated operations from Sarasota, Fla. to Omaha. The companies are sister firms of Applied Underwriters, which is building a state-of-the-art headquarters campus southwest of 144th & Pacific Street.

Union Pacific Corporation has declared a quarterly dividend of $1.30 per share on the company’s common stock, payable September 30, 2022, to shareholders of record August 31, 2022. Union Pacific has paid dividends on its common stock for 123 consecutive years.

Green Plains Inc. announced financial results for the second quarter of 2022. Net income attributable to the company was $46.4 million, or $0.73 per diluted share compared to net income of $9.7 million or $0.20 per diluted share, for the same period in 2021. Revenues for the Omaha-based Fortune 1000 company were $1,012.4 million for the second quarter of 2022 compared with $724.4 million for the same period last year.

Cherrie Anderson School of Music & Dance has found a new home at 3503 Samson Way in Bellevue, according to Gabrielle Estivo, who represented the landlord in lease negotiations. The studio has been in business for more than 40 years and offers instruction in a variety of dance styles.

HDR has opened its newest architecture studio in Raleigh, N.C. Michelle McNutt, health principal, and Tim Winstead, education and science principal, are leaders of the new studio. HDR’s architecture team joins the engineering practice in Raleigh as the Central Piedmont Region continues to experience growth. The studio expands Omaha-based HDR’s established design presence in the Carolinas and along the East Coast.

Werner Enterprises, Inc. this week reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022. Total revenues for the quarter were $836.3 million, an increase of $186.5 million compared to the prior year quarter, due to Truckload Transportation Services (“TTS”) revenues growth of $122.4 million and Logistics revenues growth of $62.2 million.

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, rose above growth neutral for the 26th straight month. The index, which ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, rose to a solid 59.8 from June’s 58.6.

This section is sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland, the local, trusted franchise experts. They are “in the business of helping you get into business!”

Grow Omaha University

Leadership & Sales Insights for Ambitious People

Sponsored by MyStaff, Inc.

Compiled by Grow Omaha co-founJeff Bealsder and sales trainer 

Leadership & Management

The term “thought-terminating cliché” refers to the human tendency to take complex feelings, concepts, and politics, and shrink them into short, clever phrases that aren’t necessarily untruthful, but don’t tell the full story, according to Well & Good. These dismissals bring conversations to a grinding halt and keep people from thinking more deeply about important issues. Therefore, avoid these 12 clichés:

“It is what it is.”

“So it goes.”

“It could be worse.”

“Time heals all.”

“Someone out there has it worse than you.”

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

“This too shall pass.”

“It’s all about balance.”

“Try to look on the bright side.”

“The sun will come out tomorrow.”

“The only way out is through.”


Fifty percent of buyers like speaking over the phone compared to 70 percent of sales reps, according to Spotio. The higher you go up on the ladder (i.e. VP level or C-suite level), the more buyers like talking on the phone.

Approximately 84 percent of all sales training is lost after 90 days. This is majorly due to the lack of information retention among sales personnel. How can you fight that? Use mentorship, coaching, one-on-one time with sales reps and online sales training programs to provides skill refreshers.

Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined, according to McKinsey. Too many sales reps are enamored with the idea of making sales via social media. You can’t deposit “likes” and “clicks” in your bank account.


“A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.” – Abraham Lincoln

Grow Omaha University is sponsored by MyStaff Inc, a locally owned staffing firm whose purpose is helping Nebraska companies recruit for corporate office positions.

My Staff Inc – Our team helps you find yours!

Upcoming Events in the Metro

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Joe Bonamassa on August 5th: Joe Bonamassa is one of today’s top live performers. His enthusiastic shows are one of the biggest parts of his career, and a favorite for music lovers worldwide. Hailed internationally as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation and cited by Guitar World Magazine as “the world’s biggest blues guitarist,” Bonamassa has almost single-handedly redefined the blues-rock genre and brought it into the mainstream.

New Americans Art Festival / Benson First Friday on August 5th: This project, in its 9th year, is hosted by Heartland Family Services and BFF Omaha. Our on-street festival returns to Military Avenue in downtown Benson! Join us for in-person exhibits, featured artisans at local retailers, food trucks, on-street performances and more!

Open Omaha on August 6 & 7 across the Metro: For one weekend only — August 6th – 7th — dozens of historic landmarks, creative spaces, sacred sites, and other hidden gems will open their doors in a city-wide showcase of the uniqueness that makes the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro such a marvelous place. Want to help make this a great event? They can use your help as a volunteer!

Mindpower Strategic Ribbon Cutting and Launch Party on August 8th: Come celebrate the business launch of Mindpower Strategic, LLC! Meet the founder and principal consultant, Angela Cooper, and network with other local organizations invested in strengthening their DEI and culture efforts.

Wild Wednesday with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on August 10th Join Peter Gros, host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and some of his animal friends for a Wild Wednesday in Turner Park at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 10. You’ll get an up-close and personal look at some amazing animals – alligator, kangaroo, kinkajou, boa constrictor and more. And learn about Mutual of Omaha’s exciting new television series, Protecting the Wild, that launches in 2023. It’s an adventure you won’t want to miss!

Modus Happy Hour on August 11th: Interested in coworking and joining a great community? Then come to a casual monthly happy hour at Corkscrew in Blackstone this next Thursday. Come network with great people while tasting wine and enjoying light snacks in Corkscrew’s backroom and patio!

Outlandia Music Festival on August 12: Ready for another Music Festival? Come to Outlandia for 2 days of music from 12 bands, including Wilco, The National, Band of Horses, Local Natives and more! Don’t wait, get your tickets today!

Grow Omaha University is sponsored by MyStaff Inc, a locally owned staffing firm whose purpose is helping Nebraska companies recruit for corporate office positions.

My Staff Inc – Our team helps you find yours!

People in the News

Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law

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Scooter’s Coffee has appointed Felicia White as director of franchise training. White has held various training and development leadership roles with Church’s Chicken in the past.

NAI NP Dodge has promoted John Meyer to senior vice president. A commercial real estate broker focusing mainly on industrial properties, Meyer has been with the company for four years.

Werner Enterprises has announced that John J. Steele, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, has decided to retire after 33 years at the company, including the last 25 years as CFO. Steele will remain with the company through the transition of his responsibilities to his successor. Werner has launched a formal search for its next CFO.

Brian Poppe has been named Chief Data Officer at Mutual of Omaha. He leads the enterprise-wide data and information strategy including building a cloud-based data and analytic platform, advancing data and analytics capabilities to enable actionable insights, and maturing machine learning capabilities. Poppe joined Mutual of Omaha in 2009 and served in a variety of actuarial roles. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has earned the designations of Fellow and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst from the Society of Actuaries.

WoodmenLife has appointed Jacob Day as vice president & Chief Investment Officer effective July 12th. In his new role, Day leads the activities of WoodmenLife’s Investment division team. He is also responsible for the management of WoodmenLife’s $10.5 billion of invested assets and is charged with managing the risk of the asset side of the balance sheet and achieving the best risk-adjusted rate of return while ensuring asset selection matches WoodmenLife’s liabilities.

The “People in the News” section is sponsored by Baird Holm LLP. Baird Holm’s dedicated team of real estate lawyers has extensive experience in all aspects of real estate law, including purchases, sales, zoning and land use, leasing, and dispute resolution. Click HERE for more information.

Have You Watched Grow O on Video Yet?

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Grow Omaha’s brand-new website features video footage shot inside the radio studio during each week’s show!

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