Weekly Market Report – December 15, 2022

Dec 15, 2022 | 0 comments

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Grow Omaha is proud to deliver this market report to you each week. This would not be possible without the support of our sponsor, The Offices at Turner Park!

Restaurant & Retail Updates

Burger Detour, a new quick-serve burger joint plans to open next year in a to-be-constructed building at 183rd and West Maple Road. The fast-food restaurant’s Facebook page says it will serve “mouth-watering burgers and three different types of French fries.”

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar plans to open its first Nebraska location next year at 830 Harney Street. That would be toward the east side of the new Brickline building in the Mercantile development.

Daily Thread has opened at Regency Shopping Center. The New York-based, off-price, retail chain offers a mix of established apparel brands and the retailer’s own private labels with an emphasis on “size inclusivity,” ranging from petite to extended sizes.

The signage has gone up and interior build-out is now underway at the future Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurant near Saddle Creek Road and Wakely Street. Dave’s is a chain of Nashville-style spicy chicken restaurants that started in the Los Angeles area.

The Joint Chiropractic has opened an office at 12330 K Plaza at L Street Marketplace. The practice has an existing office in Council Bluffs.

Heavenly Waffles will hold a pop-up sampling station inside the Rexius Nutrition store in Midtown Crossing this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to the company’s Facebook page, “Heavenly Waffles are a protein packed, yogurt-based waffles/pancake mix that’s Healthy, and Heaven.”

Poppin’ Smoke Southern Grill plans to close permanently on December 17th. The restaurant moved into 230 South Lincoln Street in Papillion last summer. It had the same owners as Tired Texan BBQ which had closed earlier in the year.

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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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At Sofra Kitchen, Omaha’s dining past and future collide with varied results

By Sarah Baker Hansen

If you want to understand how restaurants have changed, and perhaps how our city’s dining scene has changed, consider Sofra Kitchen, the new breakfast, lunch and soon-to-be dinner space in Midtown Crossing.

It’s taken over the former Grey Plume bay — certainly, any food lover in Omaha would agree that the Grey Plume, at its height, was one of the most ambitious, forward thinking restaurants Omaha has ever seen. Its decline and eventual closing, during the early days of the pandemic, marked a moment in our city.

So the opening of Sofra in that spot, which inside still looks and feels unmistakably similar to what it was before, marks another.

Sofra is a casual, affordable concept, the second from the owner Nils Gjoca, who also runs Sofra Creperie inside the Aksarben Inner Rail food hall. Some of what we tried during three recent visits was good: a memorable burger and stand out French fries and a breakfast burrito with plenty of flavor and interesting textures.

But other items, including an inexplicably cold eggs Benedict and a hot shrimp roll, left me less impressed. Right now, Sofra is still evolving.

Gjoca is working with chef Mikel Fane, who landed in Omaha after cooking across Europe, including in Italy and Greece. Together, Fane and Gjoca developed a new menu for Sofra Kitchen, based on Fane’s experience and local tastes, Gjoca said.

Over the next few months, Fane plans to start putting his own touches on the menu, including adding homemade pasta and more local, seasonal dishes.

“There’s a learning curve at the beginning,” Gjoca said, “getting used to new customers and tastes in the States, but he has done a great job and the menu will only expand.”

Sofra is bright, airy and welcoming inside. A few things have changed: the art on the walls, lots of large and small plants throughout the space, more casual service and a more affordable price point.

Much is the same, too: the layout, the long front bar, the open window into the kitchen, the warm, reclaimed wood and soft color scheme.

The dining room looks slightly rougher in areas. For example, a frame that used to hold a map of the state of Nebraska now shows what looks like its bare metal backing, and a spot behind the bar where a wine rack used to hang is dotted with unpatched holes and topped with a television set that played what looked like an underwater screensaver.

I hope those spots will be cleaned up in time. And I can almost always do without a television set.

Gjoca said when the team first went into the space it felt like “time was stuck,” and most everything was left in the space. But they saw potential, too.

“It was too good to pass up,” he said.

The lunch menu is simple, a mix of burgers and sandwiches. I liked the Sofra burger, with a special sauce, brioche bun and a nicely executed, crisp-tender side of skin-on French fries. The burger arrived nicely cooked and juicy, with a pleasantly seared exterior, and the Fries are clearly house made, with the signature crisp exterior and tender interior that can only be achieved with a lot of work.

My friend enjoyed their turkey sandwich, elevated by a thick spread of mayo and a thinner layer of herbaceous basil pesto, the whole thing topped with a generous portion of sliced turkey, a handful of spicy arugula and sliced tomatoes on a soft hoagie bun.

Prices at Sofra are affordable for a sit down lunch: Sandwiches are between $11 and 18. At the weekend brunch, everything is between $12 and $15. Specialty coffee drinks run around $3 each.

Another day at lunch, I ordered the shrimp roll, a favorite of mine. The kitchen was out of the brioche bun it is meant to come on, and suggested I substitute a croissant, which I did.

Most shrimp rolls I’ve tried are cold; Sofra’s is warm, and the croissant was room temperature. The temperature changed the experience, and I’d probably have preferred it more were it cold. Nonetheless, it included plenty of shrimp and a creamy, dill-forward sauce.

The piadini, a take on an Italian flatbread sandwich, reminds me of what Sofra does at Inner Rail, and makes sense knowing that Fane has lived and cooked in Italy. A riff on an Italian-style crepe, it comes with two of my favorite meats — mortadella and ham — along with melted swiss cheese, tomatoes, arugula and kalamata olives. Warmed and crisped on the grill, it’s a fun sandwich to eat with a variety of flavors. My second dining partner, a different one this visit, also commented on the French fries, which are truly standout.

Its clear staffing is a challenge — Gjoca confirmed it when we talked. At lunch, just one staff member worked in the dining room. During a Sunday brunch service, the dining room had just a few servers, and after a phone call, the owner arrived to help out. Several times, the staff thanked diners for patience while they caught up. I’d advise patience if you go, too.

That Sunday brunch found the dining room overflowing, with a line extending out the door and onto the street. We snagged a seat at the bar that day, and watched the busy kitchen hustle to keep up.

Sofra’s coffee and coffee drinks are good, as is the iced tea, and diners can choose to add from a lineup of house made syrups to their latte if they prefer. For now, Sofra doesn’t have a liquor license, though one is on the way, as is a dinner menu.

Gjoca said the liquor license has been delayed, and expects the evening hours and dinner menu will launch sometime in January.

The eggs Benedict might have been one of the biggest missteps we had. While the ingredients were all high-quality, and the eggs perfectly poached, the ham was cold, as though it just came out of the refrigerator. Draped over the top of the eggs, it quickly cooled them down and didn’t have the warmth to soften the side of Hollandaise sauce beyond the texture of mayonnaise. I’d not order it again until it is improved.

Better was a breakfast burrito with varied texture and plenty of flavor: big hunks of crisp potato, bursts of chorizo heat and a pleasantly chunky, mild red salsa tucked inside a crisped warm tortilla.

My visits to Sofra left me pensive about Omaha’s dining scene. In some way — particularly in the moments when it faltered — I wished for that old, overly ambitious sense of surprise that its dining room became known for. But in another way, I know this is where our restaurant scene is right now: casual, affordable, simple, approachable. Diners have evolved, and so have restaurants. I think Sofra — with much on the horizon, including that dinner service — is still evolving, too.

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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Omaha: Surprising Christmas Destination

TheTravel.com has included Omaha on its recently published “10 Destinations You’d Never Think to Visit for Christmas.” The list includes places that are “underrated and can provide a magical holiday experience.”

Here’s the Top 10:

  1.  Corning, N.Y.
  2. Omaha
  3. Helen, Ga.
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Pine Island, Fla.
  6. Washington, Conn.
  7. Solvang, Calif.
  8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  9. Fredericksburg, Va.
  10. Nashville

Why should people go to Omaha for Christmas? Well, here’s what the accompanying article had to say…

“Omaha is a surprisingly fun place to spend the holidays, especially for guests who stay for New Year’s. It offers family-friendly activities, like the “Beach-Ball Drop” held at noon.

“With a vibrant nightlife, there’s plenty to do until midnight and longer, too. Omaha also offers other fun attractions, like its zoo featuring the world’s largest indoor waterfall and an aquarium tunnel.”

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

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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The Omaha City Council approved $440 million in bonds this week to fund the planned downtown-midtown Streetcar system. The project is expected to cost $306 million and is scheduled to open in 2026.

The long-delayed state expressway system — once projected to be completed by 2003— is now expected to be completed by 2036, according to Nebraska Examiner. Last year, the projected end date was 2040. The expressway project was designed to link Nebraska communities larger than 15,000 people to an Interstate highway via a four-lane, divided highway. About $800 million worth of expressway work remains to be done with about 70 percent of the 600 total miles already completed.

A former Omaha Public Schools building southwest of Saddle Creek Road & Farnam Street was demolished earlier this week in order to make way for Nebraska Medicine’s future administration tower.

Crews installed a 6,000-pound bronze sculpture earlier this week east of 10th Street on the Gene Leahy Mall. The 16-foot work of art was designed by famed Omaha artist Jun Kaneko.

Grow Omaha has added a new feature to its website: “Grow Omaha Certified Podcasts.” We have identified high-quality, Omaha-centric podcasts that provide value to our followers. We launched with three podcasts: “Restaurant Hoppen” with Dan Hoppen; “The Omaha Podcast” with Matt Tompkins; and of course, The “Grow Omaha Show!” The site updates these podcasts automatically every time a new episode is dropped. Click HERE.

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.”

Business News

Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:

Real Estate News from CoStar – It is increasingly apparent that the large-scale adoption of hybrid work — under which a large portion of office-using workers split their time between on-site and remote locations — is a phenomenon that will persist well into the future. About 30 percent of workdays are still being done remotely within the so-called knowledge workforce. This is a far higher percentage than it was before 2020 and a level that has now been remarkably stable for many months.

Speaking of CoStar Group, the Washington, D.C.-based provider of online real estate data, announced this week that the company will be added to the NASDAQ 100 Index, effective prior to the opening of trading on Monday, December 19th.

AMCON Distributing Company, an Omaha-based convenience distributor will acquire Henry’s Foods, Inc. of Alexandria, Minn. The Henry’s business and name will continue in the marketplace and the business will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of AMCON. The transaction is expected to close in the AMCON’s second quarter of fiscal 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

Sapp Bros., Inc. acquired Home Oil Services of Blue Rapids, Kan. in October. Sapp Bros.is an Omaha-based, family-and-employee-owned petroleum wholesale distributor. The company also operates 17 full-service travel centers located primarily along Interstate 80.

Union Pacific Corporation has declared a quarterly dividend of $1.30 per share on the company’s common stock, payable December 29, 2022, to shareholders of record December 19, 2022. Union Pacific has paid dividends on its common stock for 123 consecutive years.

Union Pacific Corporation will release fourth quarter 2022 financial and operating results on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at 7:45 a.m. Eastern. The company’s management team will host a conference call and live webcast at 8:45 a.m. Eastern.

Lutheran Family Services has leased 11,000 sq. ft. in the Cedarnole Plaza located along 72nd Street a few blocks south of Dodge Street. Gabby Estivo and Jordan Estee of NAI NP Dodge represented the landlord.

After six straight months of below growth neutral readings, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth-neutral, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and energy. The December index increased to a tepid 50.1 from 45.7 in November. The index ranges from 0 to 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral.

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 Residential

The Cost of Waiting for Mortgage Rates to Go Down

By Joe Finlay

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to sell your house, recent headlines about home prices may be top of mind. And if those stories have you wondering what that means for your home’s value, here’s what you really need to know.

What’s Really Happening with Home Prices?

It’s possible you’ve seen news stories mentioning a drop in home values or home price depreciation, but it’s important to remember those headlines are designed to make a big impression in just a few words. But headlines aren’t always great at painting the full picture.

While home prices are down slightly month-over-month in Omaha, it’s also true that home values are up more than 10 percent year-over-year.

It’s true home price growth has moderated in recent months as buyer demand has pulled back in response to higher mortgage rates. This is what the headlines are drawing attention to today.

But what’s important to notice is the bigger, longer-term picture. Home price growth is moderating month-over-month, but the percent of appreciation year-over-year is still well above the home price change we saw during more normal years in the market.

What Does This Mean for Your Home’s Equity?

While you may not be able to capitalize on the 20 percent appreciation we saw in early 2022, a typical home value in Omaha is up 10 percent over last year – and a 10 percent gain is still dramatic compared to a more normal level of appreciation (3-4 percent).

The big takeaway? Over the past two years alone, you’ve likely gained a substantial amount of equity in your home as home prices climbed. Even though home price moderation will vary moving forward, you can still use the boost your equity got to help power your move.

Top 5 Zip Codes in Douglas County – 2022 Median Home Sale Price

68064 – $647,500
68022 – $483,606
68130 – $384,000
68007 – $382,151
68118 – $363,725

Bottom Line

If you have questions about home prices in your neighborhood, or how much equity your home might have, let’s connect so you have an expert’s advice.

Grow Omaha Residential is developed and sponsored by Joe Finlay, REALTOR with NP Dodge Real Estate.

Grow Omaha University

Leadership & Sales Insights for Ambitious People

Compiled by Grow Omaha co-founJeff Bealsder and sales trainer 

Sponsored by MyStaff, Inc.

Leadership & Management

People are more likely to follow someone who conveys a since of why they do what they do, according to leadership expert Simon Sinek. Leading with Why inspires followers and creates a unified sense of purpose. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a prime example of someone who led with their Why, Sinek says. King’s message was clear, emotionally compelling, and positively influential, so he acquired a vast following of loyal people who propelled a collective vision forward.

As an influential person in your company, do you lead with Why?

Nobody likes a boss who singles people out, embarrassing them in front of colleagues. Nobody likes a boorish boss, who pontificates all the time either. People especially hate micromanagers. Business author Mike Weinberg, summed this all up with a simple equation:

Embarrassing + Pontificating + Micromanaging = Disengaged Team


Sales Call Statistic – 42 percent of sales reps feel they don’t have enough information before making a prospecting call, according to Spotio.

When prospecting large companies, always think about the next key person you can meet. Keep asking your contacts inside the company, “Who else can I talk to in the company who can help me just like you have?” You don’t want to depend on only one contact inside a large organization.


“Wise leaders generally have wise counselors…” – Diogenes of Sinope

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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Winter Wonderland happening now – Jan 2, 2023: The Fontenelle Forest has transformed its Great Hall into a Winter Wonderland for all to enjoy. Experience the dazzling displays of decorated trees and wreaths. Keep the festive spirit going by heading outside to their lighted river view boardwalk!

2022 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship Finals on December 15th & 17th: Join volleyball fans from across the country as top teams in the nation compete for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship! Catch all the action, December 15th & 17th at the CHI Health Center Omaha, hosted by the University of Nebraska and Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority.

Jingle Ball on December 17th: Dress up in your very best clothes and support a non-profit that helps bring the joy of dance and community to hundreds of people in the Omaha metro area. The Omaha Jitterbugs is hosting a Jazz sensation ball on December 17th open to all those who would like to join. Support the community by dancing the night away in your best outfit!

Santastravaganza on December 17th & 18th: Nebraska Furniture Mart is hosting a two-day Santastravaganza that has fun for everyone! This event will feature live entertainment, a hot chocolate bar, and an area to take photos with Santa. Bring out the entire family for sweet treats, entertainment, gifts, and more at the Santastravaganza!

Mug News Social on December 20th: Support the community by celebrating each other’s endeavors and connecting with people in and outside of your network! Mug.News Social highlights startups and entrepreneurs within the Omaha area and provides a space to learn about people within the community. This monthly event features local businesses, investors, and startups.

Holiday Lights Festival Display at The Old Market happening now – Jan 2, 2023: Tis the season for snow fall, cold weather, and beautiful lights! This festive display can be seen from 10th to 13th streets and from Farnam to Jackson streets. Experience the city’s dazzle and decor before it’s over!

This Upcoming Events section is sponsored by Eagle Mortgage Company, is a locally owned and full-service mortgage company in Omaha.

Eagle Mortgage can help you realize your dream of owning a home.

People in the News

Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law

a beautiful blue and white house with a green lawn
digital rendering of Flatiron District project buildings

Ed Prosser, senior vice president at Omaha-based Scoular, has been asked to serve on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.  Prosser will serve a two-year term, representing the interests of commercial users of derivatives in agricultural products, as well as the viewpoints of Scoular. The Commission, a federal agency, promotes the integrity, resilience and vibrancy of the U.S. derivates markets through regulation.

American National Bank has promoted Jason Tiedtke to director of specialty finance. He leads a team that provides transportation financing and asset-based lending to a 10-state region.

Omaha Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Logan has announced her resignation effective June 2023.

In memoriam – Former Omaha Sports Commission president Harold Cliff has died. He played a key role in the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, which were held in Omaha in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Before retiring to his native country of Canada, Cliff also served as president of Nebraska Multisport Complex in La Vista.

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.

Wall Street: The Week in Review

with George Morgan

The author is founder of Morgan Investor Education of Omaha.

Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law

Views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

According to Webster, it is also a conscious effort to block out or ignore reality. That makes Cramer and his acolytes the poster child for Egyptian rivers.

During their morning jibber jabber, Cramer, Carl and David conducted a lengthy discussion about the market’s recent bout of volatility. They concluded that “the quants are in control.” Translation: the computers are running the show.

Eight hours later, during his evening program, Cramer gave a 10-minute lecture on stock prices. This time, the value of the underlying company determines stock prices. It seems that reality depends on the time of day.

Before leaving Big Jim, I feel compelled to offer a few thoughts and observations about his Mad Money program. He starts by taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves. He then he goes over to a panel full of knobs. Each knob makes a goofy sound that he uses to emphasize the point he’s trying to make. It reminds me of the old Howdy Doody Show. Clarabelle the Clown, walked around with a bicycle horn on his belt, which he honked insistently for no apparent reason. Cramer: Same thing minus the clown nose.

Vanguard was one of the founding fathers of the Wall Street-West paradigm: minimize fees: Mr. Market will do his thing; and ignore market forecasts. Thus, I was pleased to learn that Vanguard is pushing back against a bunch of wackos at the SEC who are directing money managers to force publicly traded firms to become environmental activists. Vanguard‘s response to their effort was, stick it in your ear. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients which means growing their investments comes before saving the planet.”

Following this revelation, I received a marketing piece in the mail from the aforementioned mutual fund firm soliciting my business. Their marketing pitch offered to run my portfolio through a computer loaded with 10,000 potential market scenarios. The computer would then match me with the perfect portfolio mix. This is 180° from the Wall Street-West paradigm which understands that forecasts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Going back to the Cramer thing, how is a computer going to guide you through an emotional market using a program run by logic??

I was pleasantly surprised to find a full-page Schwab ad in the Wall Street Journal. The thrust of their pitch was, if you want to manage your own investments, we have the necessary infrastructure. Or, if you would like to fly your ideas by a financial professional, we can do that too. Bottom line: There are platforms which allow you to manage your own portfolio: A cornerstone of the Wall Street-West paradigm.

George Morgan is founder of Morgan Investor Education of Omaha.

Stories Coffee Co. Now Open at Midtown Crossing!

Stories Coffee Co. Now Open at Midtown Crossing

Locally-owned Stories Coffee Company has opened their doors near 31st and Farnam in the heart of Midtown Crossing. Their goal from the start has been to create spaces where stories have a place to live, grow, and connect and that continues in Midtown. Stories Coffee Co. is the perfect place to get your morning coffee, study or catch up with friends! Be sure to follow Stories on Facebook and Instagram!

Have You Watched Grow O on Video Yet?

Jeff Beals, Trenton Magid and a guest in the KFAB 1110 Radio Booth

The Grow Omaha radio show broadcasts live every Saturday morning at 9:00, but now you can watch videos of each episode instead of just listening.

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

Videos include News of the Week, Lightning Round, guest interviews, and “Grow Omaha Uncut,” a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during commercial breaks.

Support the Grow “O” Mission

Don’t keep this newsletter to yourself. Forward it to your friends, clients and co-workers. You want to know the real reason we produce this report? It’s to remind Omahans about the vibrant, prosperous and growing city they call home. The more Omaha residents believe in their city, the more successful we’ll all be. Spread the news!

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