Weekly Market Report – February 1, 2024

Feb 1, 2024 | 0 comments

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Restaurant & Retail Updates

Insomnia Cookies plans to open soon at 225 North 12th Street, Suite 101, in the Capitol District downtown. The Philadelphia-based chain has more than 240 locations and is known for delivering warm cookies.

Memoir will officially open Monday, February 5th at 930 Harney Street in a corner space in the Brickline at The Mercantile building. Memoir is a new signature grill concept owned by Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant, which also owns Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Flagship Commons at the Westroads, Plank Seafood Provisions, Roja and others. Flagship is planning at least three other downtown Omaha restaurants that will open in 2024.

Lighthouse Bar & Grill is opening at 218 South 8th Street in Blair, according to Investors Realty. The business has three existing locations at 132nd & West Center Road, 156th & West Maple Road and in Tiburon Point at 10215 South 168th Street.

Two Omaha restaurants made Yelp’s List of Top 100 Places to Eat in the USA. Everett’s Bar & Grill at 8807 Maple Street ranked #93. Corner Kitchen, a Mexican restaurant at 4218 South 50th Street, ranked #98.

The J. Crew Factory Store is now open in a former Pottery Barn Kids space at Regency Shopping Center. J. Crew Factory has an existing metro area store at Nebraska Crossing.

Bon Vivant Suites will hold a ribbon cutting Monday, February 5th at 10748 Virginia Plaza in La Vista. The business provides salon suites for hair stylists, estheticians and massage therapists.

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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

The Big Story

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image of a beautiful home with a landscaped yard and curved driveway to highlight the street of dreams

Above: Photo by Brad Williams.

New Metro Traffic Report Shows Big Increases in Sarpy and Douglas Counties

New traffic data from the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency show that rural areas of Sarpy County and Douglas County where development is occurring experienced the greatest increase in traffic in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area from 2020 to 2022. MAPA’s 2022 Regional Traffic Patterns Report also shows traffic in the region increased 13.4 percent overall during the same period.

MAPA produces a biennial Regional Traffic Patterns Report, an analysis of regional and sub-regional traffic patterns, in conjunction with the Traffic Flow Map, the Top Intersections Report, and the Top Interchanges Report. Find them here.

Data indicate traffic increased by 15 percent in Sarpy County, 13 percent in Douglas County and 13 percent in Pottawattamie and Mills Counties. Traffic in rural or exurban areas of Douglas and Sarpy Counties being developed increased between 23 to 28 percent.

All data is collected and measured by the changes in Annual Average Daily Traffic and Vehicles Miles Traveled.

From 2020 to 2022, Vehicle Miles Traveled also increased by 10 percent in Omaha’s urban core.

“The urban core is a large employment center for the region and it is likely that a shift back to working in offices after the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to this increase,” said Owen Stuckey, MAPA GIS Coordinator. “While traffic increased overall in the region between 2020 to 2022, the growth is still less than the traffic growth in 2019 before the pandemic.”

90th and Dodge Street remains the busiest intersection in the metro area with 91,000 vehicles per day followed by the intersections of 120th and L Street and 72nd and Dodge Street.

The Interstate 680 and Interstate 80 interchange has overtaken the I-480/Kennedy Freeway and I-80 interchange as the busiest interchange with 231,000 vehicles per day. The interchanges of I-480/Kennedy Freeway and I-80 and 72nd Street and I-80 rank second and third respectively.

Traffic data for the Omaha-Council Bluffs region is located on MAPA’s Traffic Data Portal, www.mapacog/traffic.

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Grow Omaha Snippets

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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Brad Williams has released his latest Grow Omaha Construction Update video sponsored by Lueder Construction. The 9-minute video features a number of development projects ranging from Millwork Commons to the Blackstone District to 50th & Leavenworth. Watch the video HERE.

In an article marking one year since the start of construction on Mutual of Omaha’s 677-foot skyscraper headquarters building, WOWT reports that the concrete shear tower, the central core of the building, should reach 200 feet within six months and 300 feet by the end of this year. When the project is complete in 2026, it will be the tallest building in a multi-state region.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation will receive $15.3 million in federal grants for improvements to 21 airports across the state, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Eppley Airport will receive the largest grant, $5.37 million, to help pay for the $65 million glass canopy being installed over the terminal drive. The Millard Airport will receive $293,000 to repave 1,500 feet of its taxi lane.

In its recent article naming retired Kiewit CEO Ken Stinson as “Midlander of the Year,” the Omaha World-Herald reported that 2 million people have already visited the three newly renovated Riverfront parks downtown. More than 40,000 have visited Heartland of America Park’s skating ribbon since it converted from roller skating to ice skating in late November. Stinson, along with former Valmont CEO Mogens Bay, was the driving force behind the $350 million downtown parks overhaul.

Frontier Airlines is adding a seasonal nonstop flight between Omaha Eppley Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport starting May 17th. It will be the third airline providing nonstops between Omaha and Dallas. American Airlines has several daily nonstops to DFW. Southwest Airlines offers daily nonstops between Omaha and Dallas’ Love Field.

The Holland Foundation recently made a $4.5 million commitment to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. At UNMC, a $2 million gift will establish the Richard D. Holland Presidential Chair in Public Health. At UNO, the Holland Foundation is adding $2.5 million to a fund it initially created in 2023 to provide scholarships to UNO students studying arts and communication.

Gov. Jim Pillen last week announced $234 million in recovery grants to 130 organizations in north and South Omaha. The grants, which were determined by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, are expected to create 9,250 jobs in the next five years.

Some of the largest grants include $39 million for the Q Street Corridor Recovery Partnership in South Omaha, $25 million to help renovate Plaza de la Raza at 24th & N Street, $10 million for the City of Omaha’s multipurpose sports complex at Levi Carter Park, and $10 million for North End Teleservices’ $65 million global headquarters project near 24th & Lake Street. In addition to office space, Northend’s 4-story building would include 102 apartments plus commercial space.

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:

Fortune has released its “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway is ranked Number 4 in the world. The top three are Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. Union Pacific also made the list for the 18th time in the past 22 years and is the highest ranked railroad in the trucking, transportation and logistics category.

After falling below growth neutral in November, the Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, bounced above the 50.0 growth neutral threshold for both December and January. The index climbed from 50.3 in December to 50.9 in January.

Scoular has acquired three grain handling facilities in central Kansas, enabling the company to more than double its storage capacity in the region. The three facilities, purchased from Skyland Grain and located in Trousdale, Cullison and Greensburg, significantly expand the company’s footprint in central Kansas, where it has operated a shuttle-loading facility in nearby Pratt for over a decade.

Union Pacific Corporation reported 2023 fourth quarter net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.71 per diluted share. This compares to 2022 fourth quarter net income of $1.6 billion, or $2.67 per diluted share. Reported net income for full-year 2023 was $6.4 billion, or $10.45 per diluted share. These full-year results compare to full-year 2022 net income of $7.0 billion, or $11.21 per diluted share.

Farmers and ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming will be receiving an estimated $357 million in cash-back dividends returned by Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America as part of the financial cooperative’s patronage program. Eligible customer-owners were issued cash-back dividend checks the last week of January.

AMCON Distributing Company, an Omaha-based consumer products company has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per common share. This cash dividend is payable on February 12th, to shareholders of record as of February 2, 2024.

In a recent investigation, Better Business Bureau of the Midwest Plains has uncovered a fraudulent company impersonating Omaha Steaks. BBB has received several Scam Tracker reports related to the fraudulent business, which operates under the name “Omaha Steak Factory.” Its website was active as of Tuesday, January 16, 2024. Notably, there is no registration for this business with the Nebraska Secretary of State.

Green Plains Inc. will release fourth quarter and full year 2023 financial results prior to the market opening on February 7, 2024, and then host a conference call beginning at 8 a.m. Central to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2023 performance and outlook.

Reports of the death of American shopping malls are greatly exaggerated thanks in part to young consumers. Gen Z — people ages 16 to 26 — prefer in-person as much as online shopping, if not more, according to the Los Angeles Times. About 97 percent of Gen Z survey respondents said they shop at brick-and-mortar stores.

While many American cities are struggling with large numbers of newly arrived migrants, Topeka, Kan. is inviting anyone and everyone with permission to work in the U.S. to come its way, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Kansas capital is grappling with near-stagnant population growth, an unemployment rate well below the national average and 6,600 open jobs. The Greater Topeka Partnership has been trying to sell people on the city with its “Choose Topeka” campaign, which started in 2019. Last year, it decided to direct those efforts toward immigrants, especially those from Spanish-speaking countries.

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

Compiled by Grow Omaha co-founder and sales trainer Jeff Beals.

Sponsored by Dundee Bank

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

When people hear the word, “success,” they tend to think of an accomplishment or the attainment of a goal – a destination. But that’s just a measurement, or perhaps proof of success. Truly successful people learn to love the process and take joy in progress. Such a mentality is more sustainable than the short-term joy that comes from any one accomplishment.

U.S. domestic business travel volume is projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels until 2026, while total business travel spending—both domestic and international—is not forecast to recover before 2028, according to Business Travel News. Global business travel spending is projected to reach $265.5 billion in 2024, nearly 87 percent of 2019 levels. By 2027, it is expected to reach $282.7 billion, 92.4 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

In an attempt to recruit and retain managers, Walmart will offer up to $20,000 in annual stock grants, according to The Hustle. Top managers could earn more than $400,000 a year.

Elon Musk’s social media platform, which slashed roughly 75 percent of its staff in just over a year, is now hiring, according to Fortune. Formerly known as Twitter, X is seeking 70 people for jobs in engineering, sales and operations. But don’t expect free food, massages and other classic Silicon Valley niceties. Elon eliminated most perks and even sold the espresso machines.

SALES

Do you ever find yourself paralyzed with indecision? Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t know what to do first. When that happens, remember this motto: “Default to action.” When in doubt, do something productive. Getting started right now is better than fretting about what to do first. Read the related article HERE.

Seventy-four percent of buyers chose the company that was the first to add value, according to Mareo McCracken of Movemedical. To be the first to add value, you must first have conversations. Reach out and connect with prospects. Once you start a sales conversation, you need knowledge and insights that give them something no one else can.

Reevaluate your sales calls and customer meetings, recommends sales author Mike Weinberg: “Learn how to set up the meeting by sharing your agenda and getting the customer’s input and buy-in. And please stop demo-ing or presenting first, prior to doing adequate discovery. Presenting before probing is sales malpractice, even when the prospect tells you they want a dog and pony show.”

What role do text messages play in cold prospecting? You probably shouldn’t use texts until you have actually had a conversation with a new prospect. Texts are quite effective later in the process.

BragBird gives you an edge when competing for customers. There are 40 modules, each a different topic. Modules include a video and matching workbook. It’s only $79 per month and group discounts are available. You can cancel at any time. If you’re an action-taker, click HERE and get started now!

WISDOM

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

Founded in 2006 right in the heart of Omaha’s Dundee community, Dundee Bank is all about local ownership, friendly customer service, and supporting the needs of our beloved community. With nearly 100% of your deposits going right back into our neighborhoods, Dundee Bank is committed to fueling growth, enabling loans, and fostering stability for you and your neighbors. So why not open an account at Dundee Bank and discover what it means to truly support local?

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Did You Know?

Surprising Facts, Figures & Points of Pride That Make Omaha Unique

This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage.

Did you know Boys Town was once a farm? Father Flanagan purchased the Overlook Farm in 1921 to make room for his expanding group of young boys.

Did you know the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s 2023-24 operating budget is $970 million and that it is 17.3 percent state supported?

Did you know the CHI Health Center Omaha opened in September 2003 and cost $291 million to build?

This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage, an affiliate of Omaha-based McGregor Interests Inc. We provide storage solutions for all of your storage needs. Our facilities have full-time managers and bright lighting to provide superior security for your belongings. In addition to space for rent, we also provide packing supplies, protection plans and locks along with complimentary handcarts and dollies. Visit LockBox Storage and let us help you with all your storage needs.

Upcoming Events in the Metro

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Beetlejuice The Musical from January 30th to February 4th: It’s showtime! Based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film, this hilarious musical tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager whose whole life changes when she meets a recently deceased couple and a demon with a thing for stripes. With an irreverent book, an astonishing set and a score that’s out of this Netherworld. Come out and experience a remarkably touching show about family, love and making the most of every Day-O!

Elevator’s Free Coworking Day on February 5th: Mark your calendar for a monthly occurrence at Elevator Co-Warehousing! Each month they’ll be hosting a free coworking day filled with good vibes, hot coffee and plenty of space. You’ll be surrounded by their lively community of go-getters and trailblazers! Upon arrival, make sure to ring their doorbell and let them know you’re there for the free coworking day.

Classic Speed Dating on February 7th: Join others for an exciting evening of speed dating! The evening will begin with a meet-and-greet, allowing everyone to get to know each other before the speed dating rounds begin. During the speed dating portion of the event, you’ll have the opportunity to chat one-on-one with each participant for a set amount of time before moving on to the next. Smitten Conversation prompts will be provided to ensure that the conversation flows smoothly. After the rounds are complete, you’ll turn in matches and have a chance to get to know the people you connected with at the post-event mixer. Make sure to secure your spot before the event!

Modus Free Coworking Day + Happy Hour with Local Art Plug on February 8th: Modus offers a free coworking day every second Thursday of the month from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring high-speed Wi-Fi, office amenities, and unlimited coffee and tea, with additional catering from local Omaha businesses. After, make sure to attend the complimentary happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., which includes free wine and snacks and special guests from the Local Art Plug. Included is music by DJ Bez and wine served by Kristin May from ROAM, along with a variety of light appetizers from Omaha restaurants!

Date Night – Sips with Your Sweetheart on February 8th: Come along with your significant other for an exceptional date night with Forever Smitten! Experience a special Valentine’s Day cocktail-making class where you and your partner can create delicious cocktails, each complemented with a tasting of various brownies. Be quick to get your tickets, as they are in limited supply!

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

Elevate Search Partners is celebrating its first anniversary. From its inception with founder Jeff Kovar, the company has evolved into a team of six, now including Jason Kroll, Anna Mangels, Justin Oehm, Sam Montag, and Valerie Ford. Elevate Search Partners is an executive search and recruitment firm, that connects top-tier talent with leading organizations.

Lutz, an Omaha-based business solutions firm, recently added Samantha Keller and Allie Vetter in the Omaha office. Keller, CPA, joins the firm as a senior accountant in the tax department. Vetter joins the firm as a senior accountant in the healthcare and client accounting services departments.

Percipio Partners, an Omaha private equity investment company specializing in multi-family real estate, has promoted Doug Anderson to vice president of asset management.

Carole Boye, CEO of Community Alliance, plans to retire later this year after 42 years leading the non-profit organization, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Community Alliance offers behavioral and physical health services and is preparing to open a new headquarters building this spring near 72nd & Mercy Road.

The National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations has named Amber Barna, Chief Clinical Officer of Omaha-based Fusion, to its 2024 board of directors.

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

Morgan is the 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.

And now for the next episode in the fascinating saga of “WHO ARE THOSE GUYS…”

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t see an article in the financial media touting some Buffett stock. Recently, I ran across one entitled “Three incredibly undervalued Buffett stocks that you can buy now and hold forever.” People who wrote this epistolary either haven’t read anything on Buffett in the past 30 years or they are snake oil salesmen. Or both!

When Buffett started his partnership, the first operating company he bought was National Indemnity, a tiny property casualty insurance company located near Turner Park. Buffett realized that insurance companies have a float, which is the money that they take in from insurance premiums and hold until the time comes that they must pay it out. In the meantime, they can invest it and keep the capital gains the portfolio creates.

In the 1980s and 90s, Buffett was the manager of NICO assets and it was the yeast that helped Berkshire grow. At every Berkshire meeting in the 90s, Buffett drove home the point that they had reached the size where they needed to buy whole operating companies instead of stocks. One of the first and biggest was Geico, another property insurance company that expanded the Berkshire investment portfolio exponentially. Before long, Buffett realized that the day-to-day management of the portfolio required more time than he had to devote to it. Sometime in the early 2000s Buffett hired the two T’s to help: Ted Weschler and Todd Combs. Then, roughly 15 years ago, Buffett stepped back to an advisory position, leaving the two T’s in total control.

If you step back and look at today’s Berkshire portfolio, you will discover that it’s a paucity of what it was 40 years ago. It is only 20 percent of the total market cap of Berkshire Hathaway. Almost 50 percent of the portfolio is in Apple, a tech stock Charlie and Warren said they would never buy.

If you dig really deep, you will also find two positions that the Wall Street lackies don’t want to talk about because it destroys their marketing ploy. One is the original Vanguard S&P 500 mutual fund and the other is an S&P 500 ETF. You will also find that Berkshire has more than $150 billion in cash, which is equal to about 40 percent of the total Berkshire equity portfolio.

The moral of the story is that these yahoos need to do their homework to learn what Berkshire 2024 is all about. The Buffet stock picking train left the station many years ago. In the 1994 Berkshire Annual Report Buffett wrote, “By periodically investing in an index fund the know-nothing investor can actually out-perform most investment professionals.” Individual investors are just that, individual investors, not giant economic conglomerates.

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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

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