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Weekly Market Report – January 11, 2024
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Restaurant & Retail Updates
Fōwling Warehouse plans to open an Omaha location this summer at 5585 North 90th Street. Interior construction on the space is now underway. Fōwling Warehouse is described as “the original football bowling pin game.” Participants use footballs to knock over bowling pins. The company currently has seven locations in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Indiana and Georgia.
Three restaurants have signed leases at Blackstone Square, a newly constructed commercial building at 3863 FARNAM STREET, according to Oak Investment Real Estate. The yet-to-be-announced restaurants include a full-service, sit-down place, a breakfast-and-lunch restaurant and place known for late night snacks. One small space remains in the building. The owner is targeting a bar or small retail concept.
The former Over Easy restaurant space at 16859 Q Street is going to become Hydes Slydes Burgers & Fries. The business has a food truck and an existing location inside the Grover Inn at 3505 South 42nd Street.
The BBQ Brothers recently opened at 321 Comanche Street in Council Bluffs. The “brothers” are friends and business partners who worked together as chefs at the Veterans Administration. The partners also operate a food truck.
While it has not officially been announced, it appears as if Sam’s Club will be opening a store at 183rd & West Maple Road. The site is currently farm ground on the north side of Maple. Plans also call for an apartment complex immediately north of Sam’s Club. Costco is building a store just to the east. Fleet Farm has announced plans to build immediately to the south.
World Liquor has opened on the southwest corner of 156th & State Street. The store has an existing location at 2219 N 90th Street. Immediately to the south, a retail strip center is under construction. One of its tenants will be Hay Jay Coffee, which has an existing location at 1416 North Saddle Creek Road.
Arctic Spa, a new franchise, will be moving into the former Stereo West space at 20330 Veterans Drive in Elkhorn, according to Investors Realty. The company is moving into the 3,900 sq. ft. space on February 1st and sells hot tubs and related items.
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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 Tupelo Honey, some of the southern classics hit the spot while others could use a bit more soul
Omaha’s lineup of restaurants serving solid Southern cuisine is still fairly short. A trio comes to mind: Herbe Sainte, Mouth of the South, Acadian Grille.
Now there’s a new contender: Tupelo Honey, the first restaurant to open east of 10th street in downtown Omaha’s new Mercantile development.
After two visits, I found some dishes to like and a surprisingly good spirit-free cocktail — but the dishes I enjoyed most were not the ones I expected.
Before we get into the nitty gritty: It is pretty cool to dine on 8th and Harney Street for the first time ever as a downtown Omaha resident. Situated just east of the Old Market on newly constructed roads that were once part of the ConAgra campus, I’m guessing that the giant patio outside Tupelo Honey will be mighty popular once spring rolls around.
I had not heard of Tupelo Honey, but I learned it is part of a national chain of restaurants based in Asheville, N.Ca. It has more than 20 locations across the country with a dozen more planned openings. The restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and diners will also receive a full menu of cocktails and wine.
I was most curious to try the restaurant’s fried chicken, available as a half bird, just white meat, just dark meat or in a sandwich. It comes smothered in either gravy or hot honey, or topped with the restaurant’s signature “honey dust,” which is what we opted for.
I thought it was just ok. While the outside was hot and crisp, the white meat was somewhat dry, and I did not get the burst of sweet flavor I expected from the “dust.” The dark meat had more flavor and was juicier, and I’d opt for it if I were to order again. On a sandwich topped with a hot honey sauce, it read about the same: a touch dry.
Instead, I found that southern flavor elsewhere, most notably in the cast iron pork. Slow cooked in rich duck fat, the meat is super tender and topped with a Sriracha honey glaze that has a flavor similar to hoisin sauce. It’s served with bright pickled red onion and fresh cilantro. I’d order it again.
Also good was a bowl of creamy, cheesy grits topped with a handful of good-sized shrimp, chorizo and a red creole sauce. The grits, interestingly flavored with goat cheese, are lovely, creamy and unusual. The shrimp on this one is nicely cooked, and the chorizo and sauces lend plenty of spice. My only complaint: the whole dish could have been hotter.
I didn’t think we could leave without trying the fried green tomatoes. Served on top of a pile of grits that was, this time, steaming hot, they are good: coated in a crisp breading of mid-thickness and fried to a golden brown. The tomatoes had a texture somewhat tough, but it’s January in Nebraska, so I gave them a pass.
The menu boasts many side dishes, and we sampled several. The best of the bunch had to be the savory, smoky collard greens. Flavored with the scent of barbecue smoke and plenty of chunks of savory pork, they’re a well-executed classic. We also enjoyed the “biscuit for a cause” — the proceeds go to Tupelo Honey Relief & Development Funds that aid Tupelo employees in need. Tender inside and just-crisp outside, served with a big knob of butter and a bowl of homemade jam, this good biscuit is tough to argue with.
I wished the macaroni and cheese had a creamier sauce. Ours had a grainy finish I didn’t care for. And the broccolini served with a chipotle aioli, like the shrimp and grits, could have been hotter.
I exchanged some emails with the restaurant’s executive chef, Hunter Bushong, but we were not able to chat before my deadline.
The restaurant has a robust drink list, a fine wine list and several spirit-free cocktails being it’s Dry January, though several, including house made ginger beer, Southern sodas and hopped sweet tea are always there.
I’m (mostly) abstaining from drinking this month, and I really enjoyed the Lyre’s buzz free bees knees, made with a zero-proof Tequila alternative that I’ve already ordered and enjoyed at home as part of a zero proof margarita.
When we visited in December, I liked their fully leaded blood orange margarita and a bright, cucumbery green cocktail called “So Fresh and so Green, Green.”
I expected more from the staples on Tupelo Honey’s menu, but I found most of the dishes just okay. Southern food can be absolutely fun or original, but the very best Southern food I have eaten has one ingredient I didn’t find on my two visits to this Omaha outpost: soul.
Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar
Mon – Thurs: 11a – 9p
Fri: 11a – 10p
Sat: 10a – 10p
Sun: 10a – 9p
The Big Story
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Phpto Above: Riverfront Place Condos by Brad Williams
Slow Pace of Omaha Condo Development
In the early 2000’s, downtown Omaha experienced a condo boom.
Multiple historic buildings were converted into condos – The Brandeis Building, Beebe + Runyan, Kimball Lofts and many others. Several new condo projects were built from the ground up – Rows at SoMa, jLofts on the Market and the twin towers of Riverfront Place along the Missouri River.
It was the golden age of condos in Omaha, and it was especially noticeable downtown. Some Realtors started specializing in downtown condos. There was even an annual condo tour in which busses ferried potential buyers – and curious tire-kickers – from property to property all day long.
And then – just like that – it stopped. The Great Recession of 2008 shut down the condo market and it is yet to recover.
Today, 16 years after the market tanked, condo development remains practically non-existent. The single-family housing market has had several boom years since 2008, but condo development has still not recovered.
In fact, a grand total of zero new residential condo units were completed in Omaha in 2023, according to Robert Dailey, an attorney with McGrath North and an expert is condominium law. It’s hard to believe that a metropolitan area of 1 million people produced no new condo units in an entire year’s time.
Because Omaha offers short commutes and relatively few traffic jams, condo development is not as imperative here as it is in much larger markets. But a bigger reason for the condo downturn might have been the growth of construction defect litigation since the early 2000s.
“With condos, if one or two buyers have a problem (with the construction of their new unit) they might convince a condo association, which is basically like a home owners association, to sue on behalf of all the owners,” Dailey said. That scared off developers and put a damper on condo development nationwide, not just Omaha.
But a relatively new law has removed much of the concern about construction defect litigation, Dailey said, and could soon pave the way for another Omaha condo boom.
As part of the Nebraska Condominium Act in 2020, the Nebraska Legislature established three, pro-developer changes:
1. The statute of limitations to sue a condo developer for construction defects was reduced from four years to two.
2. Pre-litigation cure period – Before a condo owner can file a lawsuit, he or she must notify the developer and give him or her three months to fix the defect plus additional time if the developer is diligently working on the problem.
3.The most important change is that condo associations can no longer bring claims against the developer. Only individual condo owners can.
The new law has been in place for a few years now, so why hasn’t it led to a condo development resurgence?
“Developers just don’t know about it yet, so they’re still not really thinking of condos as an option,” Dailey said.
There are reasons to believe a condo comeback might be just around the corner. Dailey pointed to all the Omaha-based snowbirds, many of whom would enjoy the convenience of condo living when they’re here in town. Additionally, we keep hearing about developers who are contemplating residential projects in the downtown and midtown areas.
“There were many cases in the past when condos built in Omaha’s urban core actually sold fast as long as the price of the condos were perceived to be of value,” Dailey said. “I’m optimistic; people still like condos, and people like living downtown.”
But a potential condo boom doesn’t have to be limited to urban Omaha. While we tend to envision downtown when we think about condos, there are condos all over the metro area. In fact, the majority of Omaha’s existing condos are in suburban neighborhoods.
“Two-thirds of the condo development Omaha had in the 2000s was suburban,” Dailey said.
Grow Omaha Snippets
Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:
Several development projects are underway in Ashland. Construction has started on the Oxbow Crossing development at U.S. Highway 6 & Silver Street, which will have a healthcare facility, a Runza restaurant and Ruhlman’s Steakhouse, according to The Ashland Gazette. Work has also begun on the Ashland Brewing Company entertainment destination south of U.S. Highway 6 at Nebraska Highway 66.
Peak Sales Recruiting released a study on the Best States to Work in 2024 after analyzing data from the Census Bureau, BLS, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Tax Foundation from 2022 and 2023. Nebraska came in at number 10.
The Thirty Seven West Farnam building is entering a new stage of construction. The 9-story, mixed-use building is rising in the Blackstone District. The ground floor will be retail. Floors two through four will be a parking garage open to the public. The top five floors will be residential. The first four floors are now in place. Work has begun topping out the elevator shaft and stairwells.
The State of Nebraska will award $89.6 million in economic recovery money to a partnership led by the North Omaha-based Omaha Economic Development Corp. to build a business park near Eppley Airfield, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The state also will give $35 million from another pot of federal economic recovery funds to the City of Omaha to help build a new community center and sports complex in Levi Carter Park.
Metro Credit Union is building an automated “branch” on the northwest corner of Saddle Creek Road and Farnam Street. When it opens, it will replace Metro’s existing branch just to the south.
Construction is progressing nicely on the Baby Bob bridge located north of CHI Health Center Omaha. The pedestrian bridge will connect North Downtown with the Riverfront when it’s completed late this year. Several vertical support piers have already been installed.
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.”
Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fining Nebraska Beef nearly $275,000 according to the Omaha World Herald, after an investigation determined that the plant violated numerous federal safety standards that resulted in an employee getting severely injured last June. Nebraska Beef’s plant is located at 4501 South 36th Street.
Berkshire Hathaway settled a billion-dollar lawsuit with the Haslam family over how Berkshire accounted for the value of Pilot Travel Centers, which would affect the price paid in a forced buyout of the family’s remaining stake in that truck-stop giant, according to CNBC.
Drips Botanical Elements at 1820 Vinton street has changed into Drips Botanical Elements Pod which now has event and classroom space, as well as additional retail space.
Flooring NuVo has opened in Gretna at 20005 Husker Drive. A grand opening celebration will take place January 20th. The business offers flooring products as well as installation and design services.
An 11,785 sq. ft. office building at 13206 Cottner Street recently sold for $1,680,000, according to Chris Falcone of NAI NP Dodge, who represented the buyer.
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
A Look Back at 2023 Real Estate in Omaha
By Joe Finlay
Below are Omaha real estate statistics, comparing 2023 to 2022. It is important to note that this data comes from the Great Plains MLS system. Any sales of “for sale by owner” or sales of new construction homes that never reached the MLS are not included.
Douglas County Existing Homes
The median sales price of existing homes increased to about $275,000, which represents a 7.8 percent increase over 2022.
There were 5,799 closed sales of existing homes in 2023, which represents a decrease of about 17 percent compared to 2022.
There were 111 closed sales of existing homes priced at $1 million or more. This represents an 11 percent increase over 2022.
Douglas County New Construction
The median sales price of new construction homes remained flat compared to 2022 at about $465,000.
There were 809 closed sales of new construction homes in 2023, which represents a decrease of about 5.6 percent.
Sarpy County Existing Homes
The median sales price of existing homes increased to about $300,000, which represents a 3.5 percent increase compared to 2022.
There were 1,933 closed sales of existing homes in 2023, which represents a decrease of 16 percent compared to 2022.
There were 13 closed sales of existing homes priced at $1 million or more. This represents a 116 percent increase compared to 2022.
Sarpy County New Construction
The median sales price of new construction homes saw a slight increase up to $465,000, up 3.5 percent compared to 2022.
There were 122 closed sales of new construction homes in 2023, which represents a decrease of about 20 percent.
Median sales prices are up in both counties with increases in the number of million-dollar sales in existing homes. With inventory still at historical lows, the number of sales were down overall. The national forecasts suggest there will be an 18 percent increase in 2023. Only time will tell if Omaha will experience that increase. Let’s connect to talk through your real estate questions!
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
Sponsored by Dundee Bank
LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
While nobody likes a know-it-all, indecisive leadership might be even worse. Decisive leaders make quick and efficient decisions. This helps them troubleshoot problems and achieve success quickly, according to Indeed.com. When choosing a solution, think about the goals, then pick a solution that aligns with those goals.
Thirty-nine percent of surveyed employers said they prefer to hire older job seekers over recent college grads, in part because young professionals don’t make good impressions in job interviews, according to Business Insider. Half of the employers said young recruits struggled to make eye contact and/or said a young candidate showed up wearing inappropriate attire. Nearly 20 percent have had a Gen Z candidate bring a parent to the interview!
Thirty-one percent of Gen Zers live with a parent or family member because they can’t afford to rent or buy their own place, a new survey of 1,249 U.S. adults from Intuit Credit Karma finds.
Amid the wave of good news at the end of 2023 – solid corporate earnings, stock markets rising and the promise of generative AI and other new technologies – some corporate chiefs have scaled back their expectations of recession risk, according to the Wall Street Journal. Even so, many remain rather sober about the year ahead.
Business Travel – Here were 2023’s five busiest global airports, according to Travel Asia Weekly: 1. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL); 2. Dubai International (DXB); 3. Tokyo Haneda (HND); 4. London Heathrow (LHR); 5. Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW).
Stop looking for sales hacks and shortcuts, says sales expert Mike Weinberg. “There are no secrets or shortcuts to sales success; every top-producer I’ve ever observed has mastered the basics of selling. You would do better to spend less time searching for trick moves and the secret sauce.” Reinvest that new-found time working to create new opportunities.
Eighty-four percent of B2B decision makers begin the buying process with a referral, according to Sales Benchmark Index.
Prospecting Tip – Sales author Mark Hunter recommends you talk with the people who supply you and find out who else they sell to. “Remember, if they’re in your supply chain, they’re probably in someone else’s supply chain. Talk to the people in your supply chain; this can very easily be other customers and usually isn’t that big of a deal. It’s amazing what you can get just out of your own supply chain because people know you.”
BradBird 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!
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
Did You Know?
Surprising Facts, Figures & Points of Pride That Make Omaha Unique
This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage.
Did you know the University of Nebraska Medical Center enrolled 4,555 students at the start of the Fall 2023 semester?
Did you know there was an airline crash in Nebraska? In 1966, a Braniff Airlines jet crashed near Falls City, killing all 42 on board. Fourteen of the passengers were from Omaha. Source: Howard A. Hamilton
Did you know that CHI Health Center Omaha has 32 luxury suites and more than 1,000 club seats?
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
Powered by Vesta
Midwest Best Comedy on January 12th: Come out to Blackstone Theater for a Friday night of laughs and fun! Stand-up comics from the Midwest and beyond are bound to leave you laughing like you never have before. Bring your friends, partner or colleagues down to the Blackstone District for this hour-long comedy showcase!
Date Day: Craft Mocktail Making and Charcuterie Board Building on January 13th: Forever Smitten is hosting a unique date event perfect for couples in Omaha, featuring an expert-led lesson on crafting non-alcoholic cocktails and building the ideal charcuterie board! The event, elevated to an art form by Mi-Ya, offers an engaging and creative experience. Tickets are priced at $100 and cover you and your plus-one. The ticket includes two non-alcoholic cocktails and a charcuterie board for two with various delicacies. Come out for a night of fun with your loved one!
Art Battle Omaha on January 13th: Get ready to witness an electrifying showdown as skilled artists go head-to-head in a high-speed, three-round battle to create awe-inspiring artwork right before your very eyes! As the night unfolds, all of the stunning artwork produced during the competition will be up for grabs in an exclusive auction. But the real kicker? You get to play judge and jury and cast your vote for the ultimate winner. Come out for an unforgettable night of creativity and community!
Night Light: Glow on January 18th: Play at adults-only Thursday nights with exhibits and provocative programs that will expand your brain and spark joy. As the nights grow longer, make plans to join others for a joyful exhibition of light, art and science. Explore art from international and local artists plus exhibits and interactive activities!
Explorer Series – Port Wine on January 18th: Port wine, one of the oldest protected wine identities globally, has been a sensation for centuries because of its unique fortified nature, which allows it to last longer both before and after opening. This event focuses on exploring the identity, history and flavors of Port wine. Participants will learn about the grape characteristics and how terroir influences the taste. Bring a friend, partner or come solo and explore the Port Wine series!
People in the News
Sponsored by Baird Holm Attorneys at Law
The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business have announced three 2024 inductees into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame: Sid Dinsdale, chairman of Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc.; Lance Fritz, former chairman & CEO of Union Pacific Railroad; and the Hornady Family – Steve and Jason Hornady, serve as president and vice president of Hornady Manufacturing Company in Grand Island.
Frankel, an Omaha-based accounting, tax, consulting, and business advisory services firm, has promoted Dan Shepherd, CPA, and Dan Morris, CPA, to partner.
The Sarpy County Board has selected the second in command in the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office as the next county administrator, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Bonnie Moore, who has been with the county since 2013, will lead an organization of more than 700 employees in Nebraska’s fastest-growing county. Her contract began Tuesday and runs through Dec. 31, 2026.
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.
This edition of my insightful commentary is about the old wives’ tale that index investing is a strictly buy-and-hold approach. As a result of my bloviating, I expect to be bombarded with a plethora of hate mail from old wives.
There are more than 2,100 market indexes and 8,300 index funds currently available to the investing public, and the number increases daily. These funds are owned by 190 million investors with a total value of $15 trillion. Of this total, $5 trillion are in funds that mimic the S&P 500.
My erudite guess is that the old wives’ shtick is a holdover from the Berkshire meetings of the 80’s and 90’s. As the crowd listened with baited breath, Warren and Charlie would vociferously proclaim that they owned stocks with permanent value and their hold time was FOREVER. End of discussion.
Fast forward 2024, and you will find that of those dozen or so FOREVER stocks, only two remain in the Berkshire portfolio – Coca-Cola and American Express. Over the past decade Coca-Cola, has underperformed the market by more than 200 percent and American Express by only 35 percent. So much for permanent value. Also, during the aforementioned meetings, Warren and Charlie would proclaim with equal vigor that they would never own a tech stock, because they didn’t understand them. Today Apple is 43 percent of Berkshire’s investment portfolio.
Of the 8,300 index funds available to the investing public, 35 percent of them are Exchange Traded Funds. ETF’s are mutual funds that are traded on the exchanges, just like stocks. If you go to the Wall Street Journal section on the most active stocks, you will find that on a regular basis, among the top 10 most actively traded stocks are various index fund ETFs. The most common one being SPY, which is the largest S&P 500 ETF.
In further support of my initial proposition, I submit to you a recent Barron’s article that reported a growing trend among traditional Wall Street brokers to use index funds in building their robo portfolios. Ten years ago, the use of index funds by a Wall Street broker would have been deemed an impeachable offense. The activity level in these robos accounts various from broker to broker, anywhere from four times a year, to 20 plus.
Investing is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and what works for your neighbor may not work for you. And as a corollary to Jack Bogle’s theorem, “Forget the Needle, Buy the Haystack,” I would add, “There’s nothing wrong with changing haystacks.” Another old wives’ tale hopefully put to rest.
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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.
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