Weekly Market Report – June 15, 2023

Jun 15, 2023 | 0 comments

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Restaurant & Retail Updates

Flagship Restaurant Group has announced the names of three restaurants it will open in The Mercantile, a 20-acre development at 10th & Harney Street. Memoir is an American grill and bar scheduled to open in July. Two other restaurants will open about a year from now: Cham Pang, a duckpin bowling entertainment venue, and Ghost Donkey, described as an “experience-driven bar that will offer a huge mezcal list – a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of maguey – and nachos.”

Speaking of The Mercantile, the Omaha World-Herald reports that Tupelo Honey Café is planning to open its first Nebraska location in the Brickline Building, at 830 Harney Street, in late October. The Asheville, N.C.-based southern-style chain has more than 20 locations nationwide.

The Fat Putter has opened at 111 North 10th Street in the Capitol District. From the owners of Prehistoric Putt, The Fat Putter is an indoor mini golf lounge featuring four 9-hole courses, a lounge and a full bar plus a kitchen with an appetizer-and-pizza-focused menu.

Hy-Vee opened its 135,000 sq. ft. Gretna store this week at 192nd & Highway 370. It’s the largest store among Hy-Vee’s 285 locations and the first Hy-Vee to be constructed in the metro area since the 180th & Pacific store in 2012.

Doozies Homemade Ice Cream & Burgers has reopened in its new location: the former Jimmy’s All-American Malt Shop at 4105 South 11th Street in Council Bluffs.

Let It Fly Sport Bar is holding a ribbon cutting today for its 12,000 sq. ft. location at 1080 Capitol Avenue downtown. The company’s mission is “to raise the sports-dining bar.” Let It Fly will have more than 400 seats on two levels, expansive patio seating and a live sports podcast studio.

Isaiah Sheese, owner of Omaha’s Archetype Coffee, will be one of 140 competitors in the World Coffee Championships June 21st in Athens, Greece, according to KMTV. Earlier this year, he claimed the title of “U.S. Barista Champion.”

Phyl’s Deli, the relatively new and highly acclaimed New York-style deli in the Old Market, has been closed since April 18th. The restaurant’s Facebook page says, “Due to unfortunate circumstances Phyl’s deli will be temporarily closed until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to seeing our regular customers in due time.”

NOLA.com, the newspaper in New Orleans, published a story yesterday titled, “Here’s what Omaha bars have to say about LSU fans, plus where to go in Omaha.” According to the article, Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill at 43rd & Leavenworth Street immediately doubled its alcohol order as soon as Louisiana State University’s baseball team qualified for the College World Series.

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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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digital rendering of Flatiron District project buildings
Photo by Brad Williams Photography
Aerial view of UNMC

The 5 Most Impactful Developments

Countless development projects have started or at least have been announced over the past year or so. For this week’s Big Story, we examined major development projects inside the Omaha city limits and determined which ones will likely have the biggest impact on the city’s future growth and development. Here are the top five:

1. Project NExT

What is it?

The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine are teaming up with the federal government to create a massive hospital and emergency center that can handle major bio-medical disasters. This project could end up costing more than $3 billion and will comprise over 1 million sq. ft. of floor space. The project, which will be located on the northwestern corner of campus, is expected to create thousands of jobs. Additionally, construction has already started on an Innovation Center on UNMC’s new Saddle Creek Campus. Finally, we should see details about UNMC’s CORE facility, a new administration and research building planned for the southwest corner of Saddle Creek Road & Farnam Street, later this year.

Why did it make the top 5?

Project NExT’s numbers are staggering. The UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus is already one of the largest concentrations of jobs in the region. This project will only make it bigger. All those jobs and visitors, along with the massive investment, will likely cause a real estate building boom within a 3-mile radius of campus. Midtown is already an active, densely populated urban neighborhood. It’s about to become even more so.

2. THE OMAHA STREETCAR

What is it?

The newly created Omaha Streetcar Authority is working to build a 3.3-mile modern streetcar line that would start at CHI Health Center Omaha, proceed south to 10th & Farnam Street and then go west to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. There will be 20 stops along the route. Construction on the $306 million project is expected to begin about a year from now with completion scheduled in 2026.

Why did it make the top 5?

This project is expected to generate more than $3 billion in additional, spin-off development along the route. No other project in modern history has had the potential to fundamentally change Omaha’s urban core as this one likely will. Connecting downtown, Midtown Crossing, the Blackstone District and UNMC, the route is already busy and densely populated by current Omaha standards. Nevertheless, the route has a noticeable amount of under-used surface parking lots. Streetcars have proven to be an effective way of converting parking lots into tax-generating buildings in many other cities.

3. MUTUAL OF OMAHA TOWER

What is it?

Mutual of Omaha has started construction on a $600 million, 44-story, 800,000 sq. ft. headquarters building scheduled to open in 2026. AT 677-feet, it will be the tallest building in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and the Dakotas.

Why did it make the top 5?

It’s just one building but given its height, size and cost, it will have an outsized impact on Omaha’s psyche and image. Having an impressive skyline with several tall buildings conveys a message to both residents and visitors that a city is healthy, vibrant and prosperous. That gives people confidence when they’re thinking about investing in a local market. The tower will likely boost downtown street-level activity by bringing thousands of employees into the central business district.

4. RIVERFRONT PARKS

What is it?

Work is wrapping up on the $300 million overhaul of downtown’s three Riverfront Parks. Gene Leahy Mall opened last summer and has been a hit. Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing are scheduled to open August 18th. Altogether, the three parks will have 72 acres of public space and countless amenities. The parks are managed by Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority, which makes them better maintained and more actively programmed than other city parks. What’s more, the $100 million Kiewit Luminarium recently opened on Lewis & Clark Landing.

Why did it make the top 5?

The two largest of the three parks have not even opened, yet the project is already drawing countless residents, many of whom where not going downtown very often in the past. Because the parks have higher-level amenities and year-round programming, several developers are planning (or at least thinking about) building multifamily and mixed-use projects on adjacent streets.

5. EPPLEY TERMINAL EXPANSION

What is it?

Construction planning is underway on Eppley Airport’s $600 million terminal expansion. There won’t be a huge increase in the number of the gates, but the terminal will be combined into one long corridor. Currently, Eppley is split into two satellite terminals, which creates inefficiencies, crowded waiting areas and a shortage of food, beverage and retail options. Terminal construction should start next year. Construction is just getting underway now on a related project: a massive canopy, that will cover the outdoor passenger loading/unloading lanes.

Why did it make the top 5?

Airports are huge economic drivers for any city and provide an important first impression for millions of visitors. By increasing capacity, aesthetics and comfort in the terminal, Eppley will have room to grow passenger counts while adding new non-stop routes and possibly new carriers.

This section is sponsored by RENZE. For over 128 years, we have been providing our clients with innovative solutions for interior corporate and retail branding, as well as unique exhibits and graphics for tradeshows and events. With leading-edge equipment and quality craftspeople working out of our 90,000 sq. ft. facility, we partner with you to help create your vision. Check out our recent work at Fontenelle Forest HERE!

Grow Omaha Snippets

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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Hines Development held a ribbon cutting last Friday for the Brickline, a mixed-use building northeast of 10th & Harney Street downtown. The 5-story building has 379 apartment units and 35,000 sq. ft. of street-level retail space. The new building is part of The Mercantile, a 20-acre development on the northern half of the ConAgra campus. Several additional buildings are planned on the site.

Mayor Jean Stothert will not recommend an annexation package this year. The annual evaluation of all 139 Sanitary Improvement Districts shows that none meet the Mayor’s annexation goals. All SIDs will be reviewed again in 2024.

The Opening date for the Moxy by Marriott Hotel at 12th & Harney Street in the Old Market has been delayed from June 30th to July 27th. The 6-story, 105-room hotel is new to Nebraska. The closest existing locations are in Minneapolis and Chicago.

Speaking of delays, construction on the Baby Bob bridge in North Downtown was scheduled to begin in May, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Because of material shortages, the starting date will not be October. Construction should take about 18 months.

The City of Omaha will spend $551,000 on a study to determine if West Maple Road should be expanded to six lanes between Interstate 680 to the east and Highway 275 to the west.

In last week’s Big Story, we talked about Omaha’s four Fortune 500 and seven Fortune 1000 headquarters companies. All of Nebraska’s Fortune 1000 companies are based in Omaha. Here’s how Nebraska’s seven companies compare to other regional states: Illinois 59; Colorado 25; Minnesota 25; Missouri 18; Oklahoma 10; Nebraska 7; Kansas 4; Iowa 2; North Dakota 1; South Dakota 1, Wyoming 0.

Employment in Nebraska’s leisure and hospitality industry not only surpassed the pre-pandemic high earlier this year, but around March it exceeded 97,000 for the first time, according to Nebraska Examiner.

The City of Omaha has released a 20-year Citywide Facilities Plan for the Omaha Public Library. No libraries are slated to close. According to the plan, Omaha’s libraries need an additional 100,000 sq. ft. of public space(most of it in west Omaha), costing a projected $215 million. Several existing library buildings would be renovated. A new library building is proposed for southwest Omaha. Additionally, the City is about to start construction on a flagship library at 72nd & Dodge Street.

Omaha ranks #34 on Fortune’s recently published “50 Best Places to Live for Families.” The top three were Cambridge, Mass.; Portsmouth, N.H.; and Silver Spring, Md. Other cities in our region to make the list included Olathe, Kan. #6; Eagan, Minn. #11; Lee’s Summit, Mo. #14; Iowa City, Iowa #17; Fargo. N.D. #30; Sioux Falls. S.D. #35; Cheyenne, Wyo. #39; Denver #40, Oklahoma City #44. Omaha was the third largest city to make the list.

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:

Sixty years after its original debut on broadcast television, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom will return to NBC this fall with an original new series produced by Hearst Media Production Group in an exclusive partnership with Mutual of Omaha. The show will premiere October 7th on NBC’s “The More You Know” programming block, marking an historic return of Wild Kingdom to the network after more than 30 years.

Smith Pauley, LLP, an Omaha-based law firm, will merge with the Rehan Law Firm of Sioux City, Iowa effective July 1st.

Accent Window Fashions celebrated the opening of their new Hunter Douglas showroom at 204th & Blondo Parkway last week with a ribbon cutting and open house. The locally owned business offers custom blinds, shades, shutters, patio shades and area rugs.

Werner Enterprises has been named as a Top 3PL and Cold Storage Provider by Food Logistics, which distinguishes leading third-party logistics and cold storage providers in the refrigerated food and beverage industry.

Calvary Falls Event Center has opened at 2697 Niagara Trail between Missouri Valley and Logan, Iowa. Geared toward weddings, the venue has a chapel and separate reception area with a bar and catering kitchen.

King’s Home Kreations will hold a ribbon cutting June 26th at 4 p.m. for its new showroom at 20330 Veteran’s Drive in Elkhorn. The locally owned company offers kitchen and bath facelifts without tearing out existing fixtures.

A+ Berry, a food-tech start-up based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Innovation Campus, is entering the Omaha market, selling its products at Hy-Vee and other local grocery stores. A+ Berry creates “the highest antioxidant drinks for health and beauty with a new super fruit (aronia berry) grown in Nebraska and the Midwest.

Midtown Medical Group has leased a 5,583 sq. ft office space at 1941 South 42nd Street in The Center Mall, according Maddie Graeve of NAI NP Dodge who represented the tenant.

The Utah Department of Transportation has selected a team led by Omaha-based HDR to provide program management services for its nearly $1 billion FrontRunner Strategic Double Track project. Plans call for adding at least nine new segments of double track along the 83-mile FrontRunner commuter rail system and update signaling systems throughout the corridor. The project is expected to improve the frequency of the system’s peak hour service from 30 minutes to 15 minutes and increase overall service capacity by 55 percent.

Buildertrend, an Omaha-based construction management platform serving home builders and remodelers, has expanded its line of financial services. The latest release is construction financing through a partnership with Parafin, “a company that aims to unlock growth for small businesses and service them in a way traditional lenders can’t.”

Bussey Physical Therapy is now open at 15530 Ida Street in the new Waterford Crossing retail building, according to Oak Investment Real Estate.

After declining below growth neutral for March, the Rural Mainstreet Index for June expanded above the threshold for a third straight month to its highest level since May 2022, according to Creighton University’s monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of our 10-state region. The region’s June reading climbed to 56.9, up from last month’s 55.8. A reading of 50.0 represents 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

This Real Estate Market is the Strongest of Our Lifetime

By Joe Finlay

When you look at the numbers today, the one thing that stands out is the strength of Omaha’s housing market. We can see this is one of the most foundationally strong housing markets of our lifetime – if not the strongest housing market of our lifetime. Three fundamentals prove this point:

The Current Mortgage Rate on Existing Mortgages

First, let’s look at the current rate on existing mortgages. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as of the 4th quarter of last year, more than 80% of existing homes have rates below 5%. That’s significant, but to take it one step further, more than 50% of mortgages have rates below 4%.

Now, there’s a lot of talk in the media about a potential foreclosure crisis or a rise of homeowners defaulting on their loans, but homeowners with desirable mortgage rates are going to work as hard as they can to keep that mortgage (and stay in their homes). They know they can’t go out and buy another house, or even rent an apartment, for what they are paying today. With today’s higher mortgage rates, even downsizing could cost more.

The Amount of Homeowner Equity

Second, people in Omaha are sitting on tremendous equity right now. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly two-thirds of homeowners have either paid off their mortgage or have at least 50% equity.

In the industry, we call it “equity rich.” This is significant, because if you think back to 2008, some people had to make the difficult decision to walk away from their homes because they owed more on the home than it was worth.

Things are different this time, because homeowners have built up so much equity over the past few years. That will help us avoid another wave of distressed properties coming onto the market like we saw during the crash. It also creates an extremely strong foundation for today’s housing market.

Omaha Housing Prices

Finally, the FHFA has reported that Omaha ranks in the top 30 of the largest 100 U.S. markets for housing price increases. Omaha prices increased about 6% more than last year, which has been the national average for the past 30 years. Without the big price swings like we see on the coasts, we are better able to forecast prices and ultimately the equity someone has in their home.

Bottom Line

We are in one of the most foundationally strong housing markets of our lifetimes because homeowners are going to fight to keep their current mortgage rates, and they have a tremendous amount of equity. Let’s connect to talk through how much equity you might have in your home.

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-founder and sales trainer Jeff Beals.

Sponsored by Dundee Bank

LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT

According to a 2021 study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, it takes adults a median of 59 days to fully develop a new habit. Daily repetition of the new habit is necessary in order for it to become a natural part of your routine.

If you want to be a better leader, start with identifying your abilities and shortcomings. Find a quiet place, and write down your best qualities and biggest weaknesses. Be honestly reflective. To overcome bias, it might be helpful to ask a trusted colleague or friend.

Nearly 30 percent of bosses act “mildly or highly toxic,” according to HubSpot. It’s unfortunate if you have to work for one these bosses. It’s unacceptable if you ARE one.

Just how big are America’s biggest companies? The 69th annual Fortune 500 list came out recently. To make the list, companies needed revenues greater than $7.2 billion. The top 10 companies alone posted a combined $3.7 trillion in revenue. That represents 14.5 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product. If those 10 largest companies were a country, they would be one of the world’s top 10 economies. By the way, Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway is #7 on the list.

SALES

Referrals are the most efficient form of prospecting, yet many sales pros don’t bother to ask for referrals. A Texas Tech University study revealed that 83 percent of satisfied clients are willing to refer products and services, but that only 29 percent are asked to do so. The difference is called the “referral gap.” According to Spotio, the referral gap is even worse: 91 to 11.

Sales reps spend about 15 percent of their time leaving voicemails, according to Ringlead.

WISDOM

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” – Frank Crane

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?

Upcoming Events in the Metro

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Tailgate Days from June 16th to the 25th: Hey batter, batter! Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is taking you out to the ballgame during Tailgate Days, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 25th. “Run the bases” throughout the Zoo to complete a scavenger hunt and see your favorite animals receive baseball-themed enrichment. Don’t forget, take a timeout in the Dugout Bar located in Garden of the Senses including special drinks, treats and yard games. Come out to enjoy the baseball-themed enrichments in select animal exhibits throughout the Zoo!

Dingerville at Draft Works from June 16th to 20th: Dingerville is back with a new spin on an old Omaha favorite! The street in front of Kros Strain Draft Works is being shut down for the opening weekend of the college baseball tournament! Dingerville will feature 20 local vendors with unique merch, music, food and a beer garden to celebrate the return of baseball in Omaha! Clean Slate Food Co., Willie Dogs and Coneflower Creamery are serving food, and Kros Strain Brewing will be offering up award-winning brews along with other domestics, cocktails, seltzers and wine. Don’t miss the newest family friendly tradition of the series: Dingerville at Draft Works!

United Way Night with the Omaha Storm Chasers on June 17th: This is a special event honoring two remarkable milestones: the Omaha Storm Chasers reaching 4 million fans and United Way of the Midlands’ 100th anniversary! To mark this occasion, $4 from each ticket sold for the game on June 17th, will be donated to support those who need it most. This is an excellent opportunity to support a worthy cause while enjoying an incredible sporting event. Purchase your tickets today and join others in celebrating the Omaha Storm Chasers and United Way of Midlands!

2023 Father’s Day Car Show on June 17th & 18th: Celebrate Father’s Day at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum! This event will include American-made cars highlighting nearly 90 years of engineering and innovation. The cars will be parked inside the Museum next to the collection of aircraft and aerospace artifacts. You’ll be able to select some of your favorites and find out which cars are awarded the best of the best at the 2023 Father’s Day Car Show!

Tempo of Twilight Outdoor Concert Series featuring New Humans on June 20th: There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than listening to live music in the garden! Lauritzen Gardens is hosting an outdoor concert series that brings a spectacular lineup of local entertainment to the garden for a harmonious blend of music and nature. Bring your chairs, food, drinks and friends for a relaxing night in the garden!

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

Fusion Medical has appointed Amber Barna as Chief Clinical Officer and Nate Belssen as Chief Information Officer. Fusion is an Omaha-based healthcare staffing company that consists of three business units: Fusion Medical Staffing, Fusion Marketplace, and Fusion Workforce Solutions.

Todd Graeve, CEO of Omaha-based Scooter’s Coffee, was named an Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Heartland Award Winner. This prestigious business award recognizes ambitious business leaders who have transformed their industries and driven company success. Graeve is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of The Year 2023 National Awards in November at the Strategic Growth Forum, one of the nation’s most notable gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

News-Radio 1110 KFAB has chosen Emery Songer to be the station’s afternoon drive talk show host. His first show will be Monday, June 26th. Songer has spent the last five years with WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa.

Security National Bank has added Gabe Wilcox as vice president, mortgage sales. He has nearly 20 years of mortgage experience and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Bellevue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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

Commentary by George Morgan

Morgan 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.

Will Rogers said, “History never repeats its self, but it hums.”

When I was a young buck of a broker, I worked for a firm where Howard Buffett – Warren’s father – had been a partner. Warren’s office was just a few blocks up the street. As a result, my initiation into the business was loaded with the value investing approach. At that time, value investing was more like a cult than an investment philosophy. The true believers felt that anybody who espoused anything other than value investing was a heretic.

At the same time – this was the late 70’s and early ‘80s – there was a group of nonbelieving Wall Street types who preached that the way to investment Valhalla was paved with the Nifty 50 – companies that were growing faster than the traditional blue chips stock that dominate the Dow.

The thing that made value investors blood boil, was that the Nifty 50 approach completely ignored the financial fundamentals of the company. While we believed the Nifty 50 advocates were corrupt and immoral, they made more money than we did. A lot more. Some examples of the Nifty 50 were Kodak, Sears, Phillip Morris, JCPenney, and Schlitz Brewing. Notice that all of those I just listed are either irrelevant or kaput.

Fast forward to today, and you will find that for the last year, an equally irreverent group – lead by Jim Cramer and enabled by none other than the Wall Street Journal – have been pounding the table in a similar maniacal fashion for a group of stocks they have labeled FANG stocks. (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google.) For most of 2022, the FANG stocks have had a whip-ass run, and as a result both, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ acted like the Cornhuskers in a cupcake game.

Now back to the history humming thing. For the past six weeks, the same irreverent group has been singing the praises of the new gaggle of stocks they call the TANM stocks. (Tesla, Apple, Nvidia, and Microsoft.) What is different this time is that the TANM stocks dominate the NASDAQ. As a result, so far for the year, the S&P is up about 10%, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ has been high flying at a +20% rate.

Moral of the story: Forget the needle, buy the haystack. But this time around you need to pay attention to the haystack.

P.S. to my recent comments about China – The cue ball is starting to move the object balls around the table. As the Chinese Communist Party becomes more involved in the Chinese economy, U.S. chip and pharmaceutical companies are redirecting their supply chains to other Asian countries and constructing new manufacturing facilities in the United States.

On the export side of the ledger, GM and Ford have seen a dramatic decline in their sales in China. GM is down about 20%, while Ford sales in China have declined an eye-popping 33%.

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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.

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