Weekly Market Report

Jun 20, 2024

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Restaurant & Retail Updates

Nicole Buntgen, Contributing Writer

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club has officially opened in Countryside Village at 8734 Pacific Street. The brunch restaurant was previously located at 1520 Saddle Creek Road ever since it opened in 2017.

Frank’s Pizzeria announced its downtown location at 1170 Capitol Avenue will reopen soon under new ownership. The location temporarily closed in January. Frank’s is currently served at The Alley in Bellevue at 601 Chateau Drive.

Ashland Brewing Company plans to open in the summer of 2025 near Highways 6 & 66 in Ashland. The 10,600 sq. ft. brewpub will have four pickleball courts, a rooftop deck and outdoor seating around fire pits. The locally owned business will be part of the 4.3-acre Whitetail development.

It’s official: Lansky’s has transitioned to “5 Thirty-One.” The Gretna restaurant’s rebrand maintains the same ownership and now serves authentic Amoroso’s hoagies and new meat options. The Lansky’s locations at 50th & L Street and in Council Bluffs will retain the Lansky’s name.

Cafe Botanica has opened in Lakeside at 2575 South 171st Court. Other locations are at One Pacific Place and in Lincoln. To celebrate its grand opening, the Lakeside location is holding special promotions now through June 22. Café Botanica is known for smoothies and juices but also has a food menu.

Signage is up for Insomnia Cookies’ Blackstone location at 3863 Farnam Street. Insomnia’s other location is in the Capitol District downtown.

Hawaii Fluid Art, an art studio franchise that opened in March, held its official grand opening yesterday at 715 North 132nd Street near the Linden Market Hy-Vee. The business offers fluid, resin and other art experiences, and is the only location in Nebraska or Iowa. The company started in Hawaii and now has 42 locations in 22 states.

Wag n’ Wash, a pet supply store, will open this summer at 18902 Evans Street just southeast of 192nd & West Maple Road. The soft opening is scheduled for July 19th, while the grand opening will be August 24th. Along with dog food and pet supplies, Wag n’ Wash will provide dog grooming, dog self-wash stations, nail clippings and other services.

Another Rocket Carwash is coming soon to town. The Aspen Creek location will be at 19111 Oakmont Drive in Gretna and is scheduled to open this fall. The franchise currently has six metro Omaha locations.

Myrtle & Cypress has partnered with Union Omaha, Nebraska’s only professional soccer team, to create a collaboration coffee. The blend has citrus, nutty, caramel, and chocolate-tasting notes and is available at the soccer team’s store or for pickup on the team’s next match day.

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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
Chris Corey

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V. Mertz Offers a Welcoming and Unforgettable Fine Dining Experience

V. Mertz is an Omaha icon nestled downstairs in the historic Old Market Passageway. Mark Mercer opened the restaurant in 1977, naming it after his wife, Vera Mertz Mercer. It boasted one of the first dedicated wine bars in the country at that time.

The restaurant transitioned to fine dining in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, V. Mertz started offering tasting menus with a focus on local producers. Today it offers fine dining that’s more accessible, welcoming and inviting.

The atmosphere is warm and romantic. The walls are dark red brick with wine racks made of a rich dark wood. There’s something to be said for a restaurant that’s been around so long yet still fills the dining room most nights – it’s a good idea to make a reservation to guarantee your table. Clearly, V. Mertz has been doing something right.

The Big Story

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Above: An example of a modern streetcar

City Releases New Cost Estimate for Downtown Streetcar Project

Omaha’s modern streetcar project is generating new development at a rapid pace. That, in turn, is increasing revenue to pay for the future transportation system. At the same time, the cost of the streetcar is going up.

Development in the urban core along the planned streetcar route is now estimated at $1.3 billion by the end of this year, which exceeds estimates.

By comparison, Municap, a city-hired consultant, projected $2 billion over 15 years and $608 million in revenue generated by the increase in Tax Increment Financing to be paid by developers. Municap’s projections were made in 2022.

A new estimate of real estate development, prepared by the city’s finance department, has nearly doubled to $3.9 billion over the next 15 years, resulting in a minimum of $940 million in revenue generated by TIF proceeds. This windfall substantially exceeds the amount necessary to build the streetcar.

The updated estimate is based on 26 development/construction projects underway in the urban core.

With design of the streetcar system nearly 90 percent complete, the initial cost has increased. the preliminary $306 million bond issue was based on the 2022 conceptual design.

The updated bond estimate is $389 million – that’s the cost paid with the revenue created by adjacent development. The Omaha City Council has authorized up to $440 million in bonds for the streetcar, so the new estimate remains below the authorized limit.

Total investment in the streetcar corridor totals $459 million. The streetcar project itself is $389 million. The $70 million difference is the cost of infrastructure improvements to utilities, sewers and bridges.

“Taxpayers will not pay for the streetcar,” Stothert said. “There will not be a tax increase, and the streetcar will not put the city in debt.”

The city is making progress on project even though construction has not yet begun. The initial streetcar route has been modified, and the Farnam-Harney Street bridges over Interstate 480 have been redesigned for pedestrian and bicycle access and safety. The location of the streetcar’s vehicle maintenance facility has been determined and designed.

The 90-percent streetcar design milestone is expected to occur this summer. Actual streetcar construction should start this year. Utility work along the route has been underway for some time now.

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Grow Omaha Snippets

Grow Omaha Snippets Sponsored by:

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Isaiah Ang, Contributing Writer

The University Nebraska Medical Center seeks to bring more housing options to its Midtown campus. It is requesting Board of Regents approval to lease Parking Lot 64 to Sullivan Development Company. The lot is located near 39th & Marcy Street, adjacent to the Field Club Trail. Sullivan Development Company plans to build row houses on the parking lot. The ground lease will have a 35-year term with 3-year renewal options.

Sullivan is also developing the Leavenworth Lofts at 36th & Leavenworth Street at this time. That project will consist of 28-units, 75 percent of which will be used for short-term rentals.

Omaha is one of the five best large cities to visit for a summer vacation this year according to the New York Post along with Minneapolis, Long Beach, Washington, D.C. and Seattle. The study considered walkability, crime, prices, ease of travel and summer weather. The five worst summer destinations are, in order, Jacksonville, Colorado Springs, Fresno, Memphis and Albuquerque.

The Bellevue City Council approved an agreement with Whitewater West Industries of British Columbia, Canada for engineering design services at the planned Bellevue Bay waterpark project. Design plans show a tower with seven water slides, a large water playground with six slides and a FlowRider Double, a surf simulator. Engineering and design are scheduled to be completed by next spring.

Community Alliance, a nonprofit mental health agency, is opening its new facility at 72nd & Mercy Road on June 27. The agency will provide counseling, psychiatric and pharmacy services at the 127,000 sq. ft. building. Donations, with a leading gift from the Hawks Foundation and state-issued ARPA funds, helped fund the $67 million project.

ACCESS Commercial and Metonic Real Estate Services held a ground breaking ceremony this week for Gretna Landing Apartments, a five-building, 220-unit on 13.441 acres northwest of 192nd & Highway 370. Plans call for the clubhouse building to be complete by next spring and the first apartment building next summer.

The City of Bellevue is contracting with HDR to design a sanitary sewer collection system that will serve the Prairie Hills Development, a mixed-use development planned for the northeast corner of Highways 34 & 75. The development will be anchored by the $200 million REACH building, a technology and cyber security research facility. The city anticipates construction of the new sewer infrastructure to be completed by September 2025.

Nebraska Elite Volleyball, owners and operators of the Union Bank & Trust Sports Complex in Elkhorn, are planning to build a new facility on the southwest corner of 180th & West Maple Road. The 175,000 sq. ft. facility would have 12 volleyball courts, six basketball courts convertible to 36 pickleball courts and two indoor sand volleyball courts plus training rooms and meeting rooms.

UBT Sports Complex is currently at capacity with its scheduled tournaments. The owners claim that it could host additional tournaments and youth sport events, or expand existing tournaments, with the second facility.

This comes ahead of a potential June 25 vote on a resolution wherein the County would enter into an agreement with Nebraska Elite Volleyball to partner in an application to the State of Nebraska for turnback taxes under the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act. Under the Act, owners of a qualifying sports complex project can receive a portion of sales taxes collected from retailers within 600 yards of the project as a turnback to help the project for 10 years after it is completed.

Generally, developers have partnered with cities to apply for similar turnback taxes. However, Douglas County has the territorial authority over this project because the location is outside the City of Omaha’s jurisdiction. Under the potential agreement, Douglas County would agree to a 10-year lease to allow the public to use the facility on weekdays.

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

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Berkshire Hathaway has further cut its large stake in Hong Kong-listed BYD, which vies with Tesla as the world’s largest electric car maker, as global trade tensions escalate over Chinese EVs, according to CNN. Berkshire sold another 1.35 million shares of BYD on June 11th, trimming its stake to 6.9 percent from 7.02 percent.

City+Ventures has obtained a $72.2 million loan from Royal Bank of Canada for the refinancing of La Vista City Centre, a $250 million, mixed-use development southeast of 84th & Harrison Street, according to Multi-Housing News. The 1.2 million sq. ft. property includes 392 apartments plus retail and office space,

PenFed Credit Union will hold a ribbon cutting July 1st for its new location near Cabela’s at 12434 Southport Parkway in La Vista.

Werner Enterprises, Inc. has been recognized as a Top 3PL and Cold Storage Provider by Food Logistics for the eighth consecutive year. This distinction highlights the leading third-party logistics and cold storage companies serving the refrigerated food and beverage sector.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert this week said that downtown Omaha is getting close to landing a full-service grocery store, according to KETV. “There’s several developers working on it with projects already underway. The deal is not done yet and they’re very close,” Stothert said.

Green Plains Inc. announced that construction management agreements have been executed and equipment necessary to capture the carbon from its Nebraska facilities has been ordered. These milestones position the Omaha-based, Fortune 1000 company to commence construction in the second half of 2024, and to begin capturing the biogenic carbon dioxide associated with the production of 287 million gallons of ethanol annually beginning in the second half of 2025. The equipment will be installed at the company’s Central City, Wood River and York, Nebraska locations and has been sized to accommodate the potential for post-combustion carbon capture and increased production, with overall carbon capture capacity up to 1.2 million tons.

Capstone Technologies has leased 11,250 sq. ft. in an industrial-flex building at 11321 South 147th Street, according to NAI NP Dodge, which handled lease negotiations.

Union Pacific’s legendary steam locomotive, Big Boy No. 4014, will embark on a second tour this year. The “Heartland of America Tour” will start Aug. 29 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and include nine additional states: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. The eight-week tour concludes in late October. Specific dates and locations will be announced later.

For a 10th straight month, Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index sank below growth neutral, according to the June survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and energy. The region’s reading for June sank to 41.7 from 44.2 in May. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with 50.0 representing growth neutral.

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Grow Omaha University

Leadership & Sales Insights for Ambitious People

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

Sponsored by Dundee Bank


A sense of appreciation is the single most sustainable motivator at work, says Janice Kaplan, author of The Gratitude Diaries. Extrinsic motivators can stop having much meaning: “Your raise in pay feels like your just due, your bonus gets spent, your new title doesn’t sound so important once you have it. But the sense that other people appreciate what you do sticks with you.”

Since ChatGPT debuted in November 2022, demand for online freelancers has dropped 30 percent for writers, 20 percent for coders, 17 percent for graphic designers and 13 percent for both social media post producers and data entry people, according to The Hustle. I can’t guarantee the work is good, but ChatGPT does all of it for free.

At least 80 percent of Americans agree that it’s unacceptable for commercial airline passengers to do each of the following: to let their children play in the aisle, to get drunk, to leave their seat during turbulence, and to watch a movie or show without headphones, according to YouGov. About half of Americans think it’s rude to bring your dog with you on the plane.

Business Travel – Travel Pulse has ranked the worst U.S. airports for summer flight disruptions: Dallas-Fort Worth (45.6% of flights disrupted in May); Houston George Bush (40.6%); Charlotte (37.8%); Chicago O’Hare (34.7%), Miami (31.7%); Fort Lauderdale (30.5%); Orlando (30.5%); Denver (28.7%).

Forty-three percent of Gen Z and 41 percent of millennials experience “money dysmorphia,” which occurs when people feel insecure about their financial standing, no matter the reality of their situation, according to Credit Karma. Often driven by social media, money dysmorphia can have a negative impact on people’s finances, especially younger generations.


Only 37 percent of businesses respond to online leads in under an hour, according to Harvard Business Review. A full 23 percent of businesses don’t even respond at all. Simply responding gives you an advantage over many competitors. Responding quickly gives you an advantage almost two-thirds of them!

Twenty-four percent more sales pros meet their annual quotas when they have mobile access to their CRMs, according to Aberdeen Group.


“Flattery is much like perfume. It’s okay to inhale it, but don’t ever swallow it.” – Fred Koch

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?


Did You Know?

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

This section is sponsored by Lockbox Storage.

Did you know Omaha-based Scooter’s Coffee is opening its 800th location this month in Louisville, Ky.?

Did you know the first official Christian religious sermon to be delivered in Omaha took place in 1854? According to Omaha historian Howard Hamilton, Rev. Cooper had the honors. His Methodist congregation totaled 25 worshippers.

Did you know that because of Legislative Bill 754, which the Unicameral passed in 2023, Nebraska’s top individual & corporate tax rates will drop to 3.99 percent by 2027? That will make our state much more competitive.

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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Midtown Mix on June 22nd: Join the debut of Midtown Crossing’s Midtown Mix – your new favorite summer tradition. Perfect for music lovers and supporters of local musicians – neighborhood retailers are teaming up to bring you an evening filled with live music, great vibes and fantastic food. Come out on June 22nd from 4 to 8 p.m. for a night of food, drinks and fun.

Elevator Essentials: Employment Essentials, HR Compliance and Guidelines on June 26th: Elevator Essentials is a series designed to offer practical insights and best practices on essential subjects that small business owners need to know. This event features Keele Taylor, owner of HR Minded Consulting, who will be sharing her expertise on the hiring process, employer checkpoints and more. Join in to learn more and enjoy Elevator’s free coworking day!

Late Nights at the Zoo (21+) on June 27th: This summer Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium will opening its doors for adults only on Thursday nights! No kids – all fun! Sips, bites and wild sights select Thursday nights all summer long. 21+ only.

Botanical Painting and Wine on June 27th: You bring the wine, and Lauritzen Gardens will bring the paint. Instructor Ariel Shearer will lead a guided painting session that will leave you with a botanical-themed painting of your own creation. Pre-registration is required. Participants must be 21 years or older and present a valid photo ID at the door. Participants may bring a bottle of wine of their choosing or a non-alcoholic drink to have during class.

Night Market on June 28th: As the sun sets, and the warm evening breeze rolls in, Omaha’s original Night Market sets the stage for unforgettable summer nights in scenic Turner Park. Highlights include: A bustling hub of more than 40 local vendors, boutiques and makers, live music and entertainment, outdoor games and activities, including a life-size coloring book, cornhole, Giant Connect 4 and more!

The Omaha’s Farmers Market on Saturdays: The Farmers market is back in Omaha! Join in every Saturday in the Old Market for Omaha’s best selection of farm-fresh, local produce and other goodies. The Market is open rain or shine from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 5 to October 13.

Do you have an event you want Vesta to publicize? Share them with us here for free!

This section is sponsored by Eagle Mortgage, a locally owned, full-service mortgage company helping you with Conventional, VA, FHA and USDA loans in both Nebraska and Iowa. Learn how Eagle Mortgage helps people afford the home of their dreams by clicking HERE!

People in the News

Sponsored by The Greater Omaha Chamber

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digital rendering of Flatiron District project buildings

The Greater Omaha Chamber has selected Alec Gorynski as its new senior vice president of economic development. He will be responsible for spearheading initiatives and strategies to promote economic growth, support current businesses, attract new investment opportunities and enhance the overall economic vitality of greater Omaha. Gorynski currently serves as president and CEO of the Lincoln Community Foundation and has nearly 20 years of economic and community development experience

Krause Group, a Wisconsin-based provider of asset preservation solutions resources, and education for long-term care has added of Holly Westervelt of Omaha as vice president of sales. This newly created role aims to provide a fresh and innovative approach to the leadership of Krause Group’s expanding agency division, The Krause Agency. Westervelt has more than 30 years of insurance industry experience.

Meridian Business, LLC has added Robert Kuhr as a NetSuite ERP senior consultant. He previously worked for Universal Pure and Kiewit.

Core Bank has promoted Lindsay Borgeson to president of its Banking as a Service division. She previously served as Chief Deposit Officer. She has been with the bank for more than 12 years and has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Bellevue University.

The Greater Omaha Chamber is a catalyst and connector, advocating for businesses small and large. Learn, share and grow with more than 12,000 professionals from 3,000 member businesses across Greater Omaha. Click HERE to see our latest events.

Wall Street: The Week in Review

Commentary by George Morgan

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

He is the founder of Morgan Investor Education of Omaha.

Urban legends are not self-sustaining. They need constant reinforcement in order to remain viable. Currently, Wall Street has CNBC, Yahoo Finance and your local financial consultant to insistently reinforce their self-proclaimed status as the gurus of investment management.

Twenty years ago, I would have included the Wall Street Journal in this nefarious group. I have been a devotee of the Wall Street Journal for almost five decades, and I have observed its evolution from Wall Street’s number one proselytizer, to one that is slightly objective (and becomes more so each and every week).

A prime example in the WSJ’s glacier like creep to the toward unbiased journalism is Jason’s Zweig’s weekly column, “The Intelligent Investor.” It is not a coincidence that this is also the title of Ben Graham’s opus magnum.

Zwieg started his financial investment commentary career with Money magazine, which back in the 1990s, was the investment magazine du jour. In 2003, Jason wrote an introduction to the umpteenth revised edition of Graham’s, “The Intelligent Investor”. His comments in this edition revel a portion of his investment paradigm. I quote: “Successful investing requires a strong skepticism of Wall Street’s claims about their ability to provide superior investment returns.”

Zwieg’s recent Saturday column validates my claim of the WSJ’s westward drift. I have taken the liberty of subtitling his column, “Why Investing in Narrow Sector Funds is a Dumb Idea.” According to the article, the fund you choose is important, but in most cases, who else is buying the fund is more important.

When you have a narrowly focused sector fund that is buying two or three equally narrowly traded stocks, this can result in self-inflicted returns inflation. Translation: “When nobody is buying a thinly traded stock, and then all of a sudden, some gun slinging, sector fund manager gobbles it up like munchies at a pot party, it drives the price of the stock through the roof without any fundamental justification for its inflated stock price.”

Eventually, hordes of unsophisticated investors start believing that the fund’s performance is solely the result of the manger’s skill, when in fact it comes largely from behavior of the fund’s investors. Sooner or later, this hot money causes the fund’s performance to faulter, forcing the portfolio manager to dump stocks to pay off those disgruntled investors who are abandoning ship. Since these stocks are thinly traded, this exacerbates the fund’s downward spiral.

Throughout his entire commentary, Zwieg remains professional and avoids casting aspersions on the Wall Street money professionals in question. He simply states the facts as he sees them. It is, however. clear that he’s in the camp of Graham’s most famous student who believes that paying Wall Street for investment advice benefits Wall Street more than Main Street.

This section is brought to you by All Makes and Allsteel. For more than a century, All Makes has remained family-owned and committed to supplying businesses with workplace solutions, specifically furniture and technology. To learn more, visit one of our showrooms in Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, Columbus, Kearney, or North Platte.

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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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