Weekly Market Report – March 24, 2022

Mar 24, 2022 | 0 comments

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Hail Varsity Club plans to open in early May in the former Ozzy’s Roadhouse at 12744 Westport Parkway in La Vista’s Southport West district. Hail Varsity Club will be “a one-of-a-kind sports bar, restaurant and entertainment experience brought to you by Hail Varsity and Hurrdat (two Nebraska-based companies).”

Capri has opened inside the Tanner’s Bar & Grill space at 17330 West Center Road. Under the same ownership as Tanner’s, Capri serves Italian cuisine. The main entrance is on the south side of the building.

Last week, we told you that Noli’s Pizzeria plans to open a location in Regency Landing near Interstate 680 and Pacific Street. Well, that’s not all. Noli’s is also working on a Gretna location that will open later this year in a retail strip near U.S. Highway 6 and Schram Road. The original Noli’s is in the Blackstone District.

The official opening date for the first Warby Parker store in Nebraska or Iowa will be Saturday, April 2nd. The fashionable eyewear store is under construction next to the Coach store at Omaha’s Village Pointe shopping center.

The Sarpy County Chamber will hold a ribbon cutting for a new Hotworx location at 2012 Cornhusker Avenue in Bellevue. Hotwork, which has four existing Omaha-area locations, is a heat, infrared energy and exercise studio.

The reincarnation of the legendary Piccolo Pete’s restaurant sadly did not last very long as the new location closed last week. The original Piccolo’s operated at 2202 South 20th Street from 1934 to 2015. The founder’s grandson opened a new version of the restaurant in January in downtown Papillion.

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The Big Story

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Growth & Development in Gretna

The Sarpy County community of Gretna continues to grow rapidly. What used to be a sleepy exurb southwest of Omaha has become a booming suburb (and on its way to being a major city unto itself).

Gretna mayor Mike Evans joined us on the Grow Omaha show last Saturday on News-Radio 1110 KFAB to discuss both the challenges and opportunities that come with rapid growth.

The city limits were only 3 square miles before a recent annexation, Evans said, and now they are 7 square miles. The city’s planning jurisdiction zone stretches out nearly 39 square miles. That has raised the need for responsible growth planning.

“We have to define our community before the development comes and defines it for us,” Evans said.

When it comes to sales tax revenue, the big player in Gretna is Nebraska Crossing, the outdoor shopping and entertainment center at Interstate 80 and Highway 31. Not only does the mall provide tax revenue and jobs for the city, it’s a major tourism draw for Nebraska. Approximately 30 percent of Nebraska Crossing sales come from out-of-state residents.

Nebraska Crossing will become an even bigger draw when Nebraska’s first REI store opens on the mall’s east side this summer. Construction on the store is currently underway.

In addition to REI, Evans highlighted several other businesses coming to Gretna. Auto Zone has opened a store at Highway 6 & Bryan Street. Nearby, a Fareway Meat & Grocery and a Casey’s convenience store are close to opening. At Highway 6 & Lincoln Road, both Stories Coffee and the Good Life sports bar are close to opening in a recently constructed building. Construction is in the early stages for a full-service Hy-Vee grocery store at 192nd & Highway 370.

Plans call for a $90 million Hillcrest senior living community on the west side of Highway 6 between Highway 370 and Lincoln Road.

There’s one project that makes Evans particularly excited: a $60 million city park under construction between the current south side of town and Nebraska crossing. The 150-acre park will have a rec center, dog park, aquatic center, four baseball diamonds and four softball fields plus a Frisbee course and soccer fields. The park is scheduled to open in 2023. Construction is ahead of schedule.

Evans said the city intends the park to be a connecter between the current development zone and Nebraska Crossing. The land in between will become a master planned area that will feature livable, walkable development.

“As Gretna grows, we need balance,” Evans said. “We have traditionally been known for our acreages and big lots, but you have to diversify so younger families can afford to live there, and you can create a workforce.”

Another Gretna development hotspot is the area near 180th & Giles. That’s where major roadwork is underway to correct a long-neglected transportation corridor that had been hampered by a BNSF railroad crossing. Though the roadwork is not yet complete, several residential subdivisions are already popping up in the area as is the soon-to-open Gretna East High School.

Gretna is already one of the fastest growing communities in this part of the community. But just how big can Gretna get? The answer is “a lot bigger.” As Evans said, “We were at 5,000 people a couple years ago, and now we’re at 10,000.”

Long-term forecasts project Gretna’s population will someday hit 50,000 or 60,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in the state.

If you would like to watch and listen to our recent interview with Gretna Mayor Mike Evans, click HERE.

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Grow Omaha Snippets

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Noddle Companies is working on a couple housing developments in Midtown. In the Blackstone District, only two condos remain for sale in the Dewey Rows project at 38th Avenue & Dewey Street. The 6-condo rowhouse project should be complete late this year.

At 54th & Leavenworth Street, Noddle plans to build 19 town homes. The project is going through the final city approval process. Construction should begin within three months with some of the units completed as early as summer of 2023.

Beth El Synagogue near 144th & West Dodge Road is undergoing a multi-phase remodel, according to Darland Construction. The project includes major renovations to the sanctuary, chapel, social hall as well as cosmetic updates across most of the building. Completion is scheduled for late this summer.

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha will receive an $11 million unrestricted gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift will help more families in the Omaha area become first-time homebuyers. Habitat Omaha has a $108 million, four-year goal that includes building and renovating more houses, providing more mortgage opportunities for families, creating a down payment assistance fund for first-time homebuyers and preserving existing housing stock.

Big plans are in the works at Aksarben Village. The outdoor amenities added last year have turned out to be a big hit. This year, the dog park will expand and a bar will actually open into the dog park within the next three weeks or so. We think the cocktails are for the humans, not the dogs. Starting May 20th, there will be a concert in the outdoor area just north of the Inner Rail every Friday night until Halloween.

At this time, the remaining available space in the HDR building is being demised into three spaces. Two of those spaces – on the west side of the building – will be occupied by dry-goods retailers operating pop-up locations. The third space, on the east side, is begin reserved for a restaurant tenant.

Finally, two more construction projects are coming to Aksarben Village. Noddle Companies is designing and plans to break ground late this year on a 150,000 sq. ft., 7-story office building that will go up on the site of the current volleyball courts. Design work is also underway on a 6-story, 72-unit apartment building that will go up on the northwest corner of 64th Avenue & Frances Street south of the HDR parking garage.

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Business News

Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:

Real Estate News from CoStar U.S. sales of new single-family homes followed the decline of existing home sales in February, another indicator that buyers may be slowing down as mortgage rates rise. Sales dropped 2% from January and are 6.2% lower than last year.

January’s sales were revised lower to an annual rate of 788,000 from 801,000, while December sales were adjusted higher to 860,000, showing a worse decline in the first month of the year than originally reported.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing homes fell 7.2% in February.

Signature Aviation has entered into an agreement to purchase the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) holdings of TAC Air, which consist of 16 locations throughout the U.S, according to Aviation International News. The Signature Flight Support FBO chain has more than 200 locations globally. Both signature and TAC Air operate at Omaha’s Eppley Airport. The move would make Signature the only FBO at Eppley as well as at airports in Hartford, Conn. and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. That could result in the company having to divest one facility at each of those locations.

Berkshire Hathaway and Alleghany Corporation jointly announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway will acquire all outstanding Alleghany shares for $848.02 per share in cash. The transaction, which was unanimously approved by both boards of directors, represents a total equity value of approximately $11.6 billion. The acquisition price represents a multiple of 1.26 times New York-based Alleghany’s book value at December 31, 2021, a 29% premium to Alleghany’s average stock price over the last 30 days and a 16% premium to Alleghany’s 52-week high closing price.

Omaha-based Ag Processing, Inc. plans to expand and upgrade is export facilities at Port of Grays Harbor (POGH) in Aberdeen, Wash. The plans include upgrades to current facilities at Terminal 2, including the construction of additional storage and the addition of a new state-of-the-art ship loader. Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 are both deep-water berths with quick access to the open ocean. The planned expansion will enable AGP to load multiple ships up to and including Panamax-sized vessels.

Charles Schwab’s current workforce in Omaha is 2,400, according to the Omaha World-Herald. That’s more employees than in 2019, when Schwab announced it would acquire Omaha-based TD Ameritrade. Employment could grow to 2,700 if Schwab is able to fill 300 local positions that are currently open.

Best Places to Work in Omaha survey founder Baird Holm, LLP, along with program sponsor, the Greater Omaha Chamber, have announced the 2022 winners. For companies with 25 to 200 employees: 1. Supportworks; 2. Midlands Choice, Inc.; 3. CharterWest Bank; 4. Bridges Trust; 5. Pattern. For companies with more than 200 employees: 1. Fusion Medical Staffing; 2. LRS Healthcare; 3. Carson Group; 4. FNIC; 5. Yahoo.

Lindsay Corporation, an Omaha-based global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, has announced a strategic partnership with and minority investment in Blyncsy, an emerging leader in the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for connected roadways. The partnership will integrate Blyncsy’s Payver™ technology into Lindsay’s RoadConnect™ remote roadside asset management platform, furthering the companies’ shared vision of delivering technology solutions for government agencies and their contractors to enable smarter, safer and more efficient roadways.

A new television series, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild,” will premiere in January 2023 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the original “Wild Kingdom” show. Since the debut of this groundbreaking nature program in 1963, Mutual of Omaha has been linked to conservation and a commitment to protecting the Earth’s wildest places. The 10 episodes will air on RFD-TV and digital channels.

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!”

People in the News

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NAI NP Dodge has promoted Emily Fisher to director of marketing. She is responsible for leading and implementing all aspects of the company’s marketing strategy and event management. Fisher has been with the company since 2016, most recently serving as Graphic Designer and Media Specialist. An Omaha native, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Creighton University.

Scooter’s Coffee has promoted Richard Heyman to Chief Strategy Officer for the brand and its franchise system. He is responsible for Information Technology, Real Estate, and Construction, as well as facilitating strategies to drive intentional expansion goals for Scooter’s Coffee and its franchisees.

Lukas Partners, an Omaha-based public relations firm, has hired Jon Nyatawa as senior account executive. A former reporter for the Omaha World-Herald, Nyatawa has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Purdue University.

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.

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