Weekly Market Report – March 3, 2022

Mar 3, 2022 | 0 comments

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Get Real Sandwiches has opened at 3901 Farnam Street next to Butterfish in the Blackstone District. The restaurant serves gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, appetizers and beer/cocktails.

Good Evans is now open in a former PepperJax bay at 74th & Pacific Street. The restaurant brings an “elevated menu to traditional breakfast and lunch offerings.” Existing locations are in Lincoln and Kearney, Neb.

CTRL Coffee & Cereal Bar plans to open soon an Old Market location at 1016 South 10th Street. According to the business’ Facebook page, CTRL will feature Meta Coffee Lab coffee, a “full-blown cereal bar and a retro gaming console at every table.”

Juice Stop opened its sixth metro area location last week at 716 North Washington Street in Papillion. The new store is drive-through only in a free-standing building.

Hiring is underway for a Voo Doo Taco location that is expected to open soon at 2615 South 180th Street in a former Jones Bros. building.

Also now hiring is the future Old Market location of Mouth of the South in a former Old Chicago space at 1111 Harney Street. Mouth of the South has an existing location at 168th & West Center Road.

Lumen Beer Company is a new craft brewery at 1433 South 13th Street. According to the company’s website, “Lumen is the culmination of a decade of creative ideas, countless basement science experiments, return flight daydreams and a vision to bring our version of craft beer to Omaha. With a focus on the fringe and an eye for innovation, we create a mix of hoppy, sour and high-gravity beers with one thing in common; they are the beers that we like to drink.”

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The Big Story

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Urban Core Plans Move Forward

The Omaha Planning Board has approved two initial steps for the development of the modern streetcar and Mutual of Omaha’s planned downtown headquarters.

The Board approved the Urban Core Housing and Mobility Redevelopment Plan which focuses on three significant areas; transit and mobility improvements, affordable housing, and job growth.

The Redevelopment Plan area boundaries are the Missouri River west to 50th Street, and Woolworth to Cuming.

The Urban Core Housing and Mobility Redevelopment Plan notes the need for affordable and workforce housing and includes a goal of adding 1,000 new units of affordable and workforce housing in the next 20 years. It also recommends reducing surface parking to create additional development sites.

“We’ve had a chance to look at communities around the country and we have a very good idea of what will happen,” said Jay Noddle, chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Urban Core Committee. “This opens up our community to another, bigger stage and to become a first-choice city.”

The Planning board also approved Mutual of Omaha’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) application for the downtown headquarters. Mutual plans to build an 800,000 sq. ft. office tower on the current site of the W. Dale Clark Library. Mutual estimates the building will cost $433 million and is asking for $62 million in TIF.

The TIF application and the Redevelopment Plan will be considered by the Omaha City Council in April.

The Redevelopment Plan also identifies TIF as the primary funding source for construction of the streetcar and creates guidelines for new and redevelopment that will include requirements for density and valuation.

The streetcar construction financing plan announced in January includes three sources of TIF funding totaling $356 million, greater than the $306 million estimated cost of streetcar construction.

TIF projects already approved in the redevelopment plan area will generate $50 million, utilizing additional revenues generated between years 15 and 20.

New TIF projects in the plan area will contribute 25% of TIF proceeds to the streetcar, totaling approximately $218 million, based on current projections of $3 billion in new development in the redevelopment plan area.

The TIF District, within the boundaries of the Redevelopment Area, will generate $86 million based on projected property valuation increases along and within three blocks of the streetcar route. Modern streetcars have been shown to increase the valuation of properties within several blocks of the line by 10%-30%. The Omaha streetcar is expected to bring at least $3 billion in new development to midtown and downtown Omaha.

[Source: City of Omaha]

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Grow Omaha Snippets

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In a sign of progress, fencing has been installed around the two-story historic building on the southwest corner of 14th & Jones Street. That means renovations should begin soon for the new downtown library branch.

Construction is now underway on a new Children’s medical clinic building near 200th & West Maple Road.

Construction has started on two-story, 15,000 sq. ft. Better Homes & Gardens office building at 205th and Veterans Drive in the Elkhorn area.

In front of the Hy-Vee grocery store near 180th & Pacific Street, construction is coming along nicely on a two-story, 12,700 sq. ft. multi-tenant building.

The Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting March 15th for Factory Direct Mattress at 719 16th Avenue in Council Bluffs.

The Sarpy Chamber will hold a ribbon cutting March 8th for Pinnacle Bank’s newly constructed office at 126th & Highway 370 adjacent to Werner Park.

Metropolitan Area Planning Agency will host “Bridging Nebraska’s Digital Divide” on March 21st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Advanced Manufacturing on Metro Community College’s South Omaha Campus, 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave. This statewide event, being sponsored by Nebraska’s Economic Development Districts, is designed to help communities be ready to compete for millions of dollars in federal funding to build out broadband access and increase internet speed and reliability across the state. Register here by March 14th.

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Business News

Local Business News Sponsored by FranNet of The Heartland:

Real Estate News from CoStar Amazon is betting on groceries and apparel, not books and gadgets, for its future in the brick-and-mortar retail space, deciding to pull the plug on several dozen stores representing three chains.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant said Wednesday it’s closing 68 stores, namely its Amazon 4-star, Amazon Pop Up and Amazon Books locations. There wasn’t any timetable given for the move.

With the closures, the company has opted to “focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology,” an Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg News, adding that the e-tailer remains “committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies.” READ MORE

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index, a leading economic indicator for the nine-state region stretching from Minnesota to Arkansas, rose above growth neutral for the 21st straight month. The index, which ranges between from 0 to 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, climbed to 64.0 from January’s 56.2.

Omaha-based Scoular, one of the largest and most diverse fishmeal and fish oil merchandisers in the world, recently opened a new fishmeal facility in Myanmar. The facility will provide a hub for high-quality, consistent product and just-in-time shipment to Asian feed markets. The opening follows Scoular’s launch in September of “Encompass,” the new brand for Scoular’s growing global fishmeal business.

Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services has launched its newest product, Retirement Right Blueprint. An extension of Mutual’s Retirement Right suite, the open architecture product leverages technology to allow employers of any size to create a retirement plan for their employees.

WoodmenLife’s A+ (Superior) financial strength rating was once again reaffirmed by A.M. Best, an independent financial rating agency. This rating is based on a comprehensive and qualitative evaluation of WoodmenLife’s balance sheet strength, operating performance, business profile, and enterprise risk management capabilities.

In 2021, WoodmenLife’s assets grew year-over-year to nearly $11.5 billion. Face amount of life insurance in force was nearly $39.2 billion. Surplus increased 6.8 percent to $1.7 billion, growing the surplus ratio to 17.7 percent.

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People in the News

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FNTS, an Omaha-based leader in multi-cloud, mainframe and managed security services, has added Don Pecha to its team as senior director of information security. Pecha will oversee security strategy at FNTS and execute “highly effective and balanced information security programs to enable high-level performance across business technology landscapes.”

Centris Federal Credit Union has promoted four people: Tera Schaecher to senior vice president, corporate operations; Heidi Weeks to vice president, real estate lending; Melissa Cornay to vice president strategic risk management; and Sue Mohr to assistant vice president, mortgage production.

Child Saving Institute has appointed Jovan Johnson as director of child welfare services. Johnson formerly served as a specialist with the Nebraska Home Society and a child and family service specialist with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Most recently, Johnson supervised the Omaha Healthy Start program at Charles Drew Health Center.

Victor Cabriales is the new general manager and executive chef of Stokes restaurant at 136th & West Dodge Road.

Bankers Trust has promoted Scott Leighton to senior vice president. The Iowa-based community bank has a commercial lending office in Omaha.

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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