Each year CRE Summit solicits submissions for its Deal and Development of the Year awards. This year’s winning projects and transactions have proven to bring economic growth to both Omaha and Lincoln.

Rendering of the new Fusion Medical Staffing Lobby (Courtesy of RDG)
Rendering of the new Fusion Medical Staffing Lobby (Courtesy of RDG)

Deal of the Year, Omaha:
Relocation of Fusion Medical Staffing

Fusion Medical Staffing has seen incredible growth in recent years, growing from approximately 600 associates to nearly 1,000. This type of expansion necessitated a move to a larger building.

The company partnered with Ed Fleming, executive vice president of Colliers, to assist in its search for a property and found the highly visible 115,545-square-foot Waterford West building at 18881 West Dodge Road. Fusion leased all five floors at the location. Aligning with its mission of encouraging health and wellness, Fusion Medical Staffing also secured additional fitness space on the first floor. Some key building amenities include a large conference area, an outdoor terrace, a Starbucks kiosk, and underground parking.

Fusion is the first tenant of its size in the building along the West Dodge Road corridor, which is experiencing rapid growth in commercial office space.

“This provides a long-term headquarters for Fusion Medical, giving them outstanding signage, location, and a wonderful work environment for current and future employees,” Fleming said. “It’s really about helping our clients drive their businesses forward … and this deal is a perfect example of that. I want to give special thanks to Fusion Medical as they are a fantastic company and have built an incredible culture. Fusion Medical truly understands how providing a best-in-class work environment will continue to propel their business forward for decades to come. It’s been both an honor and a privilege to represent them.”

Brickline at the Mercantile. (Courtesy of FNBO)
Brickline at the Mercantile. (Courtesy of FNBO)

Development of the Year, Omaha:
Brickline at the Mercantile

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The former Conagra campus at 10th and Farnam streets has been transformed into a new mixed-use space, with the first phase, the Brickline, now open. The Brickline at the Mercantile consists of a 378-unit apartment project, including 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, wrapped around a city-owned parking garage. The $120 million project utilized tax increment financing (TIF) and capital improvement plan (CIP) funds, private opportunity zone equity and local bank financing.

Site development began in 2020, with vertical construction starting in 2021. Labor and material shortages slowed progress, but in 2022, the full-scale project took shape. Apartments were available for rent in February 2023 and by October 2023, the Brickline at the Mercantile is expected to be completed, with all multi-family units and restaurant spaces finished and available for occupancy.

“What had been primarily ’private’ property, and dark after business hours, will now be open and accessible to the community, enlivened with households, restaurants, entertainment options, and access to public spaces,” said Joel Jensen, vice president at First National Bank of Omaha, who assisted in the financing. “The Brickline is a transformative project for the city of Omaha – bringing life back to the Conagra campus and acting as a seamless extension of the Riverfront Park project which was just completed this summer.”

Brad Soderwall, managing director with Hines, led the project.

Site of the new Bryan Firethorn Campus. (Courtesy of NAI FMA Realty)
Site of the new Bryan Firethorn Campus. (Courtesy of NAI FMA Realty)

Deal of the Year, Lincoln:
Sale of the Allstate Campus
in Lincoln to Bryan Health

The $16 million deal to acquire the former Allstate campus represents one of the last year’s largest sales in Lincoln.

Before the campus was put on the market, NAI FMA Realty was notified. The team contacted long-time client Bryan Health, which was looking for space to expand its clinics and offices. After several months of meetings and site visits, the deal was completed in October 2022.

The campus consists of two buildings totaling 179,090 square feet along with an undeveloped office pad site, all situated on 23.56 acres. The site allows for another 85,000-square-foot building along with 20,000 square feet on a separate portion of the parcel. After the sale, a short-term lease agreement was negotiated and executed between Allstate and Bryan Health to allow for some of the Allstate workers to continue using the space until another space was found.

“In 2016, Bryan Health completed a 10-year master plan, and one of the needs they identified was a centralized facility for business and support functions,” said Richard Meginnis, president of NAI FMA Realty. “Bryan Health continues to grow its health system and patient care in the community and with this purchase, it frees up space at the hospital campuses for more medical clinic space and patient services. Plus, as a large growth employer, Bryan can attract and retain employees with this first-class location that is accessible to employees and nearby existing campuses.”

Alongside Meginnis, the deal was completed by Mike Ball, vice president, sales & leasing, Scott Vyskocil, senior vice president, property management of NAI FMA Realty, and David Barton, first vice president, and Steve Sheppard, first vice president of CBRE.

Antelope Tower. (Courtesy of NAI FMA Realty)
Antelope Tower. (Courtesy of NAI FMA Realty)

Development of the Year, Lincoln:
Antelope Tower

Antelope Tower is a five-story building located near Lincoln’s Telegraph District and downtown. It features 17,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor with four additional floors consisting of 93 residential units. It is centrally located and easily accessible to bike trails, large employers, retailers, restaurants, and schools.

Hoppe Development, which has owned the site since 2009, aimed to revitalize the area, notably the block west of Antelope Valley Parkway in the K and L streets corridor. John Hoppe, Jr., principal, led the project.

Opened in July 2022, Antelope Tower currently houses Share Tea, Early Bird Breakfast Brunch, and Lincoln Orthopedic Physical Therapy.