A need for more housing coupled with the reinvention of the workplace has led to a boom in both new build and rehabilitation projects throughout the Omaha metro.
Historic Keeline Building
Shamrock Development is in the beginning stages of redeveloping the historic Keeline Building at 17th and Harney streets at an estimated final cost of $7 million, according to President and CEO Mike Moylan.
“There’s a strong need for reasonably priced, small- and medium-sized offices to serve downtown Omaha, the city and county government as well as court systems,” he said.
The project will house from 40 to 60 offices on floors two through seven, ranging from 150 square feet to 6,000 square feet and will have four retail spaces on the street level, including the iconic Bob’s Grill and Café and the Backline Comedy Club.
“We closed on the purchase of the Keeline Building on August 15, 2022,” Moylan said. “Redevelopment started immediately and should take anywhere from 18 to 24 months. The office space is approximately half occupied, allowing for easier reconstruction.”
With the current housing shortage, especially in the Omaha area, there is a huge demand for living spaces, according to Brandon Beatty, an associate and project architect with Holland Basham Architects.
“We’re seeing development in the UNMC area, the Blackstone area, downtown, Benson, Papillion/La Vista, and we have some stuff out west in the Millard area,” he said.
The size of the projects range from 75 to 100 units for the suburban buildings to 100, 200, and even 300 units for urban buildings.
“Most of them tend to be more urban, higher density projects,” Beatty said. “We have a couple — the ones out west — that are more suburban. Most in the core area of Omaha are more urban, infill type projects where we’re maximizing the site. We’re building as tall as we can, multi-family with wood frame construction. The variety of that is based on the lot, how much we can put on there.”
Beatty said the developers are offering amenity-heavy multi-family buildings, but the firm is not seeing a significant amount of mixed-use.
“We’re seeing lots of expanded fitness offerings, small micro coffee bars, outdoor game spaces and lounge spaces like pools, hot tubs and rooftop bars,” Beatty said.
The Cosgrove at 38th and Leavenworth streets, which started construction in 2019, is expected to open in the first quarter of 2023.
Applied Underwriters — which oversees development at Heartwood Preserve — is building its new campus, a 260,000-square-foot building with underground parking, on the south side of Pacific Street, according to Bart Emanuel, national director of development & construction.
The firm sells land to buyers who then develop their own projects.
The Union Bank & Trust building will open on the corner of 144th Street and West Dodge Road later this year.
“The development, of which over 70% is sold or under contract, will feature public nature trails and greenways, corporate headquarters, residential developments and retail opportunities,” Emanuel said. “With nearly 500 mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly acres, Heartwood is poised to become a cornerstone for living, working, shopping and playing in Omaha.”
Leo A Daly is finishing up 110,000 square feet of tenant fit-out space at the Carson headquarters at Heartwood Preserve.
“[The interior office is] designed to create a vibrant, employee-first space to balance remote officing options, providing a variety of work zones, spaces for socialization, and updated AV for easy collaboration, regardless of physical location,” said Senior Associate and Project Manager Heather E. Robbins.
The interior for Carson headquarters will be completed in December.
1501 Mike Fahey
Kiewit Building Group will build 1501 Mike Fahey, a 115,000-square-foot, four-story office and commercial development from Noddle Cos., which will determine the number of units, according to Senior Vice President Kevin P. Welker. The final cost of the project will be $57 million.
“The complex will house offices, food and beverage vendors, retail space, two rooftop decks and a pedestrian plaza,” he said. “We are currently in the final design of the exterior. Development of the complex will start in September. Tenant improvements will come next year, and [the project will] be completed at the end of 2023.”
1501 Mike Fahey, located on the southwest corner of 15th and Mike Fahey streets, will further the development of the Builders District in north downtown Omaha.