Long-vacant tower near Midtown Crossing is coming down

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Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013 12:00 am

Removal is underway of a controversial tower that stands between Midtown Crossing and downtown Omaha, but there is no official word yet on what will become of the property afterward.

Anderson Excavating Co. is expected to take several weeks to dismantle the northern Twin Tower, a high-rise condominium building at 30th and Douglas Streets.

The southern Twin Tower is occupied with tenants and is to remain intact.

Although a wrecking ball appears to be hanging from machinery at the site, that is not how the north tower will come down. A construction manager said workers essentially will dismantle it in pieces, as the parking garage is to be preserved. (The hanging ball is used as a balancing weight, he said.)

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This week, workers were removing panels from the exterior of the north tower, which has been vacant for years and previously was the subject of a dispute between the City of Omaha and the owner, as well as a lawsuit.

Back in 2011, the city had ordered the building to be demolished unless the garage was repaired. The owner/developer took steps to shore up problems.

Mutual of Omaha, which built the $300 million Midtown Crossing development, also entered the fray by suing in an attempt to force maintenance or demolition.

Mutual of Omaha this week declined to comment on the demolition or future use of the land, according to Molly Skold, a spokesperson for Mutual subsidiary East Campus Realty.

The north tower's current owner, Turner Park North LLC (Community Development Inc.) of Caldwell, Idaho, didn't return a reporter's phone calls.

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