In late 2015, Omaha Performing Arts and HDR announced plans for millions of dollars in new downtown development. OPA planned an expansion of the Holland Performing Arts Center at 11th and Douglas Streets. That site contains three century-old buildings whose possible demolition sparked controversy. The project would be built at the same time as HDR’s high-rise headquarters on land the performing arts group now owns just north of the Holland. In February OPA announced it backed off from the plan.
The City of Omaha would grant $15 million in tax-increment financing toward HDR Inc.’s planned new corporate headquarters at Aksarben Village under a proposal going before the city’s Planning Board on Wednesday.
The Omaha Planning Board voted 7-0 Wednesday to endorse $15 million in tax-increment financing for Aksarben Village developers’ plan to build a new headquarters for HDR Inc.
The building is to rise 10 stories and cover about 245,000 square feet, including about 18,000 square feet of retail space, at the corner of 67th and Frances Streets.
Dr. Richard Azizkhan said this week that the hospital and its now-tenant, HDR, have formed a cordial relationship and that he intends to be flexible as HDR proceeds with its quest for a new home office.
Thrusting Alvine into the news was that its home of three decades was one of the century-old buildings targeted for demolition in a plan tied to expansion of Omaha Performing Arts’ Holland Center campus and proposed downtown HDR high-rise. Though OPA and HDR both scrapped their visions, Alvine has decided to stay the course that those plans set into motion for the company.
There were other unresolved points of contention between Omaha Performing Arts and HDR by the time the architecture and engineering firm rejected the downtown site early this month. And HDR has said a rising cost of the entire project also contributed to the decision to pull the plug.
Mayor Jean Stothert announced Thursday that the city will buy the properties at 11th and Douglas Streets and give them to Omaha Performing Arts, which operates the Holland Center.
The previously planned location was at 1100 Dodge St. Officials at the architecture and engineering firm declined to talk Thursday about their second choice for a global headquarters, other than to say it would be in Omaha.
Another piece of downtown Omaha’s ongoing transformation kicks off this summer with the planned groundbreaking of HDR’s 16-story glass global headquarters.
About a dozen opponents of the purchase said Tuesday that they object to the $11 million price tag and the possibility that Omaha Performing Arts could demolish the buildings for its expansion.
Omaha Performing Arts surprised Omahans last week with the announcement that it would no longer seek the three buildings in exchange for selling nearby property to HDR Inc.
HDR would use $3 million to buy the headquarters site, now a parking lot, from the nonprofit Omaha Performing Arts. Other TIF expenses would include $7.9 million in design fees, $5.5 million for special building foundations made necessary by the water table at the site and $1.6 million for improvements to surrounding public streets, sidewalks, parking and landscaping.
With parcels in hand, Omaha Performing Arts would become owners of the entire area between 11th, 13th, Dodge and Douglas Streets. Preservationists expressed outrage that three historic structures could be demolished to make way for the Holland expansion.
With a pledge of $10 million, the City of Omaha on Thursday appears to have secured the HDR world headquarters for downtown Omaha and space for expansion of the Holland Center. The World-Herald's Mike'l Severe and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert discuss the plan.
After last year’s demolition of the Clarinda and Page apartments in midtown Omaha, preservation advocates are stinging over the possibility of losing downtown’s Christian Specht Building and two other century-old buildings.
Mayor Jean Stothert told The World-Herald on Tuesday that the old buildings would be demolished only if their owners are willing to sell to Omaha Performing Arts, which owns and operates the Holland Center.
The Specht’s current tenant, Julia Russell, heard the suggestion that the Specht might be haunted and thought: Why not? If landmark status can’t ensure preservation, then perhaps a little supernatural intervention could stir things up.
No decisions have been made about building specifics, including size or number of structures.
Preservation vs. a certain vision of progress — and the parking that vision of progress often demands — is a fight that Omaha keeps having with itself, an argument we seem almost unable to avoid.
HDR Inc. would fill a downtown Omaha city block with a 20-story office tower and a seven-story parking garage, according to documents filed with the city this week.
The pressure is on to resolve recently emerged land-use questions that could threaten HDR’s plan for a new corporate home at 11th and Dodge Streets.
HDR Inc. is seeking $20.9 million in tax-increment financing to help pay for the $152 million headquarters the firm proposes to build in downtown Omaha.
As it turns to Plan B for its new world headquarters, Omaha-based HDR is reviewing fresh proposals — some of which were considered in the first go-round a year ago, and some properties that more recently became available.
None of the sites under consideration would take the architectural and engineering titan far from its current Omaha address, at 84th Street and Indian Hills Drive.
City leaders are heralding global architecture and engineering firm HDR’s impending move to downtown Omaha, but what happens to the campus it leaves behind near 84th and Dodge?
Plans show two new buildings that would attach to the existing Holland Center, the first a mixed-use facility on the east end of the property, with classrooms, administrative offices, parking and other spaces. The second, between the other two, most likely would provide additional performance space.
It cost extra and took more time, but today the front portions of four old buildings in Washington, D.C., are integral parts of a new office building, housing a reference library, a visitors lounge and offices, with small restaurants due to open soon on the street level.
Indeed, downtown’s profile as an urban hub has sharpened in the decade since the Holland opened on the site of the old Swanson frozen dinner plant.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert sees a way for the Holland Performing Arts Center to get more parking without demolishing a group of 19th-century buildings.
HDR’s new downtown Omaha global headquarters is to be lined on its northern edge by street-level retail shops and services — a move that aligns with the city’s goal to turn Capitol Avenue into a lively pedestrian-friendly corridor.
The Omaha City Council gave its first endorsement of HDR Inc.’s plan to build a new downtown headquarters.
“It’s going to be a big benefit to downtown and to Omaha," Mayor Jean Stothert said after the architectural and engineering firm's announcement.
The nonprofit arts organization still will sell the parking lot it owns to HDR Inc. for the architecture and engineering firm's new downtown Omaha headquarters. But the city’s controversial proposal to use $11 million in taxpayer-funded bonds to buy three century-old buildings for Omaha Performing Arts is off.
In the meantime, OPA Chairman John Gottschalk pledged to work with community groups on the fate of three century-old buildings whose possible demolition has sparked controversy.
Larry Jobeun, attorney for property owners Alvine & Associates and Todd Simon, stopped short of saying they were “willing sellers,” as they were described earlier by Mayor Jean Stothert.
Attendees of the Planning Board meeting said they have concerns about HDR’s plan for employee parking and the fate of a nearby historic building. But several also said they’re happy that the company wants to relocate its headquarters downtown.
Under the proposed redevelopment agreement, Omaha Performing Arts, which operates the Holland Center, would give a nearby property to HDR Inc. for its new headquarters. In return, the city would spend about $11 million to buy three century-old buildings and give them to OPA.
The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on an amendment to the city’s Downtown Northeast Redevelopment Plan.
Mayor Jean Stothert on Friday offered more details of the negotiations and defended the $10 million deal as important to downtown development.
The county assessor lists the three buildings as valued at about $2.7 million altogether. The city’s initial offer for the three buildings was $8 million.
Private property owners who own three buildings at 11th and Douglas Streets have agreed to sell the properties to the City of Omaha, clearing the way for HDR Inc. to build a new headquarters downtown.
HDR leaders won’t give a hint on its options, other than to say that they’re not abandoning the pledge to build in Omaha. Their earlier plan called for a June construction start. And they face expiration on their current campus lease in January 2019.
The city’s $10 million pledge that would secure the HDR world headquarters for downtown makes an important statement about Omaha’s future.