Construction of the proposed Applied Underwriters office campus — and the broader Heartwood Preserve redevelopment in west Omaha — will continue despite news that Berkshire Hathaway could sell the Applied insurance unit.
Jeffrey Silver of Omaha, general counsel for Applied, said a sale “will have absolutely no effect or impact” on redevelopment of the overall 500 acres southwest of 144th Street and West Dodge Road. The development still will be called Heartwood Preserve.
He said the project always was to be funded by Applied. “After the transaction occurs, there will be no change.”
The 55-acre national operations center for Applied is to be built within the Heartwood Preserve. The 800 Applied workers based in the Omaha area are to move to the new office campus, which will span about 450,000 square feet. Construction is to start later this year. The local Applied workforce is expected to increase as its Omaha offices grow, officials have said.
Other parts of the Heartwood Preserve already are under construction. The redevelopment site is expected to take years to fully build out and will feature retailers, housing and inside and outside entertainment venues.
As for Applied Underwriters' operations in Omaha, it will be business as usual, Silver said.
Warren Buffett said Monday that Berkshire had reached an agreement to sell Applied, which sells workers’ compensation insurance. But Buffett said state regulators will have to sign off on the deal before it can go forward.
Buffett said Applied Underwriters is a smaller firm that has to compete against two larger insurance companies Berkshire owns that also sell workers’ compensation coverage.
It’s unusual for Berkshire to sell or close any of its companies. Buffett says his preferred holding period for an acquisition is forever.
In the past, the only exception Buffett has made to this policy is for businesses that face the prospect of never-ending operating losses.
The report contains material from The Associated Press.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns the Omaha World-Herald.
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Warren and Susan Buffett at their home at 5202 Underwood Ave. in 1956. The family was “back in Omaha and ready for a picnic,” The World-Herald reported. Susie was 2½, and Howard was 17 months.
From left: Bill Scott, Warren Buffett and John Harding in May 1966.
In 1969, Warren Buffett was a vice president of Omaha's Boys Club. Here, member Spencer McGruder gives the president's gavel to C. Clifton Nelson as Buffett looks on.
Warren Buffett in the mid 1970s.
Warren Buffett and Rose Blumkin announce the partnership between Nebraska Furniture Mart and Berkshire Hathaway in September 1983. They are seated in the carpet department of the Mart.
Warren Buffett at his Kiewit Plaza office in 1982.
Warren Buffett was featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine in April 1988.
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger take questions from shareholders after Berkshire's annual meeting in April 1989.
Warren Buffett checks out the Coca-cola at the Berkshire meeting in April 1989.
Warren Buffett and Dick Denton play bridge in 1990 at the Omaha Bridge Studio.
Leila Buffett, then 88, talks with her son Warren Buffett before the company's annual meeting in 1992. At center is Charles Higgins, president of See's Candy.
Warren Buffett tosses out a pitch before the start of the Omaha Royals' home opener at Rosenblatt Stadium on April 11, 2003. Buffett's jersey was retired before the game.
Warren Buffett drinks a Coke at the First National Bank Building in 1992.
Warren Buffett guest starred on an episode of "All My Children" in 1993. Here he has a scene with Jill Larson as Opal Cortlandt.
Warren Buffett at his Berkshire office at Kiewit Plaza in 1993. He'd placed his hands and feet in cement for a fundraiser for the Omaha Community Playhouse.
Warren Buffett winds up to throw out the first pitch at an Omaha Royals/Buffalo game in April 1995.
Warren Buffett drives himself away from a Berkshire Hathaway meeting at the Holiday Inn in 1996.
A photographer captures Warren Buffett on the sidelines of the Texas/Nebraska game in October 1998 for a Fortune Magazine feature.
Bill Gates says Warren Buffett has basically stuck to eating what he liked when he was 6 years old. He mostly eats hamburgers, ice cream, and Coke. Here, two of the world's richest men are about to get some burgers and fries during a 1995 visit to McDonald's in Hong Kong. Said Gates of Buffett: "Always thrifty, Warren paid with coupons."
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates play a hand of bridge for the press before the start of a bridge tournament at the Omaha Bridge Studio in 2004.
Warren Buffet collects his chips after winning a hand next to Joe Moglia, CEO of TD Ameritrade, during the Omega/Casino Royale Texas Hold 'Em Tournament as part of the Borsheims grand re-opening in 2006.
Former Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett hands over a game ball to Warren Buffett after Buffett threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Texas Rangers baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, June 11, 2008, in Kansas City.
Warren Buffett eats a Dilly Bar and talks with reporters at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway exhibit during the 2011 Berkshire meeting.
David Rubenstein, president of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., gives Buffett a jacket from his high school alma mater, Woodrow Wilson High School, with the "47" on the sleeve for Buffett's graduation class of 1947. Buffett's response: "Go, Tigers!" That's the name of the Wilson High mascot.
Warren Buffett breaks out a giant paddle while playing against Olympian Ariel Hsing during several rounds of ping pong at Regency Court in Omaha on May 6, 2012.
Warren Buffett plays cards during a Berkshire Hathaway event at Regency Court on May 1, 2016.
Warren Buffett takes a swig of a Cherry Coke before participating in the newspaper toss at the 2017 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting.
Warren Buffett poses with a large image of himself at UNO's Mammel Hall in 2013.