Duke of Omaha apartment complex

A rendering of the Duke of Omaha apartment complex, which will include five four-story buildings, about 450 parking spaces and amenities including a pool, a fitness center, a dog park and a bike-repair shop.

Southeast Texas has one in its city of Victoria. So does Nashville.

Now work has started on a local version: the Duke of Omaha apartments, developed by the Giddings Group of Augusta, Georgia.

The 283-apartment Duke complex, which is to run parallel to 46th Street between Dodge and California, is the developer’s first project in Omaha.

Giddings specializes in apartments. Managing partner Peter Caye III said the Duke name also has become an identifier for its apartment complexes in Victoria and Nashville.

He said “Duke” is a nod to his wife’s maiden name and an old family diner where people gathered to chat about business news of the day.

“It stands out,” Caye said of the name. “We like to stand out.”

The eight-acre residential complex, at 151 N. 46th St., essentially becomes the eastern border of the Dundee neighborhood, Caye said, replacing an industrial site used for years as a maintenance yard for concrete company Lyman-Richey.

Caye declined to talk about cost, but city documents describe the Duke as a nearly $44 million project comprising five four-story buildings, about 450 parking spaces and amenities including a pool, a fitness center, a dog park, a bike-repair shop, electric vehicle charging stations and a concierge service.

City officials have approved up to $7.1 million in tax-increment financing to help offset expenses such as public infrastructure improvements. Lund-Ross Constructors has started site preparation.

Caye said his group was attracted by Omaha’s diverse economy, low unemployment rate and growing University of Nebraska Medical Center facilities. He expects many of the Duke’s residents will study or work at the medical campus.

The market-rate residences range from studios to two-bedroom units and are expected to be available by summer of 2018. Caye is not worried about filling the units, and said that renting suits the fast-paced lifestyles of many professionals today who don’t want the upkeep of a house.

In an effort to blend in with historic Dundee, Caye added touches including Dundee-style street lamps, planters and trees.

Molly Romero, president of the Dundee-Memorial Park Association, said she was glad Caye sought neighborhood input, and she looks forward to having hundreds more residents on its eastern border.

“We’re in favor of density and we’re in favor of well-designed projects, which this one is,” Romero said.

Residents were concerned, Romero said, about traffic flow and whether streets could sufficiently serve the growth.

Murthy Koti, city traffic engineer, said the city believes existing streets can handle the additional traffic. He said the city will adjust signal timing to accommodate spikes in traffic.

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