HDR CEO Eric Keen

CEO Eric Keen in front of the HDR headquarters going up at Aksarben Village. 

It’s an auspicious time for the new chief executive of HDR Inc.

By the end of the year, Eric Keen and nearly 1,100 other Omaha-area employees of the engineering and architecture firm plan to move into a new headquarters building at 67th and Frances Streets in the Aksarben Village development.

It’s a location selected after a controversy in which an initial downtown location fell by the wayside after disagreements over parking and other issues.

Keen is diplomatic about the location decision, reached when George Little was CEO of HDR. Keen succeeded Little, who retired at the end of 2017.

“At that time, George and I and a lot of our senior leadership were very involved in trying to make the right decision,” Keen said in an interview. “I think most importantly, the decision was always to be here in Omaha.

“There were lots of good sites. At the end of the day, this just happened to be the one that made the most sense for us at the time.”

His personal opinion about the downtown location versus Aksarben?

“You know what?” Keen said, smiling. “I’m glad we’re in Omaha.”

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