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Rardy

Omaha

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Per today's World-Herald, the City of Omaha is planning to purchase a defunct factory between the Qwest Center and the Old Market - prime tourist spots - with plans to issue RFPs for the area.

With those parcels, the city would control the entire two-block area between 10th and 12th Streets and Capitol Avenue to Interstate 480. The city plans to ask developers to put together proposals for the site once it owns all the land.

Those proposals probably would include residential, retail or office space, or even a full-service hotel. Such a hotel, with a restaurant, meeting space and other amenities, could help Qwest Center Omaha draw larger conventions that sometimes bypass the city because there aren't enough full-service hotels.

Omaha Planning Director Steve Jensen considers the site a "linchpin" that connects downtown's two entertainment areas, and the city isn't taking any chances on the future of the pivotal blocks.

"What happens to this site is critical," Jensen said.

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Omaha is extending its western city limits to take in 7 subdivisions, a new Wal-Mart Supercenter, and a new SuperTarget. The annexation will boost Omaha's population to 428,000, but officials say the goal of the annexation is only to bring in tax revenue from the commercial developments.

Read more from the World-Herald here>>

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Omaha metro is looking at expanding freeway routes within the city.

It has been envisioned as a beltway that would encircle the Omaha metro area.

But the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency proposal for a new highway system might also take the form of linear highways radiating out from the city center.

Engineers hired to examine the metro area's future highway needs are not assuming that a beltway is the right configuration, said Matthew Tondl, senior vice president with HDR Engineering of Omaha.

Other cities have custom-designed their traffic systems in a variety of ways, Tondl said. "If you get an atlas out and start looking at major cities in the United States, you're going to see varying forms of Interstate or freeway-type facilities."

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Omaha has the second largest income growth in the Midwest, and the 11th fastest growth in the nation, per this article from Bizjournals.

Omaha's per capita income of $37,444 grew 268.9% since 1980, with 18.9% of that growth occuring in the past 5 years.

Madison, WI was 10th. Des Moines was the next highest rated Midwest metro at 30th in the nation.

Edited by Rardy

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Impressive stats for Omaha! Defenitly alot happening with by-pass, annexation,etc. I like the term "Gateway to the West".

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Omaha is the best place in the Midwest to get a job, and the 15th best in the nation according to this data from Forbes.

According to their research, of the largest 100 cities in the U.S., Omaha has the 17th lowest unemployment rate and the 12th lowest cost-of-living. :thumbsup:

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Omaha MSA grew from 767,041 in 2000 to 813,170 in 2005 - ever closer to that elusive 1 million mark. This is what the City Weekly had to say:

Business and political leaders in Omaha have focused lately on the importance of achieving an MSA population of at least 1 million. MSAs with more than a million residents tend to grow faster and attract more desirable retailers, higher paying jobs and more exciting entertainment opportunities. From an economic development perspective, it is important that Omaha continues growing toward the all-important million-person mark.

How close are we? If the current growth rate continues, and the current geographical definitions of the Omaha MSA remain static, our population won

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This is some impressive numbers for Omaha. No matter when they reach the million mark. Omaha seems to be headed in the right direction with all the progressive thinking!

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...And the good press coverage continues...

Fast Company magazine has created its list of the world

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Omaha, the smallest city in the world to host 2 major medical colleges, is in the midst of an historic healthcare-related construction boom. Get a load of all these projects in a metro of 825,000:

-Bergan Mercy getting $107 million expansion, completed 2010

-Immanual MC, $83 million expansion, completed 2011

-Midlands Community getting $42 million expansion

-Lakeside Hospital getting $52 million expansion

-rumors of new 80-acre "wellness and healthcare campus", 180th St. at W. Maple

-Bellevue Medical Center, new 5-story $100 million hospital, Hwy. 370 at 25th St.

-Methodist Women's Hospital, new 5-story $100 million hospital, W. Dodge at 192nd

-Children's Hospital, 84th at Dodge, $50 million expansion

-UNMC's new 10-story tower, $77 million opens this year

-UNMC's Sorrel Center expansion, $52.7 million

That's $663,700,000 in confirmed construction alone!!!

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Omaha is home to 5 Fortune 500 companies:

-Berkshire Hathaway, 13th largest in the nation

-ConAgra Foods, 143rd

-Union Pacific, 164th

-Peter Kiewit, 483rd

-Mutual of Omaha, 491st

Omaha has more Fortune 500's than the states of Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, and South Carolina, and the cities of Washington, D.C., Nashville, Memphis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston, Baltimore, Phoenix, Miami, Kansas City, and San Diego.

Not too shabby!

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Very impressive list for Omaha! Esp. ahead of all those states and cities. This is helping them take it to the next level! I figured Louisiana only had three Fortune 500 companies.

Surely there are some urban enthusiast in Omaha??

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The City Council has approved stringent new design rules called "Omaha By Design". The rules, among other things, stipulate:

Design initiative:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Large retail buildings have limited material options for their facades, including stone or brick, and have minimum requirements for window space. The height of on-site store signs is limited.

In commercial centers, buildings have to be grouped in ways that create plazas or public spaces that encourage people to walk as they shop. Landscaping requirements apply for parking lots. Tall retaining walls must be terraced and landscaped.

Space at the corners of major intersections must be set aside for green space, instead of commercial buildings.

Established neighborhoods have the option of developing preservation plans and creating special zoning districts. The city offers a new zoning classification for "walkable neighborhoods" that blends different styles of housing and connects with commercial areas.

A new city board

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According to a newly released study, Omaha is the 2nd wealthiest city in the nation when you factor average income by cost of living. Omaha's average income is unremarkable at best, but because of the low cost of living (89% of national average), Omahans have more money to spend for their income.

This is great news for people relocating from the more expensive coasts. I just wonder how long it will last, considering how much word has gotten out about Omaha's low cost of property. People really are moving here and that could very well drive the price up, especially if Omaha gets its sprawl under control...

090107kcwagegraphic.jpg

WH article here>>

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Jeff Beals over at CityWeekly has some new stats:

For the 12-month period ending July 31, the Omaha economy had a net gain of 9,800 jobs and the unemployment rate remained low at a healthy 3.4 percent. Net taxable sales are running 6.5 percent ahead of last year

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Impressive stats for Omaha, looking good for sure!

Some of the most affordable metros on that list are suprising.

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Here's a YouTube video on the O! art project:

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Omaha just came in #1 among the 65 largest cities in the U.S. for easiest commutes! The average Omahan commutes just over 20 minutes, and has the largest share of commuters in the country with a 14 minute or less commute. Sweet!

Article here>>

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Omaha's Arts & Entertainment District; The Old Market District-roughly 20 blocks

http://www.oldmarket.com/interactiveflashmap.asp

The Old Market district was crucial to the commercial development of Omaha as the wholesale jobbing area flourished in the 1880’s and continued well into the twentieth century. The district, then comprised of former light industrial and warehouse buildings and wholesale jobbing houses, served as the distribution center for a variety of goods shipped on the Union Pacific Railroad and its branch lines all the way to the west coast. Today, the Old Market Omaha is a multi-block collection of renovated brick warehouses, quaint storefronts, old-fashioned lampposts, uneven brick streets, horse-drawn carriages and street-side musicians.

The city has spent nearly $2 billion in new construction and development, including the $291 million Qwest Center Omaha, a new 40-story First National Bank Building, a riverfront university campus for the world-renowned Gallup Organization, and a National Park Service Regional headquarters building for Union Pacific.

Edited by richyb83

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