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Rardy

Office Development in Omaha

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Two new projects are about to come online on W. Center in the 168th area, Lakeside Professional Building and Legacy Row. Both are in the vicinity of the new LifeTime Fitness and Lakeside Hospital which is in the middle of a $54 million expansion.

Underwood's company is building Legacy Row at 17310 Wright St. The two-story, 34,000-square-foot office building has upscale amenities such as underground parking. Its brick facade mimics a Chicago row house, with high antique cornices, slate roofs and different window types.

"It's supposed to feel like you've got four buildings next to each other - four row houses," Underwood said. "The nice thing about the building is the flexibility - it can be divided any way a tenant would want."

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Kiewit is buying the adjacent Blackstone building, 50 years ago it was the nicest hotel in Omaha. It's been converted into offices since 1984.

"They're kind of landlocked where they are," Huber said of Kiewit's present office building and property, Kiewit Plaza, on the corner across 36th Street.

Kiewit recently expanded its parking garage to the south and is bounded on the east by WOWT television. The 2.7-acre Blackstone property includes parking lots.

Georgia Mace, a vice president of tenant IAT Reinsurance Group, said the present owners have done a good job of maintaining the old building. "I'm sure Kiewit will, too. It's a perfect fit for them."

Some Kiewit personnel have moved into the building in recent months, occupying space vacated by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Inc., which moved to One Pacific Place near 103rd and Pacific Streets.

MidAmerican began as a Kiewit division and now is part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which has its offices in Kiewit Plaza. Other tenants in the Blackstone include the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation.

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Wouldn't it be great if it were to be returned (even partially) to use as a hotel? Somehow, I doubt this will happen- especially as the building isn't directly downtown. Probably just more offices. It has played an important partin Omaha's history and deserves careful stewardship. I'd hate to see it go the route of the Fontenelle.

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