Mutual of Omaha’s proposed office tower cleared another hurdle Tuesday as the Omaha City Council unanimously approved a redevelopment plan for the project. A public hearing was held last week.
The 800,000-square-foot tower will be constructed where W. Dale Clark Library currently sits at 215 S 15th Street, along with a 2,200-stall parking structure that will wrap around the bottom floors of the skyscraper.
The plan details the project’s next steps. It authorizes the developer, Lanoha Real Estate, to purchase the lot to the east of the library. Lanoha will acquire the library site through an exchange of property, which will be voted on at a future meeting. The city would acquire property at 14th and Dodge Streets, the former Union Pacific Headquarters.
The properties have yet to be appraised, but Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen said the library site has been appraised at nearly $7.9 million, while the former Union Pacific site is expected to be appraised around $6 million. He said the city believes that the exchange is in its interest because of future development opportunities at the site.
The city will operate the parking garage at the new office tower, as well as purchase the existing parking structures at Mutual’s midtown campus. The city will also be responsible for demolishing the W. Dale Clark Library, which is expected by the end of the year.
The City Council also held a public hearing on a purchase of nearly $11 million in vehicles and medical units from MacQueen Equipment for the Omaha Fire Department. Fire Chief Daniel Olsen said the purchase would standardize the department’s vehicle fleet.
“Your support of this ordinance would without a doubt enhance service delivery and promote firefighter safety,” Olsen said.
Olsen said the purchase would front load costs to take advantage of current prices. It will be largely financed through the Capital Improvement Program over the next three years. It also includes the option to purchase more equipment through 2029. The vote will be held next week.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners also met Tuesday to receive an update from Corrections Director Mike Myers. He reported that there were four COVID cases among the incarcerated population in April. Myers also said the department began implementing body-worn cameras for staff last week, and the rollout will take place over several weeks.