$22 million project might soon be build in North Omaha, GreenSlate Development has already purchased 11 vacant acres north of the Storz Expressway along Ninth Street
OMAHA, Nebraska — A midtown real estate partnership that is best known for transforming an abandoned urban corridor into the hip Blackstone commercial neighborhood is branching out into uncharted terrain.
GreenSlate Development has the intention of constructing a massive warehouse in the industrial section of North Omaha.
The corporation has acquired 11 undeveloped acres of land located close to Eppley Airfield, to the north of the Storz Expressway and along Ninth Street.
Project costing close to 22 million dollars
The project has an estimated total cost of just under $22 million and plans for a structure with a floor area of 160,000 square feet. The space will most likely be subdivided into four bays that will be utilized for warehousing, distribution, and storage. There have not yet been any tenants signed up.
According to GreenSlate, the one-story construction would not be feasible without the public subsidy granted by Nebraska law to support economic growth. As a result, GreenSlate is requesting clearance from the City of Omaha for a tax increment financing loan in the amount of $3.2 million.
On Wednesday, the Omaha Planning Board gave its approval to the TIF request, which still needs to be authorized by the City Council.
A project must be located in a blighted area in order for it to qualify for TIF funding. This is how it works: once the city gives its approval, the owner applies for a loan to cover any expenses that are allowed, which may include public upgrades. The higher property tax revenue collected on the new development over the course of the loan duration, which is 20 years in this instance, is used to make the payments on the debt.
Once the loan is paid off, the tax revenue from what will have become a property of higher worth is reallocated to traditional government coffers such as public schools and the coffers of city and county governments respectively.
Clay Vanderheiden, a principal at GreenSlate, was quoted as saying that although though investments in industrial-type digs might not fall into the normal wheelhouse of the company, he sees them as diversification.
And in a time when restaurants have been shuttering their doors and conventional office-goers have been working remotely, the real estate market for industrial and distribution space has stood out as one of the strongest expanding sectors.
According to Vanderheiden, there are many who believe it is “at the very top of the pile.”
He continued, saying, “I’m somewhat of a believer in not putting all of your eggs in one one basket.”
According to reports provided by Cushman & Wakefield/Lund Co., Greenslate’s TIF application makes reference to the flourishing industrial market. It was stated that at the beginning of the year there was around 5.3 million square feet of industrial space in the process of being constructed in the Omaha metropolitan region, and the majority of it had already been reserved by owners or renters.
Dennis Sciscoe, a market expert at Lund, stated that developers are competing with one another to create industrial premises. “Demand is so great that the majority of the new developments have already found tenants before construction is even finished.”
According to him, the majority of the metropolitan area’s more recent industrial space is located in or around the Highways 50 and 370 corridors in Sarpy County. This includes Facebook, which this year finished approximately 2.6 million square feet of data center space.
Officials from GreenSlate have stated that their proposed warehouse in North Omaha, which is located close to both the airport and downtown Omaha, “is unique to the market,” and that the additional square footage will be easily absorbed by the market.
They stated that the proposal is compatible with the objectives of the city’s master plan, which include the creation of new jobs and the expansion of an industrial park in the area around the airport.
Airport area development
In the vicinity of the airport, construction has begun on a number of other significant industrial projects.
For example, state senators Justin Wayne and Terrell McKinney of Omaha are attempting to acquire land for a community business and industrial park. This park would be funded with sixty million dollars in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that were designated by the legislature during the most recent session.
TIF funding in the amount of $1.2 million has been approved by the City of Omaha for the construction of an industrial building with a floor area of 66,000 square feet on four undeveloped acres close to the intersection of 13th and Fort Streets. It is anticipated that A-United would relocate into the building sometime during the summer of 2019, once it has been completed.
The developer, F&J Enterprises, has a storage and distribution building with a total area of 150,000 square feet that is now under construction at 5906 Abbott Drive on 13 acres. That project was given authorization to receive over $3.9 million in TIF funding.
The GreenSlate project location is located immediately to the south of an already-established and operational Lozier warehouse.
According to Vanderheiden, GreenSlate, which is collaborating with broker Sciscoe, was given the opportunity to purchase the land. The report from TIF indicates that the price of land acquisition was $2.8 million.
GreenSlate anticipates the creation of 107 new permanent employment, which does not include the 50 jobs connected to construction that will be created while the building is being constructed.
There would be approximately 161 outdoor parking slots on the site, in addition to 13 stalls designated specifically for parking semitrucks.
Rebirth of the Blackstone
GreenSlate, which includes principals Jay Lund and Matt Dwyer, claims to have steered the flow of approximately $250 million over the course of the past decade (which was invested by GreenSlate and others), which resulted in the establishment of more than 30 new businesses in the Blackstone commercial district.
The majority of the structures along the main section of Farnam Street in the district, which is located east of the campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and about 40th Street, have either been redeveloped or are scheduled to be redeveloped. In addition, GreenSlate’s headquarters are located on the strip.
The revitalization was made possible by the city’s decision to convert Farnam Street from a one-way to a two-way traffic flow, as well as by installing new lighting and planting in order to make the district more suitable for walking.
According to Vanderheiden, Greenslate is still doing a lot of hard work in the apartment and retail sectors. This includes the construction of a nine-story structure in Blackstone that will bring additional apartments, stores, and parking garage space. TIF funding in the amount of $6.2 million was granted for that almost $44 million project.
Greenslate is also a leader in the proposed redevelopment of the midtown Saddle Creek property, which would extend the UNMC campus with approximately 25 acres of housing, retailers, and elements related to the medical business. This extension will take place in the year 2022.
According to what Vanderheiden had to say, “I like to say we’re in the business of doing good projects for Omaha.”