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Omaha downtown Capitol District’s three-story mixed-use building is welcoming its first major office tenant

OMAHA — The three-story mixed-use structure in the downtown Capitol District is now receiving its first significant office tenant two years after construction was completed on the project.

Midway through the month of December, the Omaha employees of Deloitte, a multinational auditing and consulting firm, will relocate to the building’s top floor. This will make Deloitte the first traditional office-user at the Capitol District location, which has primarily been marketed as an entertainment district.

Millions of dollars in TIF

The expansive complex in the Capitol District, which spans a few blocks and costs several million dollars, is bookended by a Marriott hotel with 333 guest rooms and an apartment building. An outdoor plaza with a stage that is flanked by bars, restaurants, and other businesses is one of the most notable features.

In 2011, the city leaders of Omaha made the decision to build the Capitol District project on the site of what was once a collection of public parking lots. The beginning of the actual construction was held up for a number of years, and its commencement was dependent, in part, on up to $35 million in public tax-increment financing that was granted by the City Council.

It is expected that Deloitte, which currently occupies 26,000 square feet at the First National Tower at 16th and Dodge Streets, will move to approximately 10,000 square feet of the mixed-use office building in late 2020. This building was the final structural piece to complete the more than $205 million Capitol District.

This finish took place two years ago, during the pandemic, when a large number of employees were working remotely and professional service organizations did not have a high demand for office space.

The office market has been improving.

The Gene Leahy Mall, on the other hand, went through a renovation not too long ago. The area is being increasingly populated with apartment buildings. In and around the Capitol District, a number of exciting new entertainment venues, such as the Steelhouse Omaha concert hall and the Kiewit Luminarium science museum, are on the verge of opening their doors to the public.

On the location of the former main public library, which has since been demolished, Mutual of Omaha intends to construct a new office tower with a height that will make it the highest building in the central business district.

In spite of the fact that Deloitte is shrinking its footprint and moving from one urban core location to another, the most recent office market report indicates that overall activity in the downtown market is improving.

According to Colliers International of Omaha, the vacancy rate in the downtown region was 6.4% during the third quarter of this year, which is a significant decrease from the nearly 8% rate that existed a year earlier.

Kristi Andersen of CBRE, which is handling part of the leasing at the Capitol District, said that her team is starting to see excitement build up in and around the district as a result of the many facilities that are expected to be built.

“As a longstanding member of the Omaha community, we’re delighted to commit to the Capitol District and be at the center of Omaha’s ongoing restoration of the urban core,” said the spokesman for Deloitte, Dan Kinsella.

Andersen acknowledged the need for prudence in light of the fact that some office space, both downtown and elsewhere in the metropolitan area, has been leased and is generating rent, but it is not being used to its maximum capacity because of the rise of remote work. Andersen has stated that despite the uncertainty around the properties in question, she continues to have a positive outlook regarding the future of downtown.

Let it Fly

Let It Fly will be a sports bar with 350 seats and 10,000 square feet of space when it opens in the Capitol District as a new shop later this year.

A glass-enclosed podcast studio will be located inside, and a curved LED screen measuring 48 feet diagonally will be mounted above the main bar. This will enable customers to watch sports broadcasters Mike’l Severe and Josh Jones conduct interviews with athletes and coaches while they dine at the restaurant.

The sports bar and restaurant, which is planned to open in the spring of 2023 and will feature two outdoor patios as well as a retail shop, will become one of the more than 20 restaurants, bars, and businesses that are located in the Capitol District, whose primary investor is Paul Smith’s Black Dog Management.

The mixed-use office building in the neighborhood is now leasing additional retail and office space to interested parties. Let It Fly is going to be located in that building at 1100 Capitol Avenue, right next to Texas de Brazil.

Mike Miller, the creator and president of Let It Fly, is a former professional basketball player who competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for a number of clubs, including the Memphis Grizzlies, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Miami Heat. According to CBRE, one of the other people interested in the endeavor is investor Ryan Miller, who is also an assistant basketball coach at Creighton University.

The Let It Fly partners have stated that the facility in the Capitol District will take on the role of the chain’s flagship restaurant. In addition to this location, Let It Fly has locations in Germantown, Tennessee, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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