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There definitely seems to be outside interest in the property. The city says it will continue courting several prospective tenants for the site. Plus, in the past two days, even I’ve heard from prospective tenants: a noted Kansas City restaurateur and a local private equity firm.
On today’s council agenda: the latest sign of plans for a new bridge that would make it easier to walk, run or bike from north downtown to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
The project, which could cost close to $3.8 million is still at least a few years down the road — planning officials told us construction likely wouldn’t start until 2016, at the earliest. But the city is beginning to explore planning and design options for a bridge that would stretch across the railroad tracks between the riverfront and destinations such as TD Ameritrade Park.
All told, the upgrades will cost MECA $5.8 million. It’s a big investment, but officials say there’s no way around it; Technology has changed considerably since the original equipment went up in 2003. Repairs were getting too expensive and other venues are outpacing the CenturyLink’s video capabilities.
MECA president Roger Dixon said the new equipment, which will be in before hockey season starts in the fall, will make for a noticeably sharper viewing experience. More cameras will capture different angles on the action to display on the big screen.
City officials said they envision a national search for a good match. The consultant will conduct a market study to find out what development would be the best fit for the site and for the city’s master plan.
Think you can handle it? The copy of the city’s entire RFP is pasted below.
Preliminary estimates peg the cost to demolish the 9,300-seat auditorium, Music Hall and convention hall at $5 million to $7 million, Suttle said. The estimates, however, did not include an environmental study of the structure, and the actual cost could be higher.
“The City of Omaha believes that the Civic Auditorium and Music Hall structures are not economically feasible for rehabilitation and continued use,” the city’s request for proposals says. ”It is anticipated that these structures would be removed as part of a redevelopment project. It is also anticipated that the Parking Structure will be retained by the City of Omaha but may be available to support the redevelopment project.”
Mayor Jim Suttle’s office says the City Council’s rejection of another study on the future of the Civic was the last straw for the facility. For years, officials had tossed around several ideas, including prserving the 2,315-seat Music Hall while demolishing the rest of the rest of the building.
That’s when up to 24,000 baseball fans will head to their seats at TD Ameritrade Park for what could be the final game of the College World Series. A couple of blocks away, close to 13,000 swimming fans will settle in for the first night of Olympic Swim Trials. Plus, thousands of visitors will fill restaurants and bars in and around the venues and tailgate outside the ballpark.
Fans should plan ahead to save time at this year's tournament
The most wonderful time of the year has arrived, if you’re a college baseball fan.
We know getting into and out of TD Ameritrade Park during the College World Series can be a bit of a logistical challenge.
That’s why your friends at The Hall have compiled some of the most important information you’ll need to have a fun visit. Most of this information comes courtesy of the city’s Public Works Department, Police Department and the NCAA. Use the map posted after the jump to find your way around.
John Lund elected to replace Jim Vokal as head of MECA board
John Lund has been elected by his fellow board members to serve as chairman of the MECA board.
Lund, CEO of the local commercial real estate firm the Lund Company, replaces Jim Vokal, who remains on the board.
The Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority runs CenturyLink Center Omaha, TD Ameritrade Park and the Civic Auditorium.
“Stepping into the leadership role on the MECA Board is an exciting challenge,” Lund said in a statement. “CenturyLink Center Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park Omaha are among several crown jewels for the community. I look forward to carrying on the success that has been established and to ensure that these facilities continue to perform to their greatest potential.”
The board also elected Jennifer Rasmussen as vice-chair, Dana Bradford as secretary and Vokal as treasurer. Next month, Willy Theisen will join the board, replacing outgoing member David Kramer.
Rosenblatt's iconic caretaker leaves civil service next week
The City Council took a moment at Tuesday’s meeting to honor a man who devoted his career to Rosenblatt Stadium.
Jesse Cuevas is best known for his work as the head groundskeeper at the old ballpark, a position he held from 1986 through the College World Series’ move downtown. He started working at Rosenblatt in 1969, shagging baseballs for $1 a day.
Detailing the man’s legacy would fill plenty of blog posts.
Think of it this way: “Jesse Cuevas means Omaha baseball to me,” Alan Stein, president of the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly Royals) said last year.
Jesse Cuevas will retire on April 13. The council dedicated that day in his honor.
“I always thought civil service was something more than what was portrayed in the papers,” Cuevas said Tuesday.
Now, pedicabs would be able to operate around the stadium except for along stretches of 10th and 13th Streets from Capitol Avenue to Cuming Street, and Cuming Street west to 24th Street. Pedicab operators would also have to secure permits before they work each year’s tournament. Each company would be limited to four pedicab permits, which would cost $100 apiece. Only 25 total permits would be issued. The law would also only apply for three days leading up to the series and through the tournament’s final day.
Plus, the new proposal excludes horse carriage operators from regulation.
“Compromise is not necessarily a bad thing,” said Deputy Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer. The council could vote on the matter by the end of April.
You can see a rough idea of how the latest proposal would work in our horribly-drawn map below:
Red lines show where pedicab traffic would be restricted during the series. The area within the green border is what would’ve been closed to pedicabs under the original proposal floated before the council.
Omaha runs out of the offices at 1819 Farnam St. The work there impacts your safety, your parks, your pocketbook. You'll find the best City Hall coverage on this site. It also is a place for you to weigh in. Welcome to Omaha's eye on local government: The Hall.
P. J. Seminara:
Will the shelters be available to the public for personal use?
Fireman who put is in debt and calls himself "Fire Jean." Your bloated cont
311 works great here in NYC.
If I see something that needs fixing, I mak
Or... the Chamber of Commerce could raise the $35 Million from its members,
Double taxation? So any project using state and local funds is double taxa
How long has Omaha had a AAA bond rating?
How many large municipalities
Way to go Jean Stothert! Your shortsighted decision to commandeer the fire
I think it's a logical idea. Putting tax on tobacco which causes cancer is
Will gov't ever have enough of our money? When does it stop?
Ed, Good to shake your hand at Dundee Days. Just a brief note that we need